It is a sad day...the running streak will end today. On my morning run yesterday I twisted my ankle. 10 days before my marathon and I misstep on the edge of a sidewalk--the outside of my right foot slipped down, but the inside of my foot did not, causing a very extended stretch on my outer ankle. I stopped and assessed the damage after loudly proclaiming to the pre-dawn silence, "Are you kidding me?!?!?" After a few tentative steps I knew it wasn't broken and wasn't badly torn. I started to jog and worked out the pain.
I continued for more than two more miles to finish the 4 miles I had planned and could feel the ankle was injured, but the pain wasn't too bad due to the adrenaline and endorphins coursing through my body. I knew, however, that as soon as I stopped running, I would feel it. And I did. The pain wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be, but I could feel the tightness as the swelling started. I went into the Crossfit gym (my run was a pre-Crossfit run), sat down to change my shoes, and knew that I would not be staying for my Crossfit workout. I'm quite stubborn, though. As I was sitting there, I was trying to figure out just what modification I could make to the workout so I could still do it. Then I stood up. And then I went home.
I knew that the injury was not debilitating. It's been just over 36 hours since it happened and it's already feeling better. My first concern, of course, is how it will impact my marathon. I had built up my confidence for a good performance in the marathon after a decent final long run 3 weeks out, and a really good half marathon race 2 weeks out. In the final week of training before a marathon the focus is on short distance but high intensity. I'm going to miss out on some of that because of this injury. Now my confidence is dampened just a bit.
My second concern is the running streak. As of now, it is ending. I have managed to run a minimum of 1 mile every day of this year. I haven't counted the days, but it's more than two months. I've been a bit obsessed with it all day long, because until 1:00 this afternoon, I was sure I could go to Crossfit this evening (upper body work only) and then run my 1 mile after. Then at lunch I took off the Ace ankle compression bandage I'm wearing and saw that the ankle is still quite swollen. The pain is not too bad, and I can run through pain pretty well. But I know that the swelling means there is still damage. So the question became, to run or not to run? Which is more important, the streak or the marathon? Of course the answer is the marathon. But it hurts a little to let go of this streak.
It's silly, because the streak means nothing. It was just a last minute decision I made based on a Facebook page suggestion. But it was a test, and I like tests. Now, I feel as though I've failed the test. Not because I feel my decision to NOT run today is the wrong one. I feel it is because of poor decisions and laziness earlier this week. Maybe if I had done my speed work run on Tuesday like I was supposed to, I would not have been running where I was yesterday. But that is ridiculous. What happened, happened. I simply stepped two inches too far to the right while turning a corner. It could have happened at any time.
So it's time to let go. It's painful. But I'll survive, and at some point I'll start another streak.