Category Archives: injury

Injured, Sick & How To Treat A Sprained Ankle

There I was, galavanting around the office in my chucks, jeans rolled up, thinking nothing of it. But when I sat down, crossed my legs at a meeting and my colleague said, “Oh my god, Page. What happened to your ankle?” I freaked out.

I looked down and there it was. Either I have a bout of elephantitis in my left ankle, or rolling my ankle twice during the Mt. Tam trail run actually DID do something to my bad ankle. It’s swollen again, but unlike when I first injured it, it doesn’t hurt at all. I’ll pretend that’s a good thing.

Needless to say, I’m annoyed and frustrated with CIM only a couple weeks away. Since then, I’ve also gotten sick and any ounce of energy has been zapped from me — making complete sentences on this blog post is even proving to be a struggle.

To be honest, part of me wants to throw in the towel on CIM as I don’t feel ready. I’m injured, sick, and while I did the workouts, I don’t feel like my training was analyzed and adjusted the way that it could have been to make great gains. I also know that I am a self-proclaimed sand bagger, and am doubting my own capabilities. Whoa. That’s another post altogether.

Anyways, I get a lot of emails asking about ankle sprains and my first piece of advice, especially if you’re close to a race, is to see a doctor. I’m not a medical professional and any advice I have would only be doing us both a disservice.

IMG_7789The ankle sprain from one year ago. How I loathe you.

However, I wanted to take a moment to explain the injured athlete’s best friend: RICE. No, not the starchy white stuff, but the approach to improved injury recovery. Here’s the RICE breakdown as outlined by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. But don’t avoid all physical activity. Instead, give yourself relative rest. With an ankle sprain, you can usually still exercise other muscles to prevent deconditioning. For example, you could use an exercise bicycle, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on a footrest. That way you still exercise three limbs and keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.
  • Ice. Even if you’re seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. Use an ice pack or slush bath for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat every two to three hours while you’re awake, for the first 48 to 72 hours. Cold reduces pain, swelling and inflammation in injured muscles, joints and connective tissues. It also may slow bleeding if a tear has occurred. If the area turns white, stop treatment immediately. This could indicate a cold injury. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, talk with your doctor before applying ice.
  • Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap it too tightly or you may hinder circulation. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from your heart. Loosen the wrap if the pain increases, if the area becomes numb or if swelling occurs below the wrapped area.
  • Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.

A few other helpful resources:

Looks like some more RICE and DayQuil is in my future.

What do you do when sick or injured to keep from going crazy?

Happy Running!

   
30 Comments | Posted in injury

The Time I Gave Up High-Heels

High-heeled shoes rip a dangerous divide between female athletes.

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On one hand, they are a woman’s secret to seriously sexy legs. They have an innate ability to take a tibia, fibia and a femur looks like graceful Roman columns, conjuring the oohs-and-ahhs of all onlookers. In fact, when they’re done right they can be pieces of artistic genius. Everything is taller, longer, sleeker and I’ll say it again…sexier. Plus, they were the inspiration for this cinematic gold:

Yet on the other side of the ring we have the cons (we all knew it was coming). From poor posture and shortened/tightened calf muscles, heels can lead to osteoarthritis thanks to bone-on-bone contact. Or if you want a visual slap in the face on how bad high heels are for you, check out this crazy 3D CT scanner video.

Regardless of the irrefutable data, I thought that almost a year after my ankle injury, maybe, juuust maybe, I could try heels out again. Up until last Wednesday, I had only worn them in photos at weddings before I had to rip them off because they caused so much pain on my injured foot. Thinking I would “ease” myself into heels again, I opted for some solid wedges and tromped around work all day, disregarding the pain and chafing.

Once again, whenever you think you can defy nature, you will surely be proven wrong. I did a small run the next morning and was plagued with pain on my outer left-leg for the remainder of the week. Going up and down stairs was difficult, but thankfully I had a chiropractor appointment already scheduled for that Friday.

