A Future DNS … Tough Decision…

5 months into my half marathon training, hoping for a PR, I’m making the decision to stop training due to repeated ankle sprains. Last week’s visit to the third doctor finally confirmed that it was best to stop. However, to my stubborn self, I still went out hiking with a friend yesterday. It was an moderate hike with elevation at about 5 miles total. Yup. The THREE doctors I saw were right – I needed to rest and recover.

The last mile of the hike felt painful to my knee. I had rolled my ankle three times in three months, in July, August, and September. The body is amazing, it starts to adapt. By the third sprain, the ankle felt pain minimally. But it started to pull the calf muscle and affecting the knee. I started to feel pain on my long runs longer than 5 miles. I used KT tape to support and provide stability to knees and ankles, pushing through the pain.

One day I looked in the mirror as I taped up both ankles and the knee, I thought “wow, I looked like a pro athlete”  Then, I thought “wait, I am NOT a pro!” I shouldn’t be doing this to my body. I went to see my chiropractor who recommended that I stop running to allow the ankle to heal properly. There was sign of overuse on my calf hence causing the knee pain. Two other doctors recommended the same thing.

There was still some part of me that wanted to see if I could still complete the race somehow. I haven’t ran for two weeks now (biked, walked, zumba’d, yoga’d instead) and yesterday’s hike was a test to see the progress. Sigh… I’m definitely out of shape to run the race after taking the third week off now. And most importantly, the ankle/calf/knee is still out of whack. Morgan Hill Half Marathon is definitely out of question. I’m disappointed.

Sigh… I keep telling myself to look at the big picture and to see it as a long term good decision. I know I can probably push through this last month and the race with will power. The question is why… and the only reason I started to run was to be healthy. It’d be crazy to end up more injured and less healthy by ignoring the injury. I will have to look at different option with the half marathon, perhaps go as a volunteer instead.

DNS – Do Not Start – that is a tough call, especially being so close to the goal but really need to sidestep from that.

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I’ll have to take a leap of faith and believe that I will be back running soon!

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2 thoughts on “A Future DNS … Tough Decision…

  1. Hi, I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your knee and ankle. I quite relate to your post as I have had a knee injury since March that first prevented me from running and eventually also from experiencing pain free walks. So I underwent surgery yesterday. For me starting to run was just about being healthy and feeling physical and mental surplus. Then I got hooked to running as the very effective, convenient and varied work out it can be. I love nature and running outdoors is far more motivating to me than indoor exercising. Goal-setting was also a big motivator for me, and I set some goals that I did not prepare well enough for and which my body could not take. Hence my knee injury. It’s been a valuable lesson for me. I hope I will be able to run again sometime because I enjoy it, and if I do I will be listening to my body carefully. Good luck with your knee and thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for visiting! I’m so sorry to hear about your surgery. I hope you recover soon. I too feel a bit lost with having to stop training as I love what running has given me: goal-setting, enjoyable work out, and working on mental toughness. I hope you recover soon and get back on the trail when you’re ready!

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