Should I or Shouldn’t I? You help me decide!

Quandary: I’m signed up for a 10K this Saturday, but I strained my ankle last Saturday. As of today (Wednesday), I’m fairly mobile on level ground and there is no significant swelling or tenderness. I only have pain when I flex my ankle to the extreme range of motion (towards my shin), but there is no pain when I’m in a brace. I’m fairly sure that I’ll be 100% better soon, but I’m not quite there yet.

The issue is whether or not I should run this 10K on Saturday. Clearly, the ankle thing puts a damper on my dreams of a big 10K PR, but there will always be other races. Here are the arguments that have been bouncing around in my head:

Pro: I have been itching to run a race. Plus, I know at least 3 people running on Saturday so it will be fun.
Con: Why risk injury? My “A” race is the SF Half, not this 10K.
Counter-Pro: My goal is to race smart. I will DNF if I start to feel any significant pain.

Pro: Even though I really want to PR, it would be nice to just go out and race for fun, not for time. I’m even thinking about running without a Garmin (gasp!). I think it might be a good experience for me.
Con: Why am I paying for a flat, ugly (relatively, by Brazen standards) course if I can’t PR?

Those are the main arguments. (FYI: money/registration is not an issue.) Before I decide anything, I’m going to try jogging tomorrow and see how I feel. If it doesn’t hurt, I’m leaning towards running on Saturday because I feel like I can run smart. But maybe I’m actually being stupid (ironically), because I might get caught up in race day adrenaline?

What do you think? Yay or nay?

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Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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6 comments on “Should I or Shouldn’t I? You help me decide!
  1. Cathryn says:

    Hmmm. I think it depends on how tomorrow’s run goes. If you have no pain, then you could probably do the 10k but not race it – just do it for fun and get a medal. If you have any pain at all, I think you should drop out. The big thing here is SF2 isn’t it.
    What’s the surface like? I twisted my ankle a few months ago and ran on trails a few days afterwards when I was pain free. However I twisted my ankle on the trail as it was rocky and it hurt like stink!!!!

  2. I would race it if you can stick to your race plan (to run slowly and smart)! There will be better days for PRs. It would really stink if you ran too hard and made yourself worse for SF!

  3. Hillary says:

    I’m more of worry wart when it comes to ankles, but mostly because I sprained/strained? mine a few years ago playing volleyball & was stupid about it and continued to use it instead of resting it and recovery took like 6mo instead of a few weeks. That being said, my ankle is not your ankle (that would be weird, right?), but if it’s still bugging you and the trail run has the potential to challenge your ankle more than seems comfortable, I would be in the “bag it” camp. Also, how annoying would DNFing that race be? You’d have to limp off into the woods to get home, right? And then it’d still be a few miles worth of limping on an ankle that’s already angry with you. And you might get eaten by a bear (said the girl who clearly has very little train running experience).

  4. Dominick S. says:

    Let us know how the ankle feels after todays run…if it feels good then do it, if it feels slightly off…paaaaaasssssss.

  5. I vote no. Better safe than sorry PLUS you’ll get to sleep in. Sleeping in is good for ankles I hear… đŸ™‚

  6. Sherry says:

    I would err on the side of caution myself. I’d give it a week after it feels OK again to strengthen up before I do any serious running.
    Out of all your pros and cons, the one that really stands out to me is ‘why risk injury’. This race isn’t important to you but your A race is, so if in doubt I would base your decision on what is best for your A race.
    You can do a 10k anytime, and you’ll still have lots of fun going along to cheer on your friends!

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