This past weekend, Brent, Brian, and I teamed up for our penultimate race of the season – the East Coast Adventure Racing Series Championship.
After injuring my ankle in Scotland, I went back-and-forth a fair bit about whether to race, ultimately concluding that it would be smarter to find a sub and rest up for Nationals, coming up in mid-October. But of course, it’s the end of the season and a busy time of year, and most of our AR friends were either racing, recovering, resting, or rehabbing.
So, a week and a half ago, with my ankle seemingly healing quickly, I decided to go for it.
And truth be told, I was sort of looking forward to racing. We’ve had a great season, have put in a lot of hard work, and have earned some results that I’m really proud of. I wanted to cap it off with the two championship races and share in the excitement with my teammates.
(Plus, my picture’s on the website banner – how could I not be there?)
With a midnight start and a ton of elevation and distance to cover in 18 hours, the race provided some unique challenges, but overall, we had a great time out in the woods.
When the dust settled (and some logistical issues were sorted out), we ended the day tied for second with Team Rev3, earning enough points for a second place finish in the ECARS series as well.
Check out Brent’s blog for a recap of the race (and explanation for the tie).
All in all, I was really glad I made the trip out there – but I was also reminded that almost nine months of near-continuous racing is beginning to take a toll.
Though mentally I felt good, physically I was spent. My lungs felt foggy, my legs were heavy, and my ankle – which I thought was well on its way to normal – lasted about 10 hours before it blew up again.
When I got home Sunday night, I didn’t waste any time. With fewer than four weeks until Nationals, I knew I needed to come up with a solid plan for rehab and recovery.
The first stop? A phone call to one of my teammates, a physical therapy virtuoso, to schedule an appointment ASAP.
I went to see him tonight, and after an hour of pushing and pulling and poking and prodding, I learned that there’s a little bit more going on than I initially thought.
That self-diagnosed tendonitis during the race?
Turns out it was a high ankle sprain – complete with a partially torn ligament connecting my foot to my knee and a subluxated talus (the bone on the front of the ankle).
Yeah, I did a lot of googling to figure out what all those something-or-others were and how all the this-and-thats fit together.
And so, between now and October 12, Operation Ankle-Rehab will be in full effect.
There will be bags of ice, handfuls of ibuprofen, heel lifts and ankle braces and IT stretches and achilles ultrasounds.
I’ve got three weeks and three days to get this ankle into shape.
Because the year’s not over yet.