Friday, March 15

The Leadville Saga: Oops! Training Setback

Just when things seemed like they might be turning around...Daylight savings went back to normal, the weather seemed to want to cooperate a little...BLAMMO! Sprained ankle.

But hey, Dear Readers, you should learn from my mistakes:

Last night I headed onto an obscure trail with less than 10% cell charge, alone, I was racing the setting sun, and wearing only a t-shirt and arm warmers in the 45F air (well, and pants and shoes and underwear too!)...the lesson, Dear Readers, is this:

A sedentary lifestyle will kill you.

I've always maintained that if I were to break (or simply sprain) an ankle while out cavorting in the woods alone that I could always drag myself back to civilization by my teeth if need be. Well, last night I almost needed be.

After a late meeting in Berea I drove back to Clay City. Since the rest of the family was watching my niece's first softball game in another county I decided I'd go for a run. And not just run, but go for a trail run at dusk at a nearby nature preserve.

This Strava record was my actual ascent, nothing to write home about, but it was a good benchmark for me to move forward from in my training.  I did a mile point two in twenty minutes but that was with 710' of gain.

I did not run the entire way up to the overlook. I ran until I thought I was going to die and then slowed to a walk. I kept walking until the trail would level out and I could run again. I made it to the overlook (where supposedly Daniel Boone first saw the Bluegrass) and saw the sun was still high enough off the horizon that I had time to make it back to the car in the daylight.

And then I began my descent.
It went well for most of the return trip. I settled into a nice rhytmn and was beginning to think I wasn't as out of shape as I had thought. I was taking care on the stairs and waterbars. And then...
Well, I rolled my ankle while running downhill at a pretty stiff jog. I immediately jumped back to my feet, growling at the stupidity of it all, and I took a couple of limping steps. I knew that even if I had broken it, the best thing I could do at that moment was to begin walking out. It didn't seem broken, just severely sprained.

And so I began the long limp out, hobbling on the stump of my stupidity.

I must have staggered at least a half a mile. The sun had set by the time I reached the car, but I didn't have to use my light. There was still enough to see by. I sighed in relief as I settled into the car, but wasn't sure how the drive home was going to play out. I drive a stick.

It was more painful than I expected. It was my right ankle I sprained, so at least I didn't have to work the clutch with it. But it was an interesting ride home to say the least.

This isn't the worst sprain I've had. The worst sprain turned half my leg black and almost caused me to pass out in a cloud of nausea before I could get my shoe off. It was oogly.

This time I have hope I'll heal up quick. The biggest danger right now is that I won't give it the attention and rest it needs and/or that I'll sprain it again while its weak.

So learn from my mistakes: stay in shape, don't fall into a wretched state of fitness, and always, always, always maintain the grit to drag yourself out of the woods in a crisis.


  1. You certainly have an interesting training plan going. 1. Stop bike commuting 2. Hurt ankle to interrupt training.

    Seriously hope it heals quick...
    ....Said the guy who is about the leave work to go participate in a luge race......

  2. Wow... not good. I have a local friend who actually broke her ankle recently and she's wanting to do the MS150 very soon... and it's not looking good. I suppose it's possible that your sprain will heal quickly? I hope so... and be careful out there. I mean, I can trip over nothing (literally), so I always feel bad for someone who takes a tumble - whether there is an obstacle or not.