Last Thursday morning trail run,we had a pretty tricky descent off of westridge to Sullivan canyon via the luna loop access trail that had been rutted up by recent rain water. It was 620am, but still pretty dark as we’re still waiting for daylight savings time to kick in. I made it down fine and then up onto Sullivan ridge to climb up to the tree with a PB and co. As we came back, we began to pick up the pace a little bit enjoying the downhill. Coming off Sullivan down the “bobsled trail” I began to slip on one of the walls that had been rutted by recent storms. I thought how bad it would be to roll an ankle in the 2 foot culvert, and the next step I did roll my ankle. I finished the run and kept the ankle intact avoiding any serious swelling. This is just my highly unscientific guess, but I feel like after rolling an ankle, a runner benefits more from jogging to keep the ankle tight, preventing swelling. At any rate, I climbed back up luna, and jogged easy down to the parking lot.
I rested Friday and then ran Saturday on Westridge (7 mi fire road with a horizontal grade) that caused a bit of pain. I rested Sunday and then ran Monday in Hidden Hills. It was a relaxed run, but my ankle hurt again on the downhills and technical parts. In the flats and on the climbs it felt free, but anytime I had to grip the ground with the outer edge of my foot, it started to hurt.
Basically I think I have a stress fracture or a sprained ankle. The lack of swelling makes me think that it is probably a stress fracture, but we wouldn’t be able to find out as most x-rays don’t show stress fractures. I’ve rested it and iced it this week and am going to test it Friday afternoon at Javelina.
Going into the race, I feel like this is almost a good thing. If the course is as gentle as promised, the pain will only appear when I’m running to hard, and will keep me in check. However, if JJ lives up to the nature of most 100 milers, it will break anything somewhat weak on your body. Usually the closer to the ground, the worse your odds are, so this isn’t looking great necessarily for the weekend.
That said though, anything can happen still. The bone or tendons may have healed in 4 days, the course may never test my ankle, or the injury may be bearable to the point I can finish the race well.
One thing also that I did notice is that the pain came from trying to slow down on downhills.. anyone that has run with me on trails at my pace know that I rarely ever use the breaks, so this may be okay for a legitimate race situation.
Going into the winter, my generic plans still are to finish JJ and Chimera 100m in Dec, rest, and build mileage up. For those concerned readers out there, I will pull out of JJ if it appears to be doing serious damage. I’ve ran 155 miles straight on concrete before, so I know my limits well, and know also that I don’t have to prove anything on Saturday. Either way, it’s going to be so great to see my 6 rookie friends out doing their first 100 mile, and I’m going to be happy to just be there with/for them.