Running is Not For the Weak (Ankles)

The Blue Nose Marathon is just seven days away. I haven’t run a single step for two whole weeks. Screwed doesn’t seem expressive enough of a word.

It’s not laziness this time that has kept me from running. That’s a stunning turn of events, to be sure. This time I actually wanted to run. The desire was there and the opportunity. Unfortunately my ankle had other ideas.

I wish I knew what happened to cause the brutally throbbing pain in the area just above my heel. I don’t remember twisting or rolling it. When I returned home one evening after a run with Shiva, it felt a little sore but I took that for granted. Running is painful. Period. There was no reason to suspect the feeling in my ankle was anything different from the feeling in my calves the day before. Until the next morning when not only had the pain not gone away, but it was stronger and ever-present.

It was all I could do to walk, let alone attempt to run.

Fourteen days later I am finally feeling capable of hitting the pavement once more without fear of re-injury. Tragically, I know whatever gains I made in my endurance are completely gone. I have to start right back at the beginning of my training again. Given there is only one week before the race, it’s a certainty I will be walking most of the 5 kilometres.

Frustrating. To say the least.

Pretty. I think I can hear my wheezing already.

The kicker? I finally took a good look at the race route and discovered it leads right up Citadel Hill. Only the largest hill in the entire city of Halifax. I can understand why they chose the location. The view from the top is gorgeous. Too bad my brain will have shut down due to lack of oxygen by the time I make it up there.

Ah well. At least I can say I had another sports injury. That’s pretty cool, right? Even better, I have raised a decent amount of money for the Nova Scotia SPCA – the reason I decided to do this nutty thing in the first place.

Now that the pressure is off for the race, I can spend the next few days preparing myself in other, more fun ways. Like shopping for comfortable and lightweight clothing. I did most of my training runs in jeans and khakis because I didn’t have time to look for anything else. (And I wonder why I hurt myself?) I can research running and stretching technique, something else I should have done before. There is also much music to be downloaded on to my rarely used MP3 player. I never listen to music when I run with Shiva as I have to be vigilant to avoid any potential reactive disasters. On race day I intend to be loaded up with nothing but the most energizing sounds.

Oh, and I need to stock up on Tylenol. Just in case.

Do you have any final week advice? Have you ever participated in a running or walking event? I’d love to hear your war stories. I’d also love to hear any music recommendations or pain prevention methods. I want to be fully armed before stepping across that line and chugging up that intimidating hill.

Thank you so much for all of your support! It means more than I can say to know you are cheering me on.

21 thoughts on “Running is Not For the Weak (Ankles)

  1. You are way ahead of me, I would never even attempt such a feat.

    I’m sure you will do well for such an awesome cause. Just think you will have a whole year to ready yourself for next year’s challenge.

    I’m glad to hear that ankle is feeling better!


  2. Hi Kristine, hey you did good, so far you’ve raised $300. Maybe some other readers will contribute. Listen, just walk some of it. There’s no sense in you hurting yourself no matter how noble the cause. The money’s in so just walk a bit of it and call it even. Go home, have a beer or glass of good wine, take Shiva out to play and that’ll be good.


  3. I once made the mistake of running before my ankle was completely healed. It felt a little tender, but I thought it would be ok. I was back on crutches the next day. Don’t hurry sports injuries (unless you’re a million dollar athlete maybe).


  4. Haha, I’ definitely not the one to give advice on running! But I’ll definitely cheer you on 🙂

    For sure don’t rush healing, don’t be afraid to walk for most or all of the race, and of course ice it now but don’t ice it just before activity. Have a great race/walk–it’s fantastic that you raised so much!


  5. My Mom is a running coach – she trains people to run, she runs with them and she is also 62 years old (!). Everyday she runs 13 miles with 2 different groups of people. She has an advanced group and a beginners group.
    I hate running!! LOL! But I have picked up some good tips from her. The biggest one is ‘During a race. Don’t stop running to walk’ It’s much harder to get started again. Slow down your pace, but don’t walk. You may be running slower than a walker, but it’s much easier on your body and you will get to the end faster (no matter how slow) if you run instead of walk.
    I didn’t belive her so we did some tests a couple years ago 😛 It’s true.


  6. I second Catalina’s advice. As a cross country runner, you see a slow race as a tragedy because you’re used to covering miles at a good pace. But as a slow, fat runner, I’ve learned that I can cover lots of ground just by shuffling and never walking.

    Listen to your body. If your ankle gives you trouble, hop in the wheelchair your PH will have waiting for you on the sidelines and hitch a ride. 🙂 No one will think less of you for protecting your body for the really important things of life like Shiva-cizing.

    Congratulations on your fundraising. It must feel good to be helping a good cause.


  7. What a bummer! I’m so glad to hear that you’re finally on the mend though. I think it is awesome that you are participating in this event, especially on such short notice – what a challenge! Just don’t kill yourself, okay? 🙂 Remember what you said about Shiva’s agility – you should do it for fun!


  8. Take Advil the night before and in the morning before your race. We call it Vitamin A around here, as the anti-inflammatory helps keep the swelling down and gives your body a chance to heal. I hate knee braces and ankle wraps, but compression socks that support your ankle might be a good idea.
    I can’t run due to multiple different knee injuries, but I can walk real freaking fast! Do it however it works best for you.


  9. Sorry that you hurt your ankle. Gee, I’m probably the last person you’d ever want to ask about running. I am horrible at it. I envy you so much for what you are doing and for a good cause. I don’t even know any good songs for you. If you find it tough going chugging up that hill, my best advice is to think of that children’s classic little blue train “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” Good luck!


  10. I can relate to your experience. I once injured an ankle three weeks before a half-marathon I was supposed to join. The injury was so bad the doctor recommended that I withdrew from the run.


  11. Weak ankles can be a terrible disadvantage when you play sports. This is even more true when you do not know how to protect them properly..


  12. Since I also recently hurt my ankle a week before a 5K (this past Saturday), I almost literally feel your pain. I’m glad you’re on the mend!


  13. Sorry to hear about your ankle 😦 Are you sure it’s not your Achilles tendon? You said that it was just above your heal, which makes me wonder and you mentioned that your calves hurt prior.

    Be sure to drink lots of water leading up to and during the race. Some gentle calf stretches too! I have one ankle that I have twisted several times (yes, I’m a spaz!) so I can totally feel your pain!

    Congrats on your fundraising and best of luck in your race! Be sure to listen to your body!!


  14. I’m not a runner – I did run a 5k once, but it nearly killed me and I gave it up shortly thereafter. My husband, though, ran a lot and he said to be sure to stretch your ankle/heel really well and take some Advil before you start the race. Also, he always kept a couple Advil in his pocket for the half-way point. Good luck – we’re all pulling for you!


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