Monday, October 27, 2014

Javelinas, cankles and my pride

I felt great coming off the Bear Chase 100k last month. A renewed sense of accomplishment, a PR and the prospect of really hitting my last 2-3 weeks of training hard in preparation for the the Javelina Jundred on November 1. When you spend a good portion of the year training, preparing and learning about racing better, the prospect of an injury is the last thing you want to have to face.

Two weeks ago, after (what I thought) was a casual run on the trails, my ankle became swollen and painful. We're talking, could-not-walk-kind-of-pain. I suppose that's what you get when you ignore those little pains for too long. Well of course I immediately went to a specialist to get an exam and explained my race/running situation. He promptly proceeded to tape me up in a soft cast, put me in a walking boot and ordered an MRI.

Over that next week, I was a mess. An emotional roller-coaster full of worry, confusion and angst. Slightly pissed at the timing but still trying to remain optimistic about heading this situation off before it got too bad (whatever that meant). What a sigh of relief when the MRI came back without any horrible results. Peroneal tendonitis. I could live with that. The boot and the soft cast came off and I was a free man to run my little heart out now. Well, with an ankle brace of course.

I have been testing my limits these last couple of days (along with the ankle brace) and while the more casual short runs on pavement have been fine, the longer trail runs have left me in a heap of mental goo...questioning my ability, sanity and tolerance for pain. Icing, heating and massage marginally helps but deep down, I know this injury is not just a flash-in-the-pan issue I can easily dismiss. It still hurts. Not to mention I have no ankle because it's disappeared under all the swelling (that's never good).

It's times like this that I hate being so f*cking analytical. I tend to over-think a bunch of sh*t in situations like this even when the answer is usually pretty clear. My wife always knows the answer before I do too. She says I'm stubborn. I say I'm thorough :) Half the time it's not really figuring out the right thing to do, it's actually being at peace with it that's the hardest part. It feels like quitting, but it's not...

Could I go out and start the race? Yes.
Do I want to be out with my trail-running peeps? Very much.
Would I finish (either the 100k or 100m)? Highly unlikely.
Could I have permanent damage after the race? Possibly.
Would I end up back in my boot after the race? Absolutely.

At the end of the day, I have to be concerned for my long-term health and wellness. I don't want to go back to wearing a boot. I also want to continue running for a long time.

Could I "man up" and run it anyway? I suppose. But that would be my pride talking.

And pride doesn't have to walk around in that f*cking boot. I do. So instead, I'll "wisen up" and sit this one out.

I'm pretty sure I'll have a date with JJ next year.

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain Trevor! I was in a boot for 6 weeks a few years ago when I sprained my foot really badly. It was horrible. We will miss you on the trails, but good job deciding to get all the way better and kick JJ's ass next year!