Sigh. Normally when I go quiet on social media it’s because I’m swamped with work and just don’t have time to sit down. But, this time, it really isn’t the case, at all. It’s actually a relatively quiet work time, and the real reason I’m quiet, and trust me, I’ve even been quiet with friends and family, only responding to texts but not really talking to anyone at all.
So not me, right? But, there’s a reason. A pretty darn good reason, I’d say. On Wednesday I jinxed myself. My friend Craig and I were heading out to do a Hanes Valley loop, which Craig had never done, and here I am blabbing away about how you don’t want to get hurt out there, since there’s no shortcuts, you’re just far out, etc etc. And down I go. Just after crossing the main Lynn Creek crossing, I slipped, fell, twisted my right foot/ankle, and fell on top of myself. JINXED.
Bad news bears. I completely jinxed myself, and after sitting for a while, soaking my foot in some cold creek water, and talking through our options, we realized that the only real choice was to turn back and re-trace our footsteps back to Norvan Falls, and then back to Lynn Headwaters.
I’ve never really hurt myself and had to hike out before. At least not very far. It was a very different and not-so-fun experience. Craig found me a walking stick which helped hugely in the technical bits, but it was amazing how awkward, painful, and slow it was to move at all, especially over any roots, rocks, and steps.
Each and every step I had to think through, and figure out the least painful step to take.
The positive was that I had Craig with me, and Craig was an absolute gem. The second positive was that it was a beautiful day. So, we moved slowly, and we chatted the time away. It was a 3+ hour hike out, I think close to 3.5 hours…
Which is a heck of a long time to be moving in pain. And I hate to admit it, but probably that much time on my now injured ankle probably made it worse. I just can’t fathom that putting weight and pressure on it for 3.5 hours could be a good thing.
In trail running, ankle rolls are just a part of it. You try to avoid the rolls, and most importantly is figuring out whether you can keep moving after a roll, or to call it quits that day. I fully admit that I’m prone to rolling my ankles, but most of the time, it’s just a zap, and within a few moments it’s forgotten. But, this was not a zap.
And if I’m honest, there’s a chance that it’s not just a regular bad sprain/strain/roll, there’s a chance that there might be something broken/fractured/chipped. We’re at 3 full days since the incident, and it’s still really fricken sore, even with all of my ankle roll magic tricks.
So, if we dig deeper, there’s actually something really weird at play here. In June 2013, on the 30th, I had a terrible roll that affected the last few weeks before KneeKnacker, and affected my race as well.
Last June, trying to come back from having almost 8 weeks off running, one of my first runs back, I had another terrible roll. This time on Varley, only 1km from EOL, and while it wasn’t a very far hike out, it was a very painful one. My ankle swelled like no other time, and it was really really scary. That plus the original foot issues caused me to take basically the entire summer of July & August off.
Third times a charm? It’s kind of terrifying that I seem to have a “Late June Curse”. And really, it’s not like I can just NOT run in June.
It’s quite terrifying really. There’s so much on my plate in the near future, and I was just starting to get my stride back. I don’t want to go back on the injured reserve. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines while my friends frolick in the forest. I don’t want to do it again. It’s just not fair.
So, there you have it. You’re in the know on what’s happening with me. I’m trying my best not to freak out, doing absolutely everything I can do to make it heal faster and not be a big injury, and trying to just keep thinking positive and focusing on today and today only.
Just keep breathing. Keep calm and don’t freak out, right?
Much easier said then done.