Fast-forwarding to the results, we thinm that my injured ankle wasn’t (and may never be) ready for heels as the rest of my leg overcompensated and pulled some muscles on the femoral head. While it was mild, Coach Greg still recommended completely forgoing the weekend long run and resting my hamstring. And unlike last time, I went with nature and gave my leg complete R&R. Then a funny thing happened — it got better. Huh! Would you look at that?

So as I part, I’ll leave you all with advice that we’ve all heard, but I took one for the team so we could all be reminded of it: 1) Think before you put on those heels, and 2) Rest when your body tells you to, dammit.

Are you pro-heels?

Happy Running!

   
33 Comments | Posted in injury, running

The Living Room Recovery Kit

We’ve all heard it and we all know it to be true: preventative care is of vital importance for any athlete. Stretching, rolling, massaging, you name it…it’s the key to preventing injury and prolonging our athletic dreams.

Yet for some strange reason, as much as it has been harped on over and over again by every magazine and blogger out there, somehow we find ourselves brushing it off and I completely understand why. We only have a limited amount of hours in the day and if I have to choose an hour of running, or 45 minutes of running and 15 minutes of stretching, my endorphin-junkie mind carelessly picks the hour of running every time.

But then you’ll find yourself just sitting on the couch, catching up on Bob’s Burgers because somehow your husband’s TV-taste has rubbed off on you and you think, “I should be rolling right now.” Somehow your ass in glued in place and you just can’t be bothered to get up, walk to the next room and grab the punishment pieces needed to take preventative care/rehab seriously. Yup, that’s me. But fear not young one, I come bearing a solution!

Enter: The Living Room Recovery Kit!

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I know, I know, the true originality of this is mind-blowing and my interior decorating skills are something to be rivaled. But this simple trick has helped me stick with my rolling routine. Here’s how it works:

1) Get a basket.
2) Fill it with preventative care goodies (details below).
3) Put it in a highly visible spot in a regularly trafficked room.
4) Watch it stare at you, taunting you, as you sit there doing everything but rolling.
5) Let the guilt magic set in and finally use the contents of said kit, shake your fist in the air and proclaim, “Damn you, foam roller. Daaaaaaamn you!”

It’s that easy! Now, for the contents of my living room recovery kit:

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1) A Yoga Mat, because you need one for obvious reasons. Carpet burn is never cool.

2) A Mini Pilates Ball for core and hip strengthening exercises. But you should probably inflate it more than mine.

3) A Kettle Bell. I keep this little five pounder handy for core work as it’s cheaper and smaller than a medicine ball, and I can use it for Nike Training Club app workouts.

4) A Foam Roller. Go with the trigger point for some real torture, not just the black foam. Plus, this compact size is much better for traveling (should you be so inclined) because I have no idea how you’re going to pass a three-foot foam roller as a carry on.

5) The Stick. I like the travel size for obvious, space-related reasons.

6) Foot Massage Balls. I actually won these in a Secret Santa gift exchange two years ago (thanks Katie!) and love them. I keep one at my desk at work (gross — who cares) and one in the basket. The bottom of my foot has been giving me some issues as it’s overcompensating for my ankle, and a little time with these bad boys help immensely.

7) A good ol’ fashioned Lacrosse Ball. Truth be told, Coach Paul found me this one as we were doing transition laps around the track. Get one, put your butt on it, and try and roll out the magic.

I should also give an honorable mention to the tub of Aquaphor that I keep next to my nightstand to massage my ankle. I’m not sure if Aquaphor is made for massaging, but Emily sent it to me and it works really well!

So there you have it, my living room recovery kit. Tell me, how do you ensure that you are rolling/stretching/etc.? Anything else you would add to the basket?

Happy Running!

   
36 Comments | Posted in injury

Recognizing The Journey

2012 was a year of firsts. Overcoming fears and tackling the “somedays.”

