It seems that all the hills and rugged icy trails I've been running lately haven't been too good for my ankle. I've been having minor pain since rolling my right ankle in late December, didn't think much of it at first but now that it's been 5 weeks and it's not getting better I guess I better do something about it.
Here's a little summary of my last few runs:
Friday night I wanted to get out and make sure the local trails were in good enough shape for the Saturday morning run. I was going to just do about 5 miles (round trip) to the top of Leighton Hill and back home but when I got there I decided to mix it up a little bit and make a loop out of the run. I was feeling good and it wasn't as cold as I was expecting, and the trails were in pretty good shape. There was some running water in a few places and it was interesting trying to find good routes across the thin ice at the stream crossings, but I managed to keep my feet mostly dry.
It was a beautiful night to be out running, full moon and a clear sky, still enough snow on the ground to catch the light and allow me to run without my headlamp on for a little while. My right achilles was sore at the beginning of the run but it loosened up and felt fine for most of the run.
distance: 6.0 miles
Saturday morning Jim was the only one to show up for the group run. It was cold, like 5 degrees or something. I think everyone else was saving themselves for tomorrow's Fat Ass run at Blaine's. I had originally hoped to get in close to 10 miles but neither Jim or I were feeling particularly ambitious so we decided to save the effort for Sunday and just did a short run.
The trails were in okay shape, everything was firmly frozen but there were a lot of icy irregularities that were taking a toll on my ankle. Things never really loosened up and I was glad to stop when we did. No significant pain but it just didn't feel that good to be running.
distance: 4.59 miles
On Sunday Blaine was hosting a Fat Ass 50k to cap off the 1 More Mile For Sunshine challenge he'd been running all month. Each day of the month he was running one more mile than the day before, and made it all the way to January 24th before nasty conditions and the possibility of injury kept him from finishing the last week of the challenge. Luckily Blaine was able to bounce back after taking a few days off and planned to run the whole 31 miles on January 31st, I hoped to join him for the full distance but suspected before I even started that my troubled ankle wouldn't hold up for the more than 5 hours it would take to run 50k.
There was a good turnout of Trail Monsters for the event and we planned to collectively run the 196 miles that Blaine was unable to finish in the last week of his challenge. Between 18 of us we were able to cover 229 miles. Blaine, Jamie, and Danielle wrote up reports of the run, and as i write this (4 days after the run) I don't have the enthusiasm to elaborate. I ended up getting in 21 miles in some very cold weather, on trails that weren't always easy so I was pretty happy just to get the mileage in. I stopped (far) short of the 31 mile mark, mostly because of lack of energy, my ankle wasn't that bad, although it was tight the entire time and I did worry that if i pushed myself much further I would end up doing some real damage.
It was a good run, with great company. Thanks to Blaine and Erin for hosting a great event.
Following Sunday's long run my ankle and achilles were sore enough that I decided to take three days off and to take a more aggressive path to treatment. I'd also been having some plantar fasciitis-like pain so Jamie let me borrow his night splint. I've been wearing that in the evenings, the strassburg sock overnight, icing, ibuprophen, stretching... I've finally decided to pay a visit to Dr. Raymond to see if he can sort me out.