Running on Pause

Nov 1, 2021 | Training, Training Daze

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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