Back when I first started running, it was such an accomplishment to run a lap on the short trail at the park closest to our house - the park with the statues that startle me. If memory serves me correctly, I believe that was just over half a mile. And then, I branched out, crossing over to run the path around the soccer fields. Finally, I would run both paths AND from one end of the park to the other. I was thinking about this park the other day (ironically, while I was in the pool) and remembering how, bit by bit, I kept expanding my running distance. Jeff and I used to go out there every Sunday morning - he would ride his bike, while I would run. I can't believe that it was just a year ago that we did this. And now, he's out there running, while I'm not.
I feel like I've been brought to my knees by this ankle injury - who knew it would go on like this? At first, I was just bummed that I wouldn't be able to run the half marathon that I had trained so long for. But as the months without any running went by, and then my few attempts resulted in pain, and more months went by, I began to wonder if I'd ever run again. Dramatic, yes, but real.
So the truth is that it still gives me trouble. I feel it when I swim - although the kicking motion might not "pound" on it, there is resistance in the water, and that does bug my ankle a little. Also, some of the standing-balancing-on-one-foot yoga poses bother it - to the point that I've had to take some Motrin over the last week. This does not make me feel super-confident about returning to running soon, although that is, in fact, my plan. It may sound crazy, but really - I'm wondering if my ankle will ever return to normal. Maybe this IS my new normal. And quite honestly, while the pain bugs me, it's almost more the idea of the pain, rather than the pain itself, that is irritating, because pain, to me, signals no running. Also, even with the bits of pain that I'm experiencing, I'm not going to stop swimming or doing yoga. Enough is enough, you know?
I'm giving it one more shot - I have an appointment with a podiatrist who specializes in ankles. September 14th - yes, a month from now (we are changing insurances and have to wait for that to take effect). Anyway, I'm going to see what he recommends and go from there. But honestly, if it's more "give it time" - well, I may just not. Hey, as long as my leg isn't going to break in two, and this is as much pain as there will be, I might as well do what I want, which is to add a little running back into my life. Just a little. I no longer have dreams of running a half marathon - just a mile would be wonderful. I want to run that statue lap. I want to run for smoothies with my buddy Jenny. And on December 3rd, I want to run the 5K at Dallas White Rock - the day before Jeff and the rest of my running club tackles the half and full marathon. Nearly a year after this injury happened, I don't think that's asking for too much.