Sprained Ankle Trail running Trail running injuries ultra run Australia Shona Stephenson

Sprained Ankle

by Shona Stephenson on August 10, 2012

Sprained ankle, I am totally gutted. I’ve sprained my anklefor the 4th time in as many weeks and I have to use common sense and pull out of Mt Solitary that is on in two days. This is the chain of events that have lead to pulling out of Mt Solitary.
16th of July, after successfully running 55kms on the Saturday from Berowra to Brooklyn Return and then backing up and running the Footpoint Trail series on the 15th of July. I sprained my ankle badly jumping over a fence at Camperdown Oval at the arrival of a PT session. I had my PT bag on my shoulder adding an extra 10 kilos to my body weight on my right side. I’d just taken the strapping tape off it from the weekend of trail running only 15 minutes before. I jumped over the fence and landed in the only hole in 10m on the oval. I landed on dodgy ankle side that has had the ligaments torn in the past when I was 13 and 3 years ago. I took the full brunt of my body weight plus an extra 10 kilos at right angles on my ankle. My ankle was so sore I got ice from the local cafe and asked my husband to bring crutches to the oval so I could get off it straight away. After two PT sessions then I went to the hospital to get an x-ray for my ankle, ruling out a break. I then go straight to the physio for treatment of my sprained ankle.

I rested my sprained ankle and cross train for the following two weeks. Riding my bike in my lounge room whilst watching movies.
I then convince Beth to do an Oxfam Trail Walker Sydney night training session with me on the 27th of July. I sprain my tapped ankle running around with my PT client even before I get out on the trail in the dark with Beth Cardelli. I lasted 20 kms with Beth Cardelli and on the home stretch I sprain my ankle again. I in was excruitating pain. We headed out to the road at the Wakehurst Parkway and decided to catch a Taxi, but after 5 minutes I could run on it and we ran back 8kms to the cars on the road, avoiding me doing any further damage on my ankle on a trail.
I iced, rested and elevated my ankle the entire weekend. I rested Saturday and cross trained on Sunday, bike, cross trainer and rowing machine.
I use so much voltaren on my ankle to help with the inflammation that I then have a reaction to the voltaren. On Sunday Night the 29th of July my ankle was swollen all the way up to my calf muscle. On Monday the 30th I take an antihistamine for a rash I have on my legs from eating 1 scoop of ice cream the week before ( I can’t eat ice cream, not even a scoop without a rash, or pizza. My lips were swollen so I took an antihistamine,) and worked out that the swelling in my ankle disappeared. I start to feel positive about running Mt Solitary.
I kept my ankle tapped up until Wednesday, but feel the need to massage my ankle tendons, calf muscles and activate my stabilizer muscles in my foot I take the tape off my ankle.
Wednesday night I have an awesome carb filled meal, and I feel great. For some reason half of my Pt clients cancelled in the week so I had had heaps of rest. Feeling great, energetic and I feeling like I’ve had a nice taper.
Friday morning I ran two laps around a poorly lit and uneven oval, Camperdown Oval and just when I was marveling at how well my body was feeling, hitting my stride feeling fantastic testing everything out when I rolled my ankle again. I hit it at a right angle. It was so painful and I laid down on the ground and groaned. My bootcamp clients had no idea what to do. “Go on, finish your warm up, I’ll be okay, go on without me,” I called out like a wounded solider, with my hand across my eyes, shedding tears knowing that I was stuffed. It was all too dramatic for 6am in the morning.
I sent them on to finish their lap and to start the session without me. Straight away I knew I’d damaged my ankle too much to run 45 kms on it around Mt Solitary in only 2 days. I could not even make it around an oval. It would be irresponsible of me to race with an sprained ankle like I had.
I then spotted a late arriving Bootcamp Client, because I could not walk I asked for a “Piggy Back”, back to our things. I finished the session and tried my hardest to work out a way to still run the race.
I came home and put my foot in a bucket of ice and water, 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off with my head in my hands. I started to cry. “Why does your face look red like your about to cry?” My eldest Keisha asked me.
“I’ve hurt my ankle and I love to race and I don’t think I can race”. I replied.
In my head I thought about just training on Kedumba, but the thought of running down Kedumba was just too painful. So if I can’t bear training on Kedumba I should not be racing Mt Solitary. My ankle is injured. Ligament damage. My sprained ankle is too unstable and it needs rehab and support.
I had to pull out of the race. It would be stupid of me to race knowing how unstable my ankle is. I would be potentially be putting someone’s life in danger if I could not get myself out on my own. It is a tough decision. I love racing. I love it so much. But I had visions of myself getting choppered off the western side of Mt Solitary. I’d defiantly eaten my share of brownies to race. I felt amazing, but two stupid mistakes of not looking after my ankle was holding me back. Bugger! Now I will have to work the brownies off on a bike. I don’t even trust my ankle getting in and out of cleats! I will have to train on a stationary bike, rowing machine, cross trainer and swim until it recovers.
I’m confident that I will be able to rehab my sprained ankle. I’ve had this sprained ankle before and I know what I have to do to get it better before Oxfam Trail Walker Sydney in 3 weeks.