The day dawned misty and wet. It was going to be a damp run. It's not like I'd be cold or anything. Or dry, even if it wasn't drizzling. I'd soak my gear through in an hour anyway, and this way, I'm constantly on the rinse cycle, washing off the salt.
The first 8K or so were a blast. Through the dense forest, crossing the Rio Indio time and time again, and even simply down the streambed. We climbed out of the river canyon, crawling through the mud under a fence, and started down a road. Yeah, a road. That's where it happened. I rolled my ankle. Not the worst one, but the snapping sound is never fun to hear. I didn't fall, but did the multi-hop until I wasn't moving forward. I checked, and it still flexed, though it hurt a bit. Forward or back, solo on the road? Forward it is, without hesitation or doubt.
Fast forward another 5 minutes or so. Boom, again, though I wasn't on the road anymore. I'd taken, oh, I don't know, six? steps on the trail. And yep, same ankle. When I did it this time I chanted the injury mantra in syncopation with my one-foot hops until I came to a stop: Fuck, fuck fuck.
Well, now. two rolls on the same joint. Movement? Check. Pain? Manageable. It's uphill anyway, which is easier. Press on. The next 5K or so were challenging. Waist high steps in mud? check. Rocks and unstable footing? Check. Hidden trail due to overhanging vegetation? Check. Pain? Still manageable. Movement? Who cares, at this point.
I got to the aid station (a truck with a cooler and water - the cooler housing Powerade y cerveca). Since I was starting to get cramps in my adductors in addition to my baby cows, I figured the Powerade would be the wise choice over the beer. I can get beer at the end, and it's only another 8-10 K away. Wash down a couple of Oreos, and I'm off with a group of others that had congregated at the truck. We spent probably 20 or more minutes hanging, eating, drinking and getting photos, and that was probably my mistake.
I got about 1/2 K or maybe a bit more, and the ankle said, "What the fuck, dude?" It was a gentle downhill, and even that was really uncomfortable. I realized the route was going to hit significantly steep, unstable, narrow, muddy, rocky portions for the majority of the distance back. I reluctantly, but probably smartly, stopped, and threw in the proverbial towel. I trudged like the defeated piece of shit I felt I was back to the truck to get a fucking ride to the finish.
In a valiant attempt to put a positive spin on a situation where there really isn't any, I am claiming three consolations to being a worthless quitter yesterday:
- I got several early beers
- I saw a cool flower that I otherwise would not have
- The colorful reds, and burgeoning blues and purples of the skin around the swelling on my ankle
Yeah, fucking great.