Thursday, July 11, 2013

Update on the "ankle incident"

Several weeks ago, I shared my disappointing DNF result from the War Eagle 50k - a disappointing result primarily because of an ankle injury. At the time, I assumed it was a severe sprain, and some rest, ice, compression and elevation would get me back on my feet and to my running routine in a few weeks.

I ultimately ended up at the doctor the Thursday after the race, because the darn swelling just wouldn't go away, and for some reason, my ankle still hurt pretty badly by the end of most days.

Because it was broken.


Soooo... into a boot I went, onto crutches, and then a knee scooter, with doctor's orders for absolutely no activity (including swimming) for five weeks.


But as we all know, in the summertime, time flies!!! Follow up appointment was today, and I was thrilled to hear the words "normal" and "healthy" as the good doctor reviewed my x-rays with me. He showed me where the break had been at the bottom of the fibula, and how it was all healed with the fracture line essentially invisible to the untrained eye.
I know where it is, but that's because I saw it when it
was broken... tell me if you can see where the break was!
He showed me how the spaces between all of the bones in the foot (and by the way, have you ever looked at the skeletal structure of the foot? Good grief, there are a lot of bones down there) were the right distance apart, which meant that all of the ligaments were in the right place.

Those are apparently some lovely 3mm, 4mm, and 3mm gaps
between all of the bones. Just ask my doctor.
Whew. Until that moment, I honestly had not realized just how anxious I was that I would not hear the words "normal" and "healthy" about my ankle. In fact, if I am truly honest, I must admit that I had moments of doubt that I would ever be back to normal - I'm getting older; I may not heal properly; I haven't been a model patient with the total avoidance of weight bearing activities. So when the x-ray evidence confirmed that I would, in fact, be back to normal, I was thrilled.

And immediately asked, "So when can I run again?"

I credit the doctor's extensive experience of working with athletes for being able to refrain from rolling his eyes at me.

As it turns out, I am allowed to work out starting immediately. I am allowed to:

  • ride my bike!
  • swim!
  • walk!
  • go to physical therapy once a week!
  • ice my ankle twice a day, every day! (The physical therapist used the word "non-negotiable" several times in this particular conversation... you'd think he knows I'm a little bit hard headed, or something)
I am not yet allowed to:
  • run!!

Six more weeks until I can participate in any impact activities which, of course, for me means running. But you know what? In only six weeks, I can run. No bad news that the bone didn't heal properly; no terrifying prospect of a pin in my leg or a future that holds no running at all. So what's six weeks? We all lament how quickly the summer goes by, anyway. I'm going to blink, it's going to be Labor Day weekend, and I'm going to be out there in my shorts and my tank top with my Garmin all set to step off at a double time.

So here's to an unanticipated break from running this summer (see how I did that? break? get it?) and the opportunity to put some serious miles on my bike and get some intense swim workouts in. Just because I'm not running doesn't mean I'm not still all in.


  1. Your post reminds me so much of my coworker. She was walking with crutches, but still was wearing high heels and she was NOT icing her foot as required. Stubborn indeed!

  2. Looks like you and I are both taking a break from running this summer. I can run some, but my mileage has been drastically cut short. I'm having fun on the bike, though. Heal up! We will both be out there dancing with the planet again soon enough.

    Cheers lady!