Friday, July 22, 2016

A Mid Summer's Injury

On an ill fated June morning I sprained my left ankle; and that is about as interesting as that story gets. I wasn't somewhere "cool", I wasn't doing anything worthy of a 'Gram post, I wasn't even running fast. I was on Nevada's version of California carpet trail, and for the four miles post sprain, I pretended to run normally trying to convince myself it wasn't so bad. I was unable to run for the next five and a half weeks, so I guess it was a little worse than I initially wanted to accept. I missed two races in that time, and was relegated to bicycle riding (which is the cool thing for injured ultra runners to do right now, so I'm pretty hip). The time off from running wasn't without its teaching moments though, so here are some things I've learned in the last month:

1. Ankle sprains take a loooong time to heal.
 Like WTF? Right? After weeks of limping around and staring at everyone's social media about how great the mountains are in the summer time, I nearly lost my mind with my inability to join in all the revelry. The fourth of July was the worst! I sat at home watching the live stream of the Mt Marathon race, eating chips and drinking beer. I'm sure that helped my ankle heal faster. Nonetheless, I eventually realized that the more patient I am with the healing injury the quicker it would heal up, which is probably something that I have learned with every injury I've ever had...and then promptly forgot.

2. You can go almost anywhere on a bicycle.
 It was that same realization I had when I finally finished a 100 miler: I can run almost anywhere. With a somewhat sufficient bicycle the possibilities to travel under my own power were endless! That is until you don't plan a route out very well and get yourself lost on a series of dead end fire roads somewhere near the California/ Nevada boarder. Unlike running, on a bicycle you can travel a relatively long way in a short period of time, and before you know it you are surrounded by the rolling northern Sierra Nevadas on an unmarked fire road, and have been out of water for hours.  My mom made me buy a smart phone after that one.

3. Baby Steps!
Just like Bob learns in the coming of age drama What About Bob, taking baby steps is the only way to deal with my new problems. So perhaps the first day my ankle felt good I shouldn't have hiked the steepest possible route up Mt Rose, and maybe I need to learn to move my feet a little faster on the downhills. Thank you Dr. Leo Marvin.

After all of this, its fairly likely that I will soon forget these lessons, and hopefully be gleefully trotting around in the mountains again without any ankle related worry in the world.  Cheers!

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