Ankle down, keeping my head up

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I am finally easing back to my running schedule after I noticed an annoying pain on my right ankle and hamstring after my 12 miler two weeks ago. Stairs were the death of me. I had to wait a week and a half just to see the foot doctor and it was painful just not being able to run or not being sure if it was okay to run. Especially when it was my peak week and was going to accomplish my first 13 miles before I taper for my race this coming Sunday.

During this down time, the support of my family and friends and personal reflection, I found a silver lining. Maybe I’m being a whining drama queen about not being able to run, but running really has become a huge part of my life since I began training. And not being able to look forward to a run is real frustrating. The reassurance from my best friend helps me be more positive about this situation and to not push myself. I probably annoyed her with my ankle problems, but she has been encouraging me the entire time.

What was the silver lining? After being able to run 12 miles I am more confident that I have built enough strength and endurance to be able to run 13 soon. It’s all in my head, and I won’t let my mind tell me I can’t do it. I am also glad that this happened at the time it did because it gave the opportunity to kick back a bit and fix the rookie mistakes I’ve made. Since I hurt my ankle, I reevaluated how I’ve been running and realized how I haven’t been taking care of my feet and haven’t allowed for enough recovery. I’ve been able to “fix” this before my race, and I am thankful for that. Plus, I think the satisfaction of running my first 13 miles on my first race will be more rewarding than during my training. I love surprises.

My hamstring pain went away after a few days of relaxing, but the ankle pain remained a bit. The issue? My damn flat feet. I made the rookie mistake of not getting proper running shoes that were for long distances and flat feet. I love my Nike Air Max, as they are comfortable and colorful, but now I hate them. Macklemore said that air bubble was gonna make me fly. Lies.

Hearing the foot and ankle doctor tell me I can run was music to my ears and was just so good to hear. Before I could run, I needed to get some stability shoes. So I ventured away from Nike and went with a pair from Asics. Not as cool looking, but I’m going to functionality, not looks anymore. Learned that lesson the heard way.

Fast forward to last night, and I ran my first long run after two weeks. I nice 8-miler. I made sure to stop a few times to walk and not push it. That made a difference. I also changed my Nike Running app settings to only tell me when I am at the halfway point. I figured hearing statistics is disturbing and makes me think about the time, ultimately making me run even slower. Overall, my run was great. I needed that release and satisfaction that I can do it. My ankle feels a bit strained, but it’s OK.

All in all, lessons were learned, my spirit to run didn’t fade, and I am more excited and nervous to run this race than before. Maybe this was the push I needed to get me more motivated.

 

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