Sometimes when you’re on the journey to achieving those “somedays”, you don’t quite realize the path that you’re on and what you had truly experienced until it’s over. From zero swimming to over two miles, from zero biking to over 100 miles… it’s amazing what a year can do. But you often don’t see it until you look back and realize that once again, your dad was on to something there… it’s not about the goal, but the journey.

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Unlike the prior year, this week I was fully aware of the journey that I was on. It was full of firsts that I immediately recognized and celebrated.

My first “long” run outside without my brace.

My first “long” ride back outside.

Both of these workouts were done solo and started with a bit of trepidation. What happens if I can’t make it that far? Can it hold up without a brace? Do I remember how to shift? The juvenile nay-saying thoughts it my head were there and so was a cautious confidence.

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It had rained the night before my run and my overly-cautious self was debating whether or not a run on wet concrete was wise. After all  if I could slip on dry asphalt, I sure as hell could slip on wet concrete. If you can’t tell by now, I’m determined to never injure myself out of pure stupidity again.

I disregarded the concrete as a potential hazard and decided it was ok to run. Low and behold, I was fine. I made my way through six miles of brace-free running and was even pleasantly surprised with my pace. Not where it was in the past, but getting better. I may have even bust out a happy dance when I got home.

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The following day, it was time for some QT with Dora. With a little tire-pumping action and re-gathering of all my bike gear, I was physically prepared. Mentally, I still had dubious thoughts. But wouldn’t ya know, I clipped in and found out that riding my bike was just like… well, riding a bike.

I seamlessly hopped on, popped into aero and was reminded of just how much I love riding. It’s a combination of endorphins and adrenaline all supported by an ever-present breeze that just makes you smile. I rode two hours throughout some of the normal routes that I had grown to know quite well and found my place again in the saddle.

With two first both recognized and celebrated, I was on a training high. I smiled, I blabbed on about it and I declared: I’m ready to get back at it.

So tomorrow, doubt your doubts and have confidence in you confidence. And most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate your journey along the way.

   
9 Comments | Posted in injury, Life

High Ankle Sprain Update & Rehab Exercises

Wednesday marks 10 weeks since my ankle injury. It turns out that I injured myself TWICE: a high sprain on the outside and a strain on the inside (yup, that’s my fancy doctor jargon). When I stop and think about it…shit it’s been a long time, but not as bad as it could have been.

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A couple weeks ago I tried my first one mile run and it was good, but not comforting as I still had many twinges. I quickly learned that warm-ups and cool-downs are extremely important for me, as is patience. (Thank you Aron for answering all of my crazy/scared texts.) Since then, I’ve been increasing frequency, length and have since ran back-to-back days, with my longest run being 3.5 miles.

I went to my final PT appointment on Tuesday and did a variety of drills to check my status. The swelling is still there, but it’s finally down as it was what lingered the longest. My range of motion is still limited and I’ll need to continue working on it, as well as rebuilding the strength in my ankle.

The even better news? My PT cleared me to try my first run outside! Now to find the perfect, flat, paved, stable, path.

To get to this point it took time, and it’s going to take a lot more time. It also took me religiously doing my PT exercises twice per day, RICE-ing when necessary, going to the PT almost twice a week, and using stim and ultrasound therapy to help with the swelling. I thought I’d share some of the exercises that I used (am going to continue to use) to help strengthen my ankle. Note: I don’t know the fancy terms so just roll with me here.

 

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Resistance band cross-over. 3 set of 15, 2x/day

AnkleRehab1 Resistance band forward pull (forward and backwards). 3 set of 15, 2x/day

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 Hanging ankle stretch to a toe raise. 3 sets of 20 (or general fatigue)

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 Wall ankle stretch.

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Bosu balancing, 3 sets of 30 seconds

Speaking of rehab exercises…I need to go do some! What’s your rehab secret?

Happy Running!

   
10 Comments | Posted in injury

Dealing with Injuries

It’s been a month since the ankle disaster of 2012.

