Today was a significant milestone for me. I completed my first road race since my ankle surgery, a small 5k in downtown Austin. It was pretty much what I expected: slow (9:15/mile pace). The weather was a nice crisp 46 F with a strong wind blowing out of the northwest. My left foot and ankle were sore for the first mile or so but then they calmed down and by the end I was running comfortably. It felt good to try to run hard and try to push my limits some although it wasn't until the last couple of hundred meters that it started feeling good instead of like work.
I've made good progress with a few setbacks over the last several weeks. Three weeks ago my ankle's swelling was less than it's been since the surgery and I was able to see my ankle bones. So the next week I tried to run every day, nice and easy. I also extended my long run out to 4.5 miles. This made my ankle start swelling again and I started feeling pain on the outside of my left foot and ankle and having a lot of swelling again. I had a 6 month followup with my doctor last Tuesday and while he was happy with my progress he wasn't happy with the swelling and pain in the foot and thought that it might be the result of overpronation and he referred me to an orthotic specialist.
I'm not so sure about the need for an orthotic because neutral cushioned shoes feel good and stability shoes hurt my feet. Before dumping $300-$400 on custom orthotics I went down to the running store and bought some Superfeet over the counter orthotics. In my Saucony's they raise my heel some and make my heels slip a little so I have to tighten the shoes more. But in my new Nike Zoom Victorys they felt completely natural and my foot and ankle feel good this evening so maybe they are helping. I'll see over the next few weeks.