healing requires patience

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It’s been 5.5 weeks since Victoria 70.3, and I’m still healing. No running, no standing climbs on the bike, no kicking on the swim (which reminds me of a Seattle teammate who called the pull buoy her boyfriend because it spent so much time near her lady parts -- ha).

I’m determined to give my ankle the time it needs, but man, I feel like it’s taking forever. Which seems crazy to me, considering how common this injury is: In the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day. That’s like the entire city of Laguna Beach plus 3,000 of their BFFs stepping off a curb the wrong way. (Am I a horrible person for thinking this would make a really good dance number in a musical?)

Yet it can take up to 12 weeks to fully recover, depending on the severity of the injury. And most of us don’t wait as long as we should. We think, It’s just a sprain. Nothing’s broken. No big deal. And then we’re back out there. And then we get injured again. Because studies find that ankle sprains have a re-injury rate between 40 and 70 percent.

I’m pretty sure that’s the mistake I made the first time around, when I sprained my ankle back in April but went ahead and did a duathlon anyway. Which led to shin splints. And two more ankle sprains and a DNF. And now I’m sitting here, 5 lbs. heavier (because my appetite always thinks it’s an Ironman), ordering elastic-waist shorts from the J.Crew outlet (because why pay full price), and listening to podcasts about the effects of ageing on an athlete’s body (because education).

But the ankle does feel noticeably better. Recovery is happening, slowly but surely.

victoria 70.3

Monday, June 11, 2018

In sum: I swam (and in typical fashion, it was meh). I rode my little heart out (don’t tell anyone, but I think I secretly like hills and I absolutely loved this course). And because my MRI did not show a stress fracture, I ran.

I got 11K into the run, rolled my ankle, walked it off, started running again, and then rolled it even worse at 13K, so I pulled the plug.

The girl huddled in a volunteer’s hoodie and a plastic rain poncho, foot propped up on a rock, simultaneously crying and cheering before Run Aid Station 1? Hi, that was me.

Because even though you go into a race injured and knowing a DNF is possible, it still feels disappointing. And I am so incredibly tired of the seemingly stupid injuries that have plagued me all season.

Med tent adventures


This is the chart I made leading up to the race, when I was waiting for my MRI results and trying to figure out my options.

I guess I’m at the “Heal 100%” box right now. I don’t know what’s next. I’m trying to take it one day at a time, but it’s hard. I feel like I need redemption, that surge of emotion that comes with crossing a finish line.


The race doctor thought I might have a fracture, so Big Ginger drove me to the emergency room at Victoria General Hospital for an x-ray. I was still in spandex. I needed a shower.

Thankfully, nothing was broken. However, I spent a few days on crutches. And Big Ginger pushed me around the Butchart Gardens in a wheelchair. (Every time he let go of the chair, I'd yell, "I'm escaping!" and wheel myself away as fast as possible. I'm sure this game was really fun for him.)


I have a brace on now. My ankle is still swollen, but it’s getting better. The bruising is going away. Yesterday I rode my commuter bike (hooray for flat pedals) and felt fine.

Fingers crossed.

will the tech be mcdreamy?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

So tonight I am going to get an MRI for the very first time.

I’m looking forward to it because hopefully I’ll find out what’s wrong with my leg and can then figure out how to get healthy again and make a plan for how I’ll handle Victoria. (DNF? DNS? Try to run anyway and see what happens? Also, for the record, I did get an x-ray Monday, and the results were normal, which sounds great at first, but stress fractures don’t often show up on x-rays. In fact, the last time I had a stress fracture, it wasn’t visible until I got a bone scan.)

But mostly I’m super excited for my MRI because I’ve been watching way too much "Grey’s Anatomy" on the trainer. (Side note: How is this show still on? I used to be into it but stopped ages ago, when Izzie started seeing dead people – oops, sorry if I spoiled it for you, and yes, it is really That Ridiculous – only to recently realize it is now in its 14th season! WTF.) It is going to take all of my self-control not to ask the imaging technician (is that what they’re called?) if they are “meeting” someone in the on-call room later. (Do technicians even have an on-call room?)

My brother, who is an actual real-life doctor, would literally punch me right now if he read this.

(Unless our parents are too busy drugging us like they did for this Christmas photo. Try not to be jealous of my amazing outfit.)
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