Early last week, a colleague asked me how my ankle was, and if I was back to running yet.
I told him, 'No, but it feels really strong. I have an appointment with my physio this afternoon, and I'm confident she'll say just another week or so.'
Perhaps I was a little optimistic.
It seemed like I had already been off running for a long time. A really long time. Surely my prescribed eight to twelve weeks was already up?
But when I counted back the weeks, there were only six…and that included the week immediately following the injury, during which I did very little first aid and virtually no rehabilitation—which Mimi said did not count.
She was pleased with my progress, but still wanted me to hold off until the full eight weeks. She hammered the point home by cupping my shins, and then drilled it in further with a few carefully placed (agony-causing) needles.
The good news is, it's only another week or so until I'm allowed to give my ankle a little test run. 'Just 50 metres,' Mimi said, 'in a straight line. And only if you can perform twelve calf raises on that side as well as you do on the other side, and only if you can hop in all directions.' (Never mind that I don't think I've ever been able to hop in all directions.)
It's really tempting now—I find myself dashing across roads and looking wistfully at other runners' shoes as I walk briskly around town. And I'm cutting it really fine for my race.
But I am regularly reminded that I'm asking a lot—rolling my ankle on the walk to work, a sharp pain when compressing the joint while rockclimbing up a chimney. And I'm cutting it really fine for my race.
It's a careful balancing act because if I return too soon, I will probably re-injure my ankle and it won't be rehabilitated in time for my next race. But if I leave it too long, I will not have enough time to build and taper for the race.
In the mean time, I guess I'll just entertain myself with other forms of exercises, such as the climbing I just added to my repertoire.