Week 3, Day 6: A Sprained Ankle Was Bound To Happen

A big part of training for The Columbus Marathon is being able to deal with adversity. Weather, mental and physical fatigue, bad dieting, and a bunch of other things can derail the training and subsequently the full 26.2 miles of the marathon. It was a gift and a curse that I was able to have a setback early in the training, as I suffered a severe ankle sprain at the end of week 3 training. It was a curse because it set back training briefly, but it was a gift as it taught me some important lessons on how to cope with the inevitable injuries that will happen before October.

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Day 6 of week 3 training called for a 7 mile endurance run, so we chose a run through German Village as our course. For those that are unfamiliar, this path took us through concrete and brick sidewalks, which were in pretty good shape but had its fair share of road obstacles that you would expect from city streets and sidewalks. These obstacles barely posed a threat in the past, but this morning I lost focus and paid for it.

Almost 4 miles into the run, I was feeling good energy wise and looking forward to finishing the run strong. Up to this point I paid great attention to the uneven bricks and random potholes, but for one quick second I had a lapse in my vision and half-stepped on a dent in the sidewalk. As a result, I rolled my left ankle outward and felt a sharp pain! I tried to keep my stride going but the pain was too great to bare and I stopped to gather myself shortly after. I knew the ankle would only swell more, so after catching my breath I jogged the rest of the run out, and made decent time of it.

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Later that day, I had a DJ gig to work, so I was on my feet all day. I made the mistake of not icing my ankle or wrapping it, and stood for several hours on an ankle the size of a grapefruit. The next day, I made sure to elevate my ankle and ice it as much as possible, but I couldn’t take too much of a break because I was due a 45 minute run the next day.

Monday came, and I went to the gym with my ankle wrapped in an Ace bandage. The uneven distribution of weight took a toll on my right ankle, and I felt physical pain and fatigue 18minutes into the run on the treadmill. I spent the remainder of the time alternating between walking and jogging to finish out the 45 minutes. When I got home, my left ankle was swollen but with little pain, but my right ankle was cramping bad. Luckily the next days workout was just light cardio.

By the time the next long run came on Wednesday, I had no more pain in my left ankle with very little swelling, and my right ankle was well rested. I went to the gym with no bandage and ran the 45minute run at my normal pace of under 11 minutes. I felt great, and I was back to my old self, minus a small amount of swelling.

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Friday of week 3 called for an additional run for the first time. However, the 30 minute run was a breeze, and as it stands I feel like I’m 95% recovered from the injury, with the 5% being a small amount of swelling. It’s hardly enough to notice, and definitely nothing that will slow me down for the 6 mile run thats due the next day, Saturday.

Injuries are bound to happen, but I know the difference between being hurt and being injured. I felt that my discipline and care towards my injury, along with my unwillingness to take unnecessary breaks, helped me stay on track with my training while protecting myself from further injury. I also see this as a reminder to pay attention to the road in front of me and the road ahead, and to take these runs one step at a time. It is this mentality that will help me conquer the goal of 26.2 miles in October. I may stumble and I may fall, but I will always get back up and keep going.

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