Running on Pause

Nov 1, 2021 | Training, Training Daze

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Lynne Tapper

I am a lifelong endurance athlete with the dual goal of training and racing until my bones turn to dust and sharing that passion with as many people as possible.

Something’s not right. In early spring 2021, during a 7-mile run, I noticed some slight pain in my left ankle. Of course, I didn’t stop running, I just took note.

After a few doctors and physical therapy appointments, an MRI was scheduled for mid-April. The result was a fully ruptured anterior talofibular ligament (atfl). One doctor suggested surgery that would sideline me for six months. Six months. The warm weather was upon us and I could not see myself being sidelined for six months. Yes, I said six months! Since I didn’t have too much pain and I was able to walk, hike, bike and swim, I thought I’d see if I could find another, less drastic solution.

I decided to try the somewhat controversial and “not covered by insurance” treatment called patelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection. This is a minimally invasive injection procedure that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair damaged ligaments and tendons using organic substances like blood plasma. While I was very clear that it would not “create a new atfl ligament” I was told that it could regenerate and strengthen the surrounding tissues, tendons, muscles and ligaments.

I was also informed that in order for the treatment to have its full effect, I would have to stop running for six months. This last part, no running for six months was not something I really processed until about 2 months in. I thought I would be different and I could start running a few weeks after the injection. And so, I did. It became obvious to me that in order to receive the possible full benefit of the treatment that I really would have to stop running for six months. So…begrudgingly, I did. I put my running on pause.

What I didn’t stop doing was biking and swimming. From May through early November, I biked about 3,000 miles and swam just over 40 miles.

With the end of six months in sight, I’m leary of starting to run again. While my mind misses running, I know my body thanks me for the rest.

 

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