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What I thought was a severe rolled ankle turned out to be a grade II high ankle sprain and I’m frustrated beyond belief.  Perhaps it’s time for a recap.

Over the past month, I’ve rested, I’ve RICE-ed, I saw my chiro, I saw a sports doc who specializes in ankles, I’ve been going to PT twice a week, I’ve been on crutches, I’ve been off crutches, I wore slacks and tennis shoes to work, I’ve worn my brace and flats to work, I’ve been doing seated upper body, I’ve even been spinning my legs for 30 minutes at a time with no resistance, I’ve been doing my PT exercise like a champ.

I felt like I’ve been as restful as I can without literally sitting in my bed all day. I was making small, but positive progress – I just can’t seem to get all the swelling down. But it was positive enough for my PT to say that she thought I’d be able to “try” running again in two or three weeks.

HURRAH!

But after a weekend of cheering and being on my feet, I went to the PT on Wednesday and my ankle was swollen and sore. Frick. My PT said that I wouldn’t be running anytime soon.

Enter: horrible mood/loss of all motivation and patience.

You see, I thought I would be half way healed by this point. I’ve done my fair share of googling and while symptoms and healing could take up to six months, most are back in the game anywhere between six and eight weeks. WHY AREN’T I MAKING MORE PROGRESS?!

I know I need to rest even more than I have been, but with this injury and the loss of any form of endorphins, I sunk into this self-pity hole. I know, I know, it’s ridiculous. But I feel like going through emotional stages of injury, and with a little research, I found a Runner’s World article talking about just this.

According to the article, “The sense of loss an athlete feels when injured can be very similar to the other types of mourning or grief that occur in our lives,” says Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and a leading researcher of injury psychology. “It’s a huge sense of loss that you feel.”

Here’s how it’s breaking down for me:

DENIAL

This is usually when people are feeling pain, but don’t consider themselves injured. For me, it was after I got hurt and it was the very first thing that came out of my mouth, “No! Big race! Big race!” followed by emails to my doctors with the subject line: Are You Sure?!  This couldn’t really be happening just days before the race.

ANGER

My anger was directed at myself. I remember crying in my car just thinking, “What did I do?!” I was blaming myself and so, so angry that I did this.

LAUGHTER

This one may be a bit unique as I added it in myself, but once I got over the anger, I started joking about it and making fun of myself in crowds. Or maybe it’s just my cover-up for the other feelings…

BARGAINING/DEPRESSION

When injured athletes finally confront their injury, they sometimes become too gung-ho. “You think, I’ll do more rehab, more often, more reps, more weights, and then I’ll get back to running sooner,” Wiese-Bjornstal says. “But more isn’t always better.”

Wiese-Bjornstal’s research shows that athletes with severe injuries that require long amounts of downtime are likely to linger in this stage. The enthusiasm you initially had for your rehab routine fades. You miss the endorphin fix running provided, and you feel cut off from the running and racing community.

This is where you start thinking, “I’ll just do X to get to Y sooner.” Add in my above feelings and lack in healing progress, and boom: depressed. I’m still dealing with this one while embracing patience and knowing that I, in fact, still have so much to be grateful for.

ACCEPTANCE

One can imply what this one means. I’m not there yet, but in the mean time, I’ll try and stay off my feet and doing exactly as the PT prescribes.

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Happy Running!

 

   
15 Comments | Posted in injury

A Reason For Everything

I’m happy to report back that all of the Kinney Multisport team demolished Ironman Arizona, including a few stellar PRs. Congrats to the team – I tracked you online so much that it’s probably creepy. You are all awesome and continue to inspire me! So much so, that this is my new motto:

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Image via.

The ankle is getting better, but still swollen. I started physical therapy and will go twice a week for at least six weeks. I was told to still stay off of my leg unless I’m doing regular activities. Any long distance walking needs to be on crutches and I need to wear my ankle brace, compression sock and supportive tennis shoes all the time.  Despite some workplace fashion quandaries (tennis shoes and slacks? Ack!) and not being able to do any workouts on my feet (hello upper body and core), it’s going as expected. I guess I can’t complain.

