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Return to Running After Broken Ankle

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

I finally hit my 12 week mark last Monday since I broke my ankle in a slip and fall. This was the magic number, because the doctor said that at 12 weeks you are considered healed and there are no restrictions, other than not overdoing certain physical activity, one of them being running.

For the past few weeks I have been using the stationary bike at the gym and swimming laps, and sometimes pool running. However most of the pools to which I have access are too deep so I have kind of given up on trying. I also started using the weight machines, which has helped with muscle building, although my right leg is still smaller than my left.

At around 10 weeks, I started tossing around when to start running again, and I decided I would do a very short and easy run the Saturday before the 12 week mark. Although the doctor wanted me on the elliptical for a couple of weeks before starting to run, I figured the other work I had been doing probably helped, and I would give it a go. I bought a pair of Hoka One Ones, and while I don’t care much for the style of the shoe, they are extremely cushy and not as heavy and klunky as they look. Also, this is my recovery shoe and I will do anything for a safe return to running!

I happened to be in Michigan for my first run, which is good, because I have been sitting indoors all Florida summer long, and have lost much of my tolerance for the heat. Saturday morning I went out in sunny mid-60s with a light breeze, and did a total of 2.5 miles, with 1.25 running and the rest walking. Most of the running intervals were .25 mile, with one at about .5. Afterward I had some minimal swelling, but nothing that told me I overdid it.

I did my second run yesterday in the heat of the late Florida morning, and while I wanted to do a total distance of 3 miles, I only managed 2.8, with about 1.3 miles of running. This time I did .5 mile intervals of running with .25 miles of walking, and I could have run farther. My next run will be either tomorrow or Saturday, and I plan to run a mile or for as long as I can, whichever comes first, and then a series of walk/runs. I am not planning on a total distance – just whatever I can do. Although my endurance is diminished, I was pleasantly surprised that my speed isn’t as far off the mark as I thought, and I have managed to stay around 11:20-11:30, with a max pace of 9:57 according to the Garmin.

Today I registered for a 5K on October 19, and I am pretty confident that I will be able to run the entire distance by then. I am also signed up for a half marathon on December 7, and while I am confident that I will be able to finish it, I may have to run/walk it.

I feel so much better now and look forward to a strong recovery and the winter racing season.
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