And So Endeth The Streak

Posted: 2016-05-12 in Running
Tags: , ,

483 days. Almost 1100 miles.

That’s how long my running streak lasted before I was forced to give it up.

A little over a month ago, while on one of my normal “1.5 mile minimum a day” runs, I had a stabbing pain in my ankle that shot down my foot and scared the hell out of me. I was able to walk on it, but running felt like someone was driving a nail into the top of my foot with every step. I limp/jogged my way through my last half-mile back to the house and iced my foot, hoping I just twisted something in a funny direction and it would be better a few days later.

As the days progressed, I still limped and I still ran. Nothing improved, and I had to go back out to Texas for work. Three weeks into my work schedule there (where I was on my feet at least 5-6 miles a day on top of whatever I was running), I decided it was time to seek medical attention before I did something really stupid and permanent to my foot/ankle.

The x-rays came back negative for stress fractures (what I feared was likely), but the Doc still was concerned and asked me to treat the injury just like a stress fracture, including 6 weeks of laying off the running, elevating and icing the foot as much as possible, and generally giving it time to heal itself before I screwed it up worse.

At one time, I would have said, “Screw it” to such advice, and kept my almost-16-months-streak alive. But older-and-wiser me started considering how I’d feel if I messed something up to the point where I’d be in agony every time I tried playing soccer with the kids, or hiking with the wife, or any of the million of things that are enjoyable but require you to be active on your feet. I decided, as disappointing as it would be to end my streak, it was a small sacrifice to make to get me back to normal.

So here I sit, icing my ankle & foot in the evenings, binge-watching Netflix and jealously glaring at random folks as they run past my balcony, carefree and happy, not knowing how good they have it. I was one of those people once, and hopefully in about 4 more weeks, I will be again. In the meantime, I’ll just try to make the most of the situation and keep my spirits up. (Sometimes, drinking the spirits down helps in that respect.)

So 483 days. It’s not a bad streak – over a year of running every day. Will I start a new streak when I get back into running? Probably not the same “run every day” type streak – that has proven to be a little too much for my bones to handle. But I’ll still keep running, and I’ll try to remember that each run is a privilage that not everyone gets to enjoy, and treat it as such.

Still, it would have been nice to hit 500.

  1. I hit “like” not because I like hearing you were injured—ouch, even if there are no fractures, you want to be careful with mystery pains in the foot and ankle—but because I applaud you for your nearly 1100-mile streak. If not for the injury, you could probably run a respectable time in a marathon. Put up that foot and take it easy! With luck you’ll heal before the summer is over. 🙂


  2. snoringKatZ says:

    I am glad you are taking good care of yourself! Truly a bummer about the streak but you can streak again some time (ba doomp boomp)! Maybe just differently.

    I’m saying this as I limp around and my hands are hurting and I haven’t run at all in the entire time you had your streak except when I had to get across the street before the bus hit me.

    I figure if I build up and you slow down, maybe we’ll finish a 5K together some day! Give me a year or so, ok? And a 3K lead.


  3. Emmy says:

    I am I awe, Ross. Once I discovered the runner’s high that was enough for me, I never had ambitions to set goals. I think just as your injury will heal, in time you’ll be more and more proud of what you did do. You were smart to take this time.

    On a side note, I do some indie film and thought about doing a (sort of eerie, Sci FI) series of shorts on running. I’d love to get your input. Maybe being sidetracked would give you a chance to imagine dark running scenarios. 😄 (Or wherever the imagination goes).


  4. Well, in the last 483 days I haven’t run 1.5 miles in total.

    You’ll get back into it if only because it bothers you so much to not be doing it. But, yeah, maybe every other day or a couple of times a week.


  5. Jaypo says:

    There’s something so tempting about nice round numbers like 500. I was a year round runner for 14 years, distance over speed, and never broke 6.5 mi. without something crapping out. Knees, shin splints, ankle, it was always something. Then I got into other activities that satisfied some part o’me that running did. But honestly, Ross, nothing comes close to the deeply personal experiences that running provides, with oneself or nature. That’s the part of it I miss now!

    Listen to your body. You may need a change–in goals or activity.


  6. leendadll says:

    483 days?? WOW!!
    Glad to read that you put long-term use over a short term goal.


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