Sunday, March 28, 2010

Watch Your Step!

Going to Saturday’s run, I was very apprehensive about how my right ankle was going to withstand the pounding I was going to subject it to, because it has been hurting the past few days.  I’ve been icing it and had it wrapped in a brace most of the time but it still hurt upon waking up Saturday morning.
I arrived at our starting area early and saw Michael, Will, Nick, Tina, and Mack beginning their run so I joined them ¾ miles out and ¾ miles back for my warm up before running with Cyndi at 7:30. They were doing 8 miles just 6 days after finishing the L.A. Marathon. What a hardy bunch of runners! Will’s 2 dogs were chomping at the bit when we started and one of them bumped my leg and almost tackled me. I finished my warm up with minimal pain so that was a good sign.
When I got back from my warm up, Tam, Jean, and Cyndi were already there but the first two were waiting for Jaymi, so Cyndi and I took off for our 8 miler. Cyndi commented that our starting pace seemed a little faster than usual and my GPS confirmed her assessment. In the meantime I was constantly monitoring how my right ankle with the PTTD felt and had to watch my step very closely and keep my stride low to minimize the impact, so I don’t make a misstep that could aggravate the problem. Hence the title of this blog post. I had to remind myself that phrase during the whole run that it almost became like a mantra. Other than that, Cyndi and I were chatting as usual until we were halfway up 6th Street hill and that’s when the conversation was limited to a minimum until the finish.
With a mile to go I urged Cyndi to unleash her finishing kick which she did. Although I tried to keep up with her, I couldn’t do it even though I was giving it all I had. We ended up with an overall pace of 9:11 for eight miles after starting the first mile with 9:45, at 6 miles we were down to 9:18, and the last 2 miles were covered at 8:52 pace. When Cyndi picked up the pace the last mile, I’m sure it was faster than 8:52. With the effort we expended, I lost 4 ½ pounds of fluids (wake up weight plus 1 lb. of coffee minus post run weight). Sorry for the pace statistics because I can be anal like that sometimes. I’m just happy that my ankle held up despite running that distance the fastest I’ve ever done in recent memory.
Next week, we bump up the distance to 10 miles because Cyndi is training for the Orange County Half Marathon.
Here is my dilemma: in order for me to give my training partner a decent pace, I have to do speedwork in mid-week to increase my aerobic capacity. But by doing that, I risk worsening my already bad right ankle. Based on my history, whenever I start running well again and my pace improves, that is when I aggravate the injury because I tend to push off harder on the right foot.
So how can I solve this problem? All I can do is keep watching my step and keep my fingers crossed.

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