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Oh look. Another idiot taking a photo in a gym mirror. I’ll spare you an flexed muscle shots — this photo is just to show my awesome compression sock/brace look. That Hansel is so hot right now!

Furthermore, my family has been so incredibly sweet. They took the time they were supposed to use to go to Tempe to come to California and visit. They never complained once about the money they lost on their airline tickets that they had to cancel and they are all so supportive with me picking up the pieces and trying again. Love you guys! I definitely can’t complain.

I will admit though, Sunday was tough. If you sit on the coach long enough doing nothing, you’ll surely overanalyze everything. If you’re tracking the race you were supposed to do, it’s highly likely that you’ll go crazy.

For the past week, I kept asking myself, “Why?!”  I’m a firm believer in that there is a reason for everything, but I’m just so damn impatient and I want to know what that reason is. I analyzed every possibility and have multiple scenarios that I’ve convinced myself of, but I have to admit something first…

Over the past four months of training, everywhere I looked I would see the same set of numbers. These three numbers would show up on clocks, watches, radios, you name it. Whenever I would see it, I would shout, “CHICKEN FACE! THERE IT IS AGAIN!”

He would laugh and call me crazy (he’s probably right.) I even told my cycling friends about it on a ride and asked if they had ever experienced something like this and what it meant. They just looked at me like I was losing it. That number:

911.

I kid you not. From 91.1, to 9:11. It was everywhere. I usually don’t believe in this type of stuff, but I just can’t help but to think that someone or something was trying to tell me something. It was weird. Really weird. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be there for some crazy/scary reason.

Anyways, to move on from the strange omens, I still believe that this injury happened for a reason. The reason that I’m choosing to believe is that it just wasn’t my time. Instead, maybe I was meant to train for a year to get to know more about the three sports and myself. I spent a year learning, struggling, overcoming, and just plain growing, but now it’s time to train harder and smarter than ever before. It’s time to grow into a serious athlete, not just a gal who was sidelined by a sprained ankle.

I am more determined than ever, dammit.

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I’ve researched my options. I’m weighing the pros and cons. I’m anxiously awaiting the answer to come clear so I can hit register and start down the new path. IMCDA? IM Whistler? IM Lake Tahoe? What do I do and how do I do it? Whatever it is, I’m ready!

Well, in four to six weeks. Hurry up and heal ankle!

 

   
18 Comments | Posted in injury

The Ankle Update

First and foremost…THANK YOU. I knew that our little online running and triathlon community was great, but I don’t think I realized how amazing it was until this week.

Thank you so incredibly much for every single one of your comments, emails, texts, tweets and phone calls. In the midst of all the injury and rescheduling chaos, your incredibly kind and supportive words would bring a smile to face and mean so incredibly much to me. From those who are regular readers and commenters, to those that are commenting for the first time, all I can say is thank you so, so, much.

Now, for an update.

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Woops! Wore my brace far too tight.

When I wrote the last blog entry, I had just come back from the chiro where I was given the bad news. I wasn’t sure what else to do so I sobbed and blogged. After said blog was published, I wrote another email to my chiro with the subject line, “Are you sure?!” This wasn’t really happening, was it?

Chicken Face was away on business and there was no one around to really calm me down. Thus, refusing to believe anything, I Googled for an urgent care that was open late, had x-rays on site and took my insurance. With luck, I found one that was less than 10 minutes away from my house and called to let them know I was coming – they were about to close in an hour and I needed to know if something was fractured.

I raced to urgent care where the entire staff was just sitting there waiting for me. I walked in and they asked, “Are you Page?”

I answered yes and suddenly four people sprung into action.

One woman brought out a wheelchair and I said, “No, no, I don’t need that.”

She insisted, so I sat.

