I admit it. My ankle does not look good. The bruising is extensive – impressive and alarming in equal measure. But the strange thing is that it feels fine. Not “I’m being stoic and trying to play down the pain” fine*, but genuine “it really doesn’t hurt at all” fine.
Sure, it’s tender on the bruise itself, but only in an “I’m prodding a bruise” sort of way. And yes, it’s a little sore when I do ankle circles, but it’s the feeling that you’d expect when stretching the skin over a bruise, not the sensation of stressing damaged muscles, tendons or ligaments.
So, against the advice of pretty much everyone who has seen the pictures, and in the full knowledge that if I go over on my ankle again in the next four weeks there will be hell to pay, I decided to go out on a little test run last night to see how my ankle reacted.
The answer? Not very much at all. After a little whinging in the first five minutes (I hadn’t loosened my laces enough to accommodate the residual swelling), my ankle put up and shut up, and the expected morning-after-the-night-before reaction never came.
Buoyed by the experience, I decided to risk today’s track session**, and by the time I’d finished my warm up, I was running with a smooth gait, without noticeably favouring either leg***.
I know that I’ve a long way to go before I can relax, and that any further ankle damage in the next few weeks could prove catastrophic****, but it’s a risk I’m prepared to take. Because trippages aside, my body seems to be happy to run, and who am I to deny it?
* I don’t do stoic. I will milk a paper cut for sympathy.
** Warm up, [1200m at HM pace, 800m at 10k pace] x 4, cool down.
*** I think. Though no doubt any photographer worth their salt would have been able to capture the usual “hunchback of Notre Dame” shot.
*** Ligaments take at least four weeks to heal, bah humbug.