Friday, July 20, 2007


I made the final decision--no race Saturday. I e-mailed the race director and he said he would transfer me to next year. Now, hopefully...

Bunnygirl had the good idea to wrap the ankle to stabilize it, and sent me a website showing me how to do this. I have had this done for me before, and quite honestly, I am no good at doing it myself. But doing some further research gave me the idea of an ankle brace, and, after looking at information online, I came to the conclusion that an ankle brace, or stabilization, would be crucial to a quicker recovery. The main good thing about all the info I found was that there was no warning to not run or perform the sport of choice as tolerated so long as you stabilize the ankle.

Much as I liked reading that, I decided to not work it up into thinking it was okay to do the race this soon into the recovery process. Thinking of all the logistics involved with a triathlon and how my ankle would fare, I felt it was best to defer from this race, much as I am disappointed in missing it. Knowing what to expect, I would be required to first walk 10-15 minutes from the parking area to transition, on sand, carrying all my stuff, and pushing my bike. Next, when it was time for the swim, I would have to struggle to get the wetsuit on over the ankle without traumatizing it, would be expected to walk barefoot probably 1000 yards or more just to the swim, stand around on sand or uneven ground for another 10-15 minutes, risk getting my feet stepped on, swim, repeat the barefoot transition, and then try to get the wetsuit off. Knowing how many times I get hung up with the wetsuit on my feet, I can only imagine the jerking around that would cause. Even the most careful wetsuit removal causes me some ankle yanking. Then with the bike, running through transition with bike shoes, again unstable, and repeat afterward, then try to get the ankle brace on (or maybe before the bike) and cram my shoes on over that. If I wasn't already the slowest in transition and in the race before, I certainly could guarantee my last place slot with all this extra hassle! (Last year I was NOT last by a good many 20 people behind me, but I would guess that would change this year too!)

But because there was no warning about NOT running, I did decide to do 20 minutes this morning--with the ankle brace--to see how things felt. I had followed the advice of icing, elevating, resting, etc. for the first 72 hours, with repeated icing, anti-inflammatories, elevating, etc. every day since last week, so the only way I could see just what and where things might still hurt was to test things out.

I would say 20 minutes was sufficient. I always figured 15 or 20 minutes never messed things up (as long as you didn't have a broken bone maybe), so I wasn't going to worry about any discomfort for that little bit of time, and would absolutely stop if necessary. The run itself felt so good, it felt so right! I was glad to be moving again, although slightly slower yet, if that was at all possible. I really had no ankle or foot discomfort except from the brace, since it seemed to be cutting into the bottom of my foot, and was just enough added thickness so my shoe felt tight. What I was surprised to find out was how sore my right knee was, particularly going down hill, the slight downgrades I did have to travel. I actually had to walk on those. So something is going on there, and I'm glad to know that now too, particularly since the run in the race is rolling to hilly, and I would find myself walking all the downs. Both knees are bruised from falling hard on them, but the right knee seems to be more bruised and thus more sore. Not when I walk, just on downhills when running. And from spinning the other day. I will give that only a little more time and will have it checked out if it doesn't clear up. I have not had knee problems anytime in the past and don't want to start with that next!

On an interesting note, here is an excerpt from an e-mail from the race director about a new procedure they are doing for this race: NEW FOR 2007: We are going to be numbering bike racks that will correspond to your bib number. Also, as an added convenience, you have the option of going directly to transition area where a volunteer will give you your race number. This will allow you to put your bike and race equipment in position prior to getting your race packet.

How great is that? Just not having to stand in line--and at this race it can be up to 1/2 hour or more!--to get your packet is a nice touch. Having numbered bike racks, hopefully, will also eliminate the hassles we had last year, where even though I got to the race site more than an hour before the race, by the time I got parked and to transition, there were pretty much no rack slots left. That and the fact that people hog space, like taking 2 or 3 spots and spreading out all of their stuff. (Last year I actually got into it with a guy who parked his stuff against the transition fence directly in front of my spot, leaving me no place to get at my bike or my transition stuff. When I asked [told] him to move, he swore at me, called me names, and just about pushed me out of his way! I did report that, and maybe that helped with the new policy.)

So I will be doing alternate stuff tomorrow and Sunday now, most likely more biking, which I am also behind on (because now I am paranoid of getting on my bike again), and catching up on my swimming. Hopefully everyone has good a training or racing weekend. I know LP is this weekend, so I'm sure a lot of us will be wathing that. Have fun! Be safe!


Phoenix said...

You made the absolute right decision (not that you need me to tell you that). Everything you mentioned, plus the fact that race adrenalyn would have masked the pain in your knees and ankles and likely led you to add insult to injury. So, good for you. I'm sorry you're sad about it but at least you have next year to look forward to!

Happy recovery - and how great that you can still get some running in. It sucks to have to stop something you love altogether - makes you feel like a caged animal!

Flo said...

You did make the right decision (but you knew that :). FYI, my boss did a 1/2 Ironman in an air cast after spraining her ankle. So yes, you can run, far, on an bad ankle with a good brace.

bunnygirl said...

A wise choice. A good general knows the value of a tactical retreat.

Heal well and go get 'em next time!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Smart Choice. It's no fun now but it will be worth it.

Fe-lady said...

Good decision! Heal quickly! And thanks for the Rocker nomination...I just haven't gotten around to tagging anyone...and I think everyone's been tagged already anywho!

SWTrigal said...

Oh my gosh-I just read about your accident! A friend of mine just sprained his ankle BAD at a race 2 weeks ago and he is still running and planning to do IM Louisville...I guess his pain threshold is alot higher than mine! I think you are right to take care of yourself..isn't it wierd you got hurt on vacation?
BE well..

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I am sure that was a good decision, although I'm sure you aren't happy about not racing. Sometimes you just have to let it go for the greater good. :)

Take care of that ankle!

triathlonmom said...

take care of that ankle, there is always another race.