One woman was collecting my insurance and personal information while another guy was asking about what happened. It was a crazy harmony of multiple people doing their jobs simultaneously. They must not have had any other patients or serious cases to attend to.

I was taken to the back to get x-rays and the doctor came back saying that yes it was a sprain, no breaks or fractures, but given the severity of the sprain, she didn’t think I could do the race. However, she recommended that I see a sports doc to know for sure. She then went on to say that she knows how I feel because her son plays football and he got a sprained ankle and he had to sit out for two games. It took everything in me to not, ehem, politely clarify the differences in the two situations.

I came home from urgent care feeling slightly relieved. I ate dinner that consisted of a giant cookie and then went to bed. Sometimes eating your feelings does feel good.

The night, I had a dream that my mom ran the race for me instead. I remember thinking, “But she didn’t train!” but I saw her run past me smiling. I then woke up literally thinking it was all a horrible nightmare, but alas, it wasn’t, and my head was throbbing.

Later that morning, I was able to get into a sports ortho doc. He was an older gentleman who probably touched my feet for a total of five minutes, examined the x-rays and then diagnosed me with a high ankle sprain. When I asked what the difference was he said, “Well, they take longer to heal than regular ankle sprains.”

Lovely.

Then the weird part: he pulled up Google and searched for “high ankle sprain.” Um, what? No sir, I’m not paying you to Google for me. He used it more to illustrate what part of my body was affected, but something about it just didn’t seem right.

I then asked him, “So, can I do the race?”

He looked at me and simply replied with, “You know the answer.”

And then I cried. It was official that Ironman Arizona was out.

I called Chicken Face, my family and my coach to tell them the official, official, news. While I suppose I still could have gone to Arizona to watch the race or just have a vacation, I was too emotionally messed up and didn’t think I would be able to handle seeing everyone else race so we cancelled the whole trip.

I headed back to work and tried to carry on as normal as possible, but then Google sucked me in and scared the shit out of me. Don’t ever Google “high ankle sprain” because you will find things like this:

Just the term “high ankle sprain” is enough to grab the attention of, if not frighten, the toughest athletes. Even if you’re not exactly sure what’s involved, you probably know that it’s an injury that could keep you out of action for months. And you’re right. High ankle sprains are much less common than the garden variety low ankle sprain, which can be serious enough, but they’re hard to treat and can cause long-term problems.

An athlete may be out for as little as two to three days or as long as six months.

I was sending all of these articles to Chicken Face, in which he would reply, “Stop Googling.”

Once I pulled myself away from the mistake that is Googling your symptoms, my friend Carrie (who is a PT and has completed 15 Ironmans) invited me over to her house to take a look at my ankle. Can you tell yet that I’m having acceptance problems?!

Carrie was fantastic and spent an hour with me, asking questions, testing, watching me walking, massage my ankle and even making a custom wrap for me. She gave me hope in that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been (phew!) and with time, I’m going to be A-OK.

I didn’t waste any time setting up my physical therapy appointments and I was lucky enough to get in the next morning. I met my PT, Emily, and I couldn’t have been happier. She spent an hour with me, evaluating, learning my story, ultrasounding, stretching and more.  Her perspective was similar to Carrie’s in that if this only would have happened four weeks earlier, I could have taped it up and been good to go come race day. But unfortunately, it happened when it did and I was screwed.

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Per Emily, I need to wear compression socks under my brace as we’re really going to focus on getting rid of all my swelling first and stretching the ankle, then strengthening. I asked her what exercises I can do and for now, I’m limited to upper body, core, swimming (no kicking) and cycling (only if I wear my brace, no resistance and no climbing). Thus, I can’t wait to get Dora back.

I left PT feeling good and anxious to get on the rehab bandwagon. I wasn’t wasting any time and was going to move forward no matter what.

And I am.

