Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Trail running with turned ankles

We were all a little stiff getting out of the car after the Sunfish.  Nothing major since the race is short but we could feel it in our legs.

Monday’s are generally my off days (at least for the legs – just Master’s swim) so I wanted to get a few miles running on Sunday.  However, since there was fatigue in the legs I did not want a block of structured hard miles. 

I have been a ‘product tester’ for Reebok for a while now.  Last week I received a pair of trail walking / hiking shoes.  They have some kind of zipper technology and are made from gore-tex.  I thought I might find some standing water and stream to run through.  I have been wearing them everyday.  They are comfortable and fit me well.


I am fortunate to have some mountain bike trails right out by front door.  I walked down the street for a warm up and then headed into the woods.  It is easy to get turned around out here.  I just wanted to run for about an hour.  I settled into a comfortable pace.  The legs opened up.  The shoes felt fine.

Since I can get turned around I generally stay on the same track but take every right turn.  It may take a while to get out of the thick but I will eventually find my way out.

I took a right turn and starting running on a new section of trail.  This was a challenging run.  I was thinking how difficult it would be on the bike.  I was running comfortable.  My mind was starting to drift.  I was having a good run.  I was enjoying the trail.

I ran down a steep decline and at the bottom my left foot struck a rock.  Not a big deal except the rock shifted with my weight.  It felt like my ankle turned at a 90 degree angle.  Pain shot up my entire body.  My run stopped immediately.  I continued to walk up the hill.  I knew better to stop cold in my tracks.  I needed to walk it out.  I looked up into the canopy of trees to get a glimpse of the sun.  I had no idea what direction I was headed.  I thought I was headed north and would end up on the trace and then I could make my way home.

All that I wanted was the quickest way home.  I wanted to be off of my legs.  Then I remembered that I was wearing a GPS watch.  I flipped over to the navigate function.  I turned on the compass.  If you know anything about GPS then you know that they do not have a real compass.  You have to keep moving to get your heading.  The compass showed that I was not heading north but more of a south east.  I was going deeper into the works.


Mapping function

I then clicked over to the mapping function.  My GPS watch has a very rudimentary mapping capability.  It shows a line on a blank screen.  However, I could see where I started.  With this information I made an about face.

I did not want to simply back track all the way home.  I wanted a short cut.  Looking at the map I was able to jump tracks and cut out a large portion of the run.


I headed straight across the top of the lake.

I was in no danger or fear of not making it out of the trails (they are a quarter mile from my house). But the GPS did let me get off of my feet much quicker.

I iced the ankle all morning and then jumped on the group ride in the afternoon.  No the smartest idea.  Sunday night the ankle was much worse.  Just a swim on Monday for the off day.


Living The Tri Life said...

Oh nooooooo!!! Bad news about the ankle! How is it today?

Tri-James said...

The ankle is getting better but when it rains it pours. The swim was good for it on Monday. The cold water helped with the swelling but I was not able to kick off of the wall. However, yesterday on the bike trainer I hurt my neck. I think I pinched a nerve (this is a reoccurring thing) ...

I will not see you at swim today.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

oh no! hope you are back to your regular routine FAST.

Lindsay said...

probably wouldn't be bad if i learned all these fancy functions of my garmin... i know it has a "return to start" option that (i think) retraces your steps. i accidentally found that one one day when it was malfunctioning.

hope your ankle is doing better.