Well folks, how ironic that our Run This Year goal of “Run Lucky” was in fact the opposite of what happened with me in March. I wiped out on a curb seconds before starting a half-marathon, which only exacerbated the ankle injury I sustained, and I therefore have not run for over two weeks. Doctor’s orders are to not run until this weekend. My final results from the X-Rays I finally had taken last week is that there is no break in the ankle, that it was a bad sprain and running Rock ‘n’ Roll only made it worse. I fully maintain that the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon experience was FULLY worth it. I also don’t regret not being able to run these past two weeks due to running the race on the ankle that needed immediate elevation and icing. These two weeks of not compulsively needing to go to the gym or run outside every second I get a chance has given me the opportunity to do reconnect with a lot of things that running was taking up time over.

Image courtesy Active Minds, Inc.

But it’s April now, and I’m ready to get back on track with my Run This Year goals. For the rest of the work week I plan to follow doctor’s orders and just walk a mile or two a day to ease my ankle back into normal movement. By Saturday I’ll assess the swelling and any lingering pain, and decide about Cherry Blossom. I will probably end up running it.

Which is why I’m adjusting my Run This Year goals. I’ve already lost a lot of mileage to meet my 1,400 miles and trying to run every day rather than a race every few weeks would actually be worse on my ankle. I’m going to work on remobilizing my ankle this week, now that it’s had two weeks of rest, bracing, anti-inflammatories, and elevation, and probably run/walk the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. I will probably be in pain by the end of the race and need to take Monday super easy, maybe regress for a few days. So while normally my April mileage goal would be 116 miles to meet my 1,400 mile a year goal, I’m going to focus a little more on easy, calming walks and a little less hill-running around my neighborhood. My running mileage goal for the month is more around 80.

Image courtesy some Hungarian website?

I was working out 7 days a week, running 5 of them. I lost 30 pounds in less than a year, really, because I didn’t start losing weight til about May or June of last year. I’m coming up on the end of grad school – 4 weeks left in the semester and then my final semester before I’ve earned my Master’s. It’s time to slow down, do the best work I can at my job and as a student, and enjoy all the things Spring and my city has to offer, not just sequester myself in running.

Not to say I don’t want to get back in shape. It’s not like in two weeks I undid ALL of the progress I made, but I will have to start a little further back from where I was pre-ankle incident. I’ve gained a couple of pounds since not being able to be very mobile, mainly because of my stress-eating habits, and not even being able to take a walk was not good for my stress level.

So while I’m trying to give my ankle some time to recover, I’m going to really work on my core. Planking, crunches, leg lifts. And my arms and shoulders – tricep dips, chest presses, bicep curls, tricep extensions, clean-and-presses. My legs gained a lot of muscle while I was racking up more or less 100 miles a month. But I’d love to know I can lift heavy things in a crisis!

Image courtesy Hip and Healthy

So, there you have it. I plan to try and plank for two minutes every day, do 40-50 crunches per day, and devote three days a week to running or walking, three days a week to weights, and then when my ankle can handle all the balancing, two days to weights and one to yoga, and throughout, one day of rest.

April, let’s go!

(Oh! I’ve had some extra time without running to do a little pleasure-reading, and I finished Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad last night. I may do a review, as I did initially intend this blog to blend my running, creative writing, and literary reviews into one. But for now I just want to say I highly recommend it!)