The good news is that I think I have literally run out of tears and the only thing I can do now is move forward. If I keep dwelling on WHY? WHY? WHY?!, it won’t do me any good. I was shattered, but I’m not wasting any time picking up the pieces and I’m NOT letting this deter me from becoming an Ironman. This has been a lifetime goal of mine for a long time and I’m not going to let a stupid sprained ankle stop me.

I still have what I call “relapses,” where I’m alone with my thoughts for whatever reason and I start to cry. I know Sunday will be a bit tough as I see all of the photos and results pour in, but beyond that, I have to believe that this all happened for a reason. Plus, I know that far more serious things could have happened and I’m very lucky that it’s only a sprain because I can heal and compete again. I know that when I come back for the next one, I’ll just be that much stronger – like I said before, TITANIUM! As I am picking up the pieces, I’m trying to plan what race I should do, how it cannot cost a gazillion dollars and how to make my family happy. I’ll follow up with my thoughts on that soon, but for now I’ll ask:

DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET INTO SOLD OUT IRONMAN LAKE TAHOE?

I would love you forever!

Now, more than ever before, I have to remember my dad’s favorite motto: It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it. I’m now choosing to handle it by not moving on, but moving forward.

Thank you over and over again for all of your support.

Happy Running.

   
23 Comments | Posted in injury

#AnkleWatch2012 Update

First and foremost, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support, tips, tricks and kind words. You have no idea how much they mean to me as I continue to struggle through this. You guys are the BEST!

But, if you are sick of me talking about my ankle, welcome to the party, I am too. Sadly, it’s the only thing that’s on my mind right now, thus, it’s what I’ll be blabbing about until next Monday morning because Ironman Arizona is ONE WEEK AWAY TODAY!

So what’s the status on #AnkleWatch2012? Well, a lot.

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Trying to stay positive.

I immediately stopped all training and worked from home for two days, making sure to RICE, RICE, RICE! With my ass firmly planted on the couch, I began to feel like a slug and decided to go into work on Friday, equipped with my ice pack and trash cans propped up enough to try and elevate my leg. Later that afternoon, my aunt brought me my cousin’s crutches so I could try and stay off of my foot as much as possible.

By Friday, I could put weight on it, but when I did the full walking motion, I could feel a twinge in my back heel. My amazing chiropractor was able to fit me in late Friday evening so I rushed over as soon as I was off of work. I trust him more than any other ortho doc I have been to (overcharged x-rays and rude bedside manner, no thank you) – he was also the one who helped rid me of all my knee problems, so let’s hear it doc!

The diagnosis: a sprain and a strain, and yup, there’s a difference.

Strain: stretch or tear of a tendon (think “t” for strain and tendon). Tendons connect muscles to bones.
Sprain: stretch or tear of a ligament. Ligaments connect bones to bones.

So, I messed up a tendon and a ligament, but I did not tear or break anything. Fabulous. But the good news is that my doctor thinks that I’ll be able to make it come race day – albeit much slower – and that has been quite the pill to swallow.

I’ve been training for a year for this race and as I grew, I began seeing stars and certain goal times. In fact, I had quite an ambitious secret goal time that both my coach and I thought I could achieve pending perfect race day conditions. But now, things have changed and I struggled accepting that.

I’ve trained so hard and was capable of an XX:XX finish!
I’ve never been one to race just to finish – I always have a goal!

I cried, had a massive meltdown in front of Chicken Face and couldn’t to accept this.

I kept asking myself, “Why? Why? WHY?!” over and over again.

But then I had to snap out of it because this, my friend, is not the end of the world. Far worse things could have happened, and far worse things DO happen. This incident is truly unfortunate, but for whatever reason, this is the hand I was dealt. I reminded myself once again of my dad’s motto, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it.” Yes this is not ideal, but considering that my doctor believes that I’ll even be able to race I chose to change my mindset and consider it great news. I am continuing on with life as if race day WILL happen (minus the training) and trying to be as positive as I can while babying my ankle.

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I dropped off Dora (my bike) and gear back to be transported to IMAZ.

