Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The curse of 80 strikes again

Last week, I mentioned that there seemed to be some sort of curse placed on me to prevent me from reaching 80 miles in a week. I don't know how this came about, because last year at this time I was cranking out 80, 90 and even 100 mile weeks like they were going out of style. Now, I can't seem to get to 80 for the life of me. A couple of weeks ago I came close, 78, and then last week I woulda gotten there if not for the stomach flu, which robbed me of 10 miles and left me with 71. This past week, it was a new, even more sinister culprit: injury.

I also mentioned in my last post that I was going to be playing in a 3 on 3 basketball league with some guys from work. Well, our first two games were last Tuesday night (we went 1-1 if anyone cares). During the second game, I jumped up for a rebound and came down on somebody's foot, which caused my left ankle to roll and dropped me like a ton of bricks. I knew right away that it wasn't a "get up and walk it off" type of injury (although that's what I briefly tried to do). It hurt like hell at first, subsided a bit, but generally throbbed all night. And it swelled like water balloon. So, it was immediately apparent that I wasn't going to get all of my runs in that week. I took the next two days off, during which time the ankle swelled some more and then started bruising all the way from my ankle down to my toes. It wasn't a pretty sight, but by Friday it actually didn't feel too bad and I could walk normally again. So, of course, I went running. And I was surprised to make it through 7 miles with no problems (although it was still swollen, which felt kind of odd running on....like I was running in a snow boot). And, oddly enough, after I ran the swelling actually went down substantially and it didn't get sore at all. So, of course, I ran some more. 10 miles on Saturday and still no problems. I thought I was in the clear.

But then on Sunday morning, I headed out for an easy 6 miles and about 1/2 mile in, my foot suddenly got really tight. Not painful, just tight and it felt like my toes were being involuntarily pulled up and my foot just would not relax, kind of like a painless cramp. This of course threw my stride off, so I started walking. After a short walk, it subsided and I started running again only to have it happen again a short time later. So, I headed home after only 1.25 miles. Monday morning, I tried again and had the same thing happen, but I discovered I could run through it if I slowed wwwwaaaayyyyy down. I finished the slowest 6 miles I've run since my first post-Lean Horse runs back in August. So, great, I managed to grind my way through 6 miles with a tight foot and hobbling gait. What exactly did that gain me? Ultimately, I decided it wasn't worth continuing like that, so I finally gave in and went to the doctor this morning. He actually gave me good news in that it's definitely just a sprain, not a break disguised as a sprain. And, he said it was okay to run as long as I took it easy (I think our definitions of "take it easy" probably differ significantly, but I didn't tell him that). So, I've got an ankle brace to wear now, which I'm hoping will provide some stability and keep that whole foot tightening thing from happening again. I'm not running today, but will probably give it a shot again tomorrow. And, in case you're wondering, I am planning on trying basketball again tonight, but I'll probably just be taking up space rather than running and jumping like a crazy idiot (like normal). Hey, the doc never said anything about basketball...

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