Spraining Your Ankle Sucks When You’re A Runner

On Friday I was at work, minding my own business, walking down the stairs that I walk down every single day … and I misstepped and twisted my ankle. It REALLY hurt. I was on my way to interview a potential intern, so I sucked it up, smiled, said hello toย the candidate, and walked back up two flights of the evil stairs to conduct the interview. 30 minutes later I walked back down those stairs, said goodbye to the candidate, and retreated to my cube to take a look at my ankle. Thanks goodness I didn’t take a picture, because I would be obliged to post it here. But be warned, there are pictures later in this post.

The outside of my ankle had a golfball-size lump and was very tender to the touch. I grabbed some ice from the break room fridge and thought about what I wanted to do. Knowing that I had two races scheduled in the next two weeks, I decided to go to urgent care. Prior to becoming a runner, I would have sucked it up and limped around for a while. But now, I wanted to be back in running condition as soon as possible, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to run with a golf ball on the side of my ankle.

I hobbled into urgent care and waited for 90 minutes with my foot elevated and on ice for 20-minute intervals. The doctor looked at it and diagnosed a sprain, but sent me for x-rays just to be sure. Yup, just a sprain. A sprain that required crutches for 3-5 days, and a brace for up to 10- days after that. It sounded like there was a chance I could run again in 7-10 days, but it would be a test, and might not last very long without pain.

I left the office with my ankle wrapped and braced.

Sprained Ankle In BraceI’ve never walked on crutches. I was far from elegant. One of the first phone calls I made was to my Ragnar Relay teammate to ask her advice. The race was in two weeks. She asked if I’d ever sprained my ankle before (I haven’t). In her estimation, I’ll probably be able to run the first leg, maybe even pain-free. Then when I’m tired and have to run the second leg, it will start to hurt. A lot. Iย might be able to finish that leg. No way will I be able to run the third leg.
So, I’m pulling out of Ragnar. Ick. It goes without saying that I’m also not running the Alpine Adventure Challenge this weekend.
On Saturday night, I took a look at the swelling, which had only gone down slightly.
Sprained Ankle Day 2 Swolen
On Sunday morning, the bruising started to show (and the swelling looks worse from this angle).
Sprained Ankle Day 2 BruisedThis morning, the bruising was more pronounced near the sprained ligament.
Sprained Ankle Day 3 Bruised
Just a few moments ago, I snagged another picture. The bruising from this angle is pretty disgusting. I have similar disgusting bruises under my arms from the crutches.
Sprained Ankle Day 3.5 Bruised
I’ve been wearing the compression wrap and brace most of the day, and elevating my foot while I sleep. I’m obviously not going to be running this week, but I can walk gingerly without pain (if I’m wearing the brace). I thought running would be the cause of any injuries I suffered this summer. Turns out I just need to be more careful when I walk.

4 thoughts on “Spraining Your Ankle Sucks When You’re A Runner

  1. Yikes!! That looks so painful. Take care of yourself so you can heal properly. It will take a good 10 days to feel normal again and that’s without running. Good luck!!

  2. Aww man! What bad luck! That stinks you had to pull out of Ragnar ๐Ÿ™ I have done this a few times to my ankle, but it’s healed much quicker! I hope their estimate was on the long side! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Well, the good news that I can now walk without the brace … almost pane free. I have to be careful where I put my foot though, because stepping on uneven ground causes the ankle to twist, which definitely hurts. I walked a mile to/from dinner last night in wedge sandals (slowly) without a problem. I’m going to give it one more week, then head out for a run next weekend.

      It’s becoming obvious that I need to learn to run in the morning. The weather has been gorgeous lately…for sipping a drink on the patio, or puttering around in the garden. Not, in my opinion, for running.

      Thanks for commenting, Kim! I added your blog to my reader ๐Ÿ™‚

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