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I got a pro-race mani/pedi to match my bike!

So, if this race does happen, it just means that this race will be something very different…which leads me to this little blog.

Blogs are fantastic for so many reasons – the support, the friendships, the inspiration. But they’re also a mental trap in that often times you boast about all that you are going to do and then shit hits the fan and you feel like a fool. With that being said, I know I need to run this for myself and not anyone else. I need to forget about achieving my goal times so that I can report back on them, and instead race to be strong, healthy, and honestly, just to finish. For those tracking my times come Sunday, no need to do so. This race is no longer about how fast I can complete the race, but has morphed into just finishing. If it’s a 16 hour and 59 minute finish, I’ll take it, because it’s a grand finish in spite of all that has happened and once again, it’s about the journey rather than the goal. I’ll get my goal time on the next one ;)

Thank you again for all of your support and please keep sending those good vibes – the ankle needs them!

Happy Running!

   
42 Comments | Posted in IMAZ, injury

The Rolled Ankle Disaster

We interrupt my race day tip series for some frustrating/depressing/altogether frightening news.

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Yesterday, I did a 40-minute trainer ride and then made my way out for an easy, IM pace 30 minute run. It was light out and was going to be the easiest run of my training yet. I stopped at a stop light where there was another runner and her light turned green before mine, so I decided to head down the opposite side of the street than I usually do.

So there I was, running on flat asphalt and five minutes into my run, it happened.

My left-ankle rolled in to the right, then back out to the left, I screamed and instead of just wobbling to the ground, I did a full barrel roll to the ground.

It was almost as if the entire thing happened in slow motion because I remember just thinking, “NO, NO, NO!” in my head, but outside I was screaming, “F***, SHIT, F***, SHIT!”

I remember screaming it multiple times when the other runner and two old women who were walking came up to me. They asked me if I was ok and I was just crying and saying, “I have a big race! I have a big race!” My vocabulary was stellar.

Obviously, my logic was lost and I hobbled over to the sidewalk where I continued to cry and rock myself back and forth. The old ladies stayed there and kept asking me if I was ok and I just cried and said I was fine. I was definitely not fine, but I just wanted them to go away.

Thankfully, I had my phone with me (I always bring it with me) and somewhere between all of the tears and mental torment, I called Chicken Face to come pick me up. I couldn’t walk home.

As I waited for Chicken Face, I called my mom and texted my coach and Aron because I didn’t know what else to do. Tears pouring – I have ruined everything and am utterly confused.

I ended up working from home to ensure that I RICE’d (rest, ice, compress, elevate) properly and took enough ibuprofen to feed a small village. I am doing the same today. My ankle swelled up on the right side, but the real pain is on the left side. I can put weight on it today, but I can’t really walk normal. Also, the good news is that there’s no bruising.

If it seems like this is all I’m talking about on social media, it’s because it’s all I can think about.  It took only two seconds, although it felt like five minutes, to make me question what I’ve worked on for an entire year. I keep replaying it in my head asking, “Why? Why? WHY?”

If only I had taken my normal path.
If only I had left a second later.
If only I had looked down just a moment earlier.
I have never really fallen running …why would this happen now?!

Over the day and through the night, tears were plentiful. I’m extremely nervous about whether or not I will be healed in time for the race which is just days away. From my knee injury, to getting sick, and now this, my mind and confidence are beaten down. Why did all of this have to happen?! Chicken Face said that it’s making my mind tough, I say it better make me damn titanium if I can get through this!

So what’s next? I’m working from home to RICE again today. If I’m not making a bit more progress by tomorrow, I’ll head to the doctor. I’m nervous about if I can even get to the start, and if I do, I’m nervous how I’ll perform given the time I’ve taken off for the knee injury, getting sick and now this. One thing is for sure: the road to Ironman isn’t easy, but I’m still hoping I can get there.

Any advice for severe rolled ankles?

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34 Comments | Posted in injury