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healing requires patience

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.

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