Weak Ankles

The scale was a little less brutal to me this week.  I lost the pound that I gained last week and 3 of it’s friends.  In all, last week was a very good week.  I’m feeling stronger from top to bottom.  Even caught a glimpse of a sub 8 minute mile, and, while I didn’t catch it (8:01) this time, I will.  Soon.  The pool has been slow but I’m comfortable now with distances I couldn’t get to until May last year so that’s good.

Oh… and I got my taxes done.  Refund baby!  Yup.  Good week.

On a completely different note…

I have crappy ankles.   Fifteen years of baseball just tore them up.  I can think of at least 2 occasions with each ankle where I rolled them stepping on a base or had them stepped on or something stupid.  The net result would make any orthopedic doc cringe.  They look normal, but they rattle like a bag of marbles and are just not stable.  So when I started running trails, one of the biggest fears I had was re-injuring them again.  Heck my greatest fear as a runner is in the late summer and early fall when the walnuts and acorns start to drop.  I turn at least one ankle a year stepping on a walnut.

The trails around here are root bound, rocky and leaf covered most of the year.  It’s hard to tell where the leaf stops and an ankle biting rock starts.  So I was very concerned when I started trail running.  But the drug that is trail running took me.  And I even listened to some well intentioned advice from another trial junky who said that “it gets better” when talking about twisting ankles.  So my first trail race, I twisted 3 ankles (don’t think about that too much) in a 7 mile run.  My next race I twisted 2 in a 10 mile race and my latest race I twisted one…  So I guess he was right… sorta.

But as I put more miles in I realize he WAS right.  Maybe it’s practice or experience.  Maybe it’s that my ankles and legs are getting stronger.  But I am running more comfortably.  I still twist ankles every now and then, but everybody does.  It’s kinda like mountain bikers.  EVERYBODY falls.  It’s part of the experience.  I would like to think that with experience I have become more accurate with my foot placement though.  I still go much slower (today’s average was 10:40 miles) on trails than on the road and I marvel at those who can fly over the rough stuff like a boss.  I just consider every trip around that I come back clean like pitching a no hitter.  I know that will fade over time as I continue to get more comfortable but for now it’s new enough to have a clean run that I wanna do a little “I didn’t get hurt” jig at the end of the run.  Yes, it’s silly, I know.  But if you have ever had to limp back from the turn around point of a 10 mile run, you appreciate clean runs a little more.  Especially when you can’t just cut through a neighborhood or call somebody.  Nope.  One of my favorite things about trail running is the solitude.  But the downside of that is there is nobody around to drive you home if you screw up.

But hey…  A TINY chance that you could die in the name of fun just adds to the challenge… right?

Weight: 197.  Down 4lb for the week!

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