A Little Pain, A Little Gain

For those of you who were not already aware, I sustained a bad ankle sprain almost 5 weeks ago.  The physiotherapist I have been seeing has gone from pessimism to optimism and back again over the course of my recovery.  It seems my body heals rapidly at first, and then tires from the effort.  Dr. Pete initially gave me 4-6 weeks before I’d “be back.” But when I see him on Thursday, I think it’ll still be a no-go.  He has, however, given me permission to have “short, light jogs.”  I had my first on Sunday.

Not having fitness in my life for over a month has been torture.  I think about running all the time.  I have a feeling I scared my physio a bit when I practically begged his permission to let me start running again.  “I know I can do it!”  I have been scared to go against medical advice because everyone I know has been telling me horror stories of “coming back too soon.”

So it’s been all doctor’s orders for this girl.  It helps to have Matt around caring about me and questioning certain activities.  After only about a week and a half, I initially went back to the gym for short stationary bike rides.  The effect was not positive.  The following mornings I was almost too sore to function, and I had to reluctantly accept I wasn’t ready.

Now that jogs of only a couple of km are on the table, I’ve devised a way to beat this brutal and unyielding summer heat and still get in my run.  I bid Matt goodnight at 9:30 (which, by the way, used to be my usual bedtime back when I was still disciplined) and set my alarm for 5am, intending to get up and go for a short run around the nearby lake.

This morning when I woke up at 4:38, I was fully aware that it was still nighttime.  It scared me to think of the possible predators that could be lurking around every corner.  I know that at home I would never run along the path across from our house in darkness.  Not with the constant rumors of elusive streakers.  I panicked, and when the clock struck 5, I leaped from bed to check online for tales of attacks and other dangers.

All I found were websites praising the pre-sunrise run.  I eventually sucked it up and opted to run straight from my own front door.  I figured I would avoid hills as best I could and at least our neighborhood is well-lit.  Now it’s 6:27, I’ve already had a 30+ minute run, half a mug of green tea, a bowl of oatmeal and a cool shower.  Feels fantastic.  Though I am sure I ran a little longer than prescribed, my bladder was begging me to stop long before my ankle.  I think it’s a good sign.

The weather before 6am is glorious.  There was a good breeze and it was wonderful to go hat-less for once.  Normally the summer sun beats down on us by 7:30.  It was also amazing not to encounter another runner.  There were many cars and a few bikers, but the footpaths were all mine.  I felt like the bravest and most dedicated of all, rather than the gimp getting her footing back.

Just as a precaution, I did end up fishing my keys out of the clever hidden pocket of my running shorts and fisting them instead.  The sharpest key jutted out between my index and middle fingers.  This has always been my best defense when returning to my car at night.

I hope that with this routine in place, I will be able to regain my strength faster.  I have already missed most of my soccer preseason and I surely want to get back in shape in time for the games that count!

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Author: emma a.

I'm Emma, a Minnesota girl getting back in touch with my creative side. Since graduating university in 2008 (the first time), I've been traveling and living abroad. Seven years ago I settled in Australia with my husband. I love running, reading, writing, knitting and pilates. I'm also a physiotherapy student and soon-to-be mother of a baby boy.

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