|Yes, even when it's completely meaningless.|
I could have run another 2sec and 0.01km..
So it was mildly frustrating when I realised I'd run 394.3km for the year after logging my outing at the Valentine's Fatazz. Still, I thought, I'd just make it up the next day after we went snowboarding.
We all know how that worked out.
I did manage one tiny little run back on February 27th, which was just barely enough to relieve my angst at having clocked 99.7km for February up to that point. I finished the month with 100.3km and slightly less idiotic anxiety, but was still staring at an annual total of 394.8km and didn't really feel any closer to being ready to run.
|Things were still very swollen and unpleasant.|
I had mentioned last week that I'd hoped to get out for another attempt, as things had been going quite well with the rehab exercises. Come Saturday afternoon I decided I was more or less ready - how bad could it be?
It started off quite well - I'd done my rehab work and my usual run warmup, and there was almost no discomfort when I set off for an optimistic 2km, mildly downhill trot on a smooth multi-use paved pathway. Unfortunately, things deteriorated rather quickly.
|It had begun so well..|
By the end of the 2km, my calves were complaining and my ankle didn't really want to speak to me for the rest of the day. I knew when I got out of bed the next day I most likely wouldn't be trying again on Monday, and maybe not even Tuesday.
I tweaked the poor thing a little riding the trainer on Monday evening, and by Wednesday it was still sore. I finally decided enough was enough and gave it a really easy day: just a leisurely lunch walk (rather than the powerwalking I have mostly been doing), and I only did the mobility and balance portions of my rehab work. No hopping or anything even remotely plyometric.
It felt like defeat. I hadn't seen any improvement in my ankle all week, now 4.5 weeks past the date of injury and more than a month since my last run that felt...well...REAL.
The easy day must have paid off, though. I woke up yesterday with no soreness and renewed hope. Getting home from work and errands with just a smidge of daylight remaining, I decided to go for it.
|"Please let this work out..||
Tanker was sweet enough to bundle up against the chill and follow me on his mountain bike as I trotted along the 2km route around our neighborhood, feeling my way along as I watched for any sign of weakness or instability from the damaged ankle. While it wasn't perfectly comfortable, things didn't seem to be getting any worse...so I actually pushed on to 2.25km, then 2.5, then thought maybe I'd just go for 20mins and then call it.
|This? This felt REAL.|
There was a bit of a nasty twinge from the achilles just as I finished, but overall it seems to have been fairly successful. There was a bit of swelling last night even after a soak in cold water immediately after I got home plus some hot/cold contrast in the shower later, but not too much. I made sure to warm the ankle up with some circles and flexion/extension before getting out of bed this morning, and while it's been a little bit tired and achy feeling today, I had no problems doing the full series of rehab exercises and a brisk walk this afternoon.
|This ALSO feels like success.|
If it feels good when I get up tomorrow, I may even give running another whack - I won't try on back-to-back days for awhile yet, but I really hope it won't take another 4 days off until I'm able to lace up again. It was so nice to get out long enough to really fall into a stride; to be aware of lungs and legs working in harmony to propel me along through the growing dark of evening, letting the muscle memory of a million strides take over to guide me. Uphills didn't feel great, and turning right definitely takes some careful attention, but the experience as a whole was like an inmate's first taste of freedom after long confinement.
|Grinning like a fool!|
I'm deeply screwed for the 100 runs in 100 days challenge, with just 9 days left and still sitting at 64 qualifying runs (they must be at least 30mins in order to count)...but that 20mins yesterday gives me hope that all may not be lost for my race season, and that's much more important than chasing spreadsheets.
Still, I hope the next hundred kilometers come a little more quickly..