Thursday, December 3, 2009

Smart vs. Tough

Hillbounding tonight, I was INTO IT. Really ready to just slay the workout, I was super pumped because the meat of the intervals was 12x30s sprints, and I love 30s sprints. It was warm, too, which always helps, despite the darkness that happens way too early this time of year. Just me and the winter moths, today, teeshirts all around (because winter moths wear teeshirts too). Anyway, finishing up my warmup, I rolled my ankle. Didn't step on a rock or anything, it just went over the side, painfully enough that I had to sit down for a few minutes. This made me REALLY. REALLY. ANGRY. Fucking livid begins to come close to describing how I felt. I wasn't wearing my ankle brace, because I feel that it distorts my form and causes knee problems, but I thought I'd be able to stay upright since I had poles in my hands. This BLEEPITY BLEEPITY BLEEP ankle just won't heal, and its entirely my fault for pushing it - you'd think that four months would be enough that I could jog down a hill with a bright light and not break myself. Clearly, its going to be a much longer recovery than I'd anticipated.

Sitting there in the dirt, sobbing a little just because I had no other way to let out this storm of emotion inside of me, I weighed the pros and cons of continuing the workout. Pros: I had a full bottle of gatorade (can't waste the gatorade!), I was already here, I needed to do the intervals. Cons: If I run on it now I'll push my recovery even further back, it hurts to push off the ankle, I need to be somewhat healthy to ski fast. And then I justified continuing in a couple different ways, and ended up with the justification that I was already hurt, so pushing through and letting the adrenaline carry me through the pain wasn't going to set me that much further back. I'd just be tough, rather than smart. Been smart way too much already this fall, which might explain the nice consistent training I've had, but I'm lacking on the toughness scale. Time to sack up, its just an ankle sprain, and I can walk and I have poles, what is all the whining about?

I carefully limped down the hill, and tested out the first threshold interval. The flatter parts where the bounding was closer to running was kind of painful, but there were no sharp pains, and those are the ones you actually have to listen to. I got to the VO2max stuff, and found that by really pushing off of my poles, I hardly used my legs at all. Score! Of course, by the time I was done with the workout, I was limping pretty bad. Hopefully rollerskiing doesn't make this stupid ankle any worse than it already is. Back to RIICEing, minus the R. Plus an extra I for ibuprofen.

Because a caveman would keep running away from the sabre-toothed tigers. They ain't scared of no pain when faced with a REAL reason to run.


Cathy said...

BE CAREFUL! My May sprain led to an October avulsion fracture... Yes, I'm back to racing, but my ankle KILLS me on all of the running sections, and that's while wearing my brace.

I have been told also, that once you injure it once, it is more susceptible to reinjury. LMK if you want some PT exercises for it.

Alex said...

Thanks Cathy. This is the ankle I tore ligaments on back when I was 13, and subsequently had surgery on, so its already weaker. I guess I just need to start wearing my ankle brace for all running, now. Or just stop running in the dark... Grr.

Cary said...

Healthy, fresh, uninjured and less fit always beats sick, tired, injured, and more fit.

I'm laying down the gauntlet!Watch me score a Top 100 Birkie on 6-8hrs per week of training.

Alex said...

But I'd rather be fit, rested, and injured, than unfit, rested, and injured...