August 29, 2015
A few disasters leading up to this race.
My training for Twin Peaks 50M continues and I have had some balance issues with the Hokas on technical trail runs.
Lauren Miertschin and I went out about 2 weeks prior about to do a loop up and down West Horsethief, a trail that has a steady climb for about 2 miles, then a 15% climb over the next 2 miles.
On my way down, my feet went out under me and I went down pretty hard. I managed to hold on to my water bottles, but my thumbs and pinkies hyperextended. I may have sprained them…
But the real problem was 4 days later, when Angela and I went for a really early (4:45am) planned 28 mile trail practice.
Everything seemed to be OK, and then about 3 miles in, the soles of Angela’s shoes began unraveling. So, she stopped and turned around and we planned to meet on the opposite side of the course. I continued on to the top of Santiago Peak. It was wonderful… no one out there whatsoever. No bikers and few hikers (it WAS a Monday morning).
I went over along the Main Divide and headed towards the top of West Horsethief when I heard a sickening crack. I thought I might have broken my ankle. It hurt really bad. I sat down for about 20 minutes, freaking out, trying to staunch the flow of adrenaline and calm down.
Since I had not seen a soul for about 20 minutes, I figured I had to get back down on my own (about 6 miles to the car) and hopefully I would run into Angela and she could help me cover the final distance to the car.
I thought I might have to crawl, but ended up being able to put a little bit of weight on my foot. I refilled my Camelbak from the secret supply zone at the top of the trail and limped really slowly down the hill. No sign of Angela yet.
Finally, I got down the 12 steep switchbacks and back onto the Holy Jim Road. I spotted a roll of duct tape (what Angela was going to tape her shoes up with), so I hoped that she hadn’t gotten lost.
About a half mile out from the car, we finally connected. She couldn’t find the trail, so she wandered around for a while.
In the car, I propped my foot up on the cooler and we filled a bag with ice to keep the swelling down. My ankle was the size of a softball.
When I got back home, I called the advice nurse at Kaiser, and then spent a good hour on the phone trying to figure out my best bet to get an appointment. My options were either going to Rosemead at 5pm and then waiting 2-3 hours to get in, or go to Harbor City and get in as soon as they determined my level of need.
I opted for Harbor City, because I would be in at least 3 hours earlier, or so I hoped. It was a bit of an awkward drive, because of course, it is my right, or driving foot. I took it really easy. After about a 3 hour wait, I got in to see the doctor. She sent me for an x-ray, and fortunately, it was not broken. But, it was what they called a Grade 2 Sprain. I think that the side of my foot folded over. Doctor said it might take 6-8 months to heal totally and that I should take it really easy.
Dulce loaned me some RocTape, but I ended up buying some KT Tape and also finding my old ankle brace.
For 4 days, I tried to stay off my foot entirely, ice it, and keep it elevated, but I was also pretty desperate to test my ankle out and see what I could handle.
So, Saturday is the Bun Run, and worst comes to worst, I have to bail in the middle of it. I found a book to read and figured I would just walk it comfortably.
It seemed to be OK on the flats, but on the up- or down-hill sections, I could feel some tension. In the latter stretches, I was able to pass a few people, too. I didn’t come in last, but it was a good 44 minutes.
For the few days after the incident, I worried that I might have a long recovery. Now I am more confident that I may still able to do Twin Peaks in 2-1/2 months.