The Blog Post I Thought I’d Never Write

No, not because I post so infrequently, but fair point.

On Saturday, I DNF’d a race for the first time in my life. In my twisted runner logic, I’m pleased that it didn’t come down to a failure of training, courage, fortitude, or guts, but rather a failure of ligaments in my left ankle. Cornering at speed over a thick carpet of dry leaves around mile 18 of the Stone Mill 50 Miler, my ankle turned sickeningly far after landing on who-knows-what under those leaves, swelling up instantly.  After trying to run for another minute or so, I realized my day was over. If it’d happened at mile 48 it would’ve been a different story — I would’ve hobbled to that finish line, but at mile 18 I had no business hobbling anywhere except to a doctor’s office. I shuffled back to the nearest aid station (luckily less than a mile back) and arranged a ride back to the start so I could be picked up there.

X-rays at an urgent care facility revealed no break — hallelujah! — but I will have to take a break from running for 4-6 weeks while I heal and that’s still a mega bummer.

In the meantime, I plan to keep my spirits up by programming exercise routines for myself that can be performed without putting pressure on my ankle — think lots of ab wheel rollouts and seated concentration curls — so I can still get my sweat on. During my taper for Stone Mill, I reorganized my room to create space for a manual treadmill which I haven’t even run on, just taken a few steps to test the noise factor and my assembly skills. I purchased the treadmill to avoid risking my body on runs over icy streets this winter — the irony that I injured myself on dry ground in above-freezing temperatures is not lost on me!

Anyhow, just wanted to share my humbling experience. There will always be other races.

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Goodbye, finish line; hello Frankenstein Ankle!

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