Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If A Tree Falls In the Forest, Will You Hear Me Scream When I Trip Over It?

This past Sunday, I reached two distinctive mileposts in my running (mis)adventures:
I ran 8 miles.
I fell.

I rejoice at the 8 miles because it's a personal distance record for me. I'm training for a half marathon and clearly am still early in the process. I was doing really well and then came down with a respiratory virus that's been going around here. The crud sidelined me for 12 days, and when I went back to running earlier in the week, I was incredibly tired and just couldn't reach my previous mileage.
                                                                            Here   Sidelined for almost 2 weeks...
So Sunday, I was psyched to get out there and kill my long run. It was a little on the chilly side, which I love, with a pretty nippy wind blowing. Perfect! I don't "glow" as much when the weather is like that. A race was being held at our usual location, a really nice greenway, so my husband and I decided to try a nearby park. We'd never been, but I had heard there was a nice lake with trails in the surrounding woods.
                                                                               Here  Nice wind blowing....
So off we went. Talk about rugged! The trail started out innocently enough, a flat pressed dirt trail around the lake. But once it entered the woods, it became another animal entirely.
                                                                               Here   Like a jungle in there...
Every foot or so were huge, tangled roots. Trees were downed all around, branches and sticks littering the trail. The path was eroded everywhere, so there were large dips and swells to bound up and down at difficult angles. We had to squeeze between trees in quite a few places.

We should have left. But I'm not a quitter, and since I'd been recently sick, I really, really wanted to get a long run in.

That was, literally, my downfall. My desire to run got the better of my judgment. At one point, I was zipping along, picking up speed, and then my shoe caught in a root, and I went sprawling.
                                                                          Here   Just like that....
As I fell, I had nanoseconds to think, "This really isn't good." I'd been going at a brisk pace, so the momentum carried me forward pretty quickly. I slid a good three feet along that forest floor like a Hoover, picking up pine needles, twigs, pebbles, and I think a small squirrel.
                                                                            Here   Pulled out of my ear...
When I hit, I hit hard on my right knee and shoulder. My head bobbed down on impact and my chin started scraping along the ground. In slow motion, I was yelling inside my head, "Nooooooooooooooo, not the faaaaaacccccceeeeeeeee!" So I lifted my head up like a trumpet swan, diving along the rough terrain. Have you seen the old movie Romancing The Stone? Remember the scene where Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas are in the rain forest and start slipping down side of the mountain? That was how I felt.  I slid sideways across the path and finally came to a stop.
                                                                               Here    Only dirtier, and not as glamorous...
I was amazed at how badly it hurt when I hit. When you're a kid and you fall, it's no big deal at all. You jump right up and go on with what you're doing. When you're 53, you lie there a little while, stunned, and then take a quick personal inventory. Anything broken? Don't think so. Chin and hand scraped up, yes. Shoulder hurting like the dickens. Knee-- uh-oh. I can't have anything happen to my knee! I'm running a race in March!!
                                                                            Here   NOT a child anymore!!
My husband, who had been walking the same route that I'd been running, eventually caught up to me and helped me up. My knee didn't want to support my weight at first, but as I limped along, it got better. We decided to leave immediately, and go back to our greenway. The race was over by then. When we got there, I ran an additional 5 miles, slowly and gingerly, but I made the mileage.

After getting home, I took a hot bath with epsom salts and then iced my knee for a while. We had dinner plans so went ahead with them.

That night,  I loaded up on ibuprofen. I gobbed up my backside with some sports creme. Ever see how red that makes you? Reminds me of an orangutan.... But I learned a lesson. At 53, if you're a klutz, forget the path less traveled. I'm keeping on the paved trails for a while.
                                                                                   .Here   Ouch....   


  1. I am so glad you are OK! I remember that scene and if i remember it Michael Douglas came out pretty good in it! :)

    So, the moral of your story is to not run in the woods unless you are with a handsome movie star or that Vic has to hold on to you as you run?

  2. Lol, I think the moral for me is to remember I'm old and not a Bumble! (Because we all remember, "Bumbles bounce!"

  3. Thanks! Please check back often!

  4. Jay and I cracked up with your,"what?" where on earth did you find that hysterical creature?
    Loved your Hoover analogy, Patsy. You give me great laughs!

  5. I had to use Jay's quote, "gobbed up my backside" and I put the cartoon in just for you Mary!! I'm glad you're enjoying the posts. I've been having so much fun writing them.

  6. Laughed so hard, Patsy! I loved the description of falling...you're so right about what we think of in those few nano-seconds. Thanks for the laughs.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog, and I am laughing right along with you!