Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hazards of Running

This past week, Hans and I had been planning a run.  I was lamenting over the fact that I would not be able to participate in a Wednesday night group run to see Christmas lights, so Hans suggested we go out on our own.  We were getting off work early on Friday, so an evening run was possible.  Hans would ride his bike, and I would run the 12 miles I had originally planned for Saturday.  This was a great opportunity for bonding.

At 6:00pm, I was lucky Hans was going with me.  I was tired from the events of the day, and I really wanted to just stay at home.  Hans, however, was really looking forward to going out, so I put on my running clothes and we headed off.

Around mile 2, I started feeling sick.  I handed my fuel belt and my jacket to Hans, and I immediately felt better.  On a side note, I really like having someone bike next to me while I run.  Hans could carry my supplies, and I didn't have to worry about things like getting to hot or too cold.  Around mile 3, I finally started to hit my groove.  This is a normal time for me to really get into a run, and I was finally getting relaxed.  Hans and I chatted gaily and pointed out Christmas decorations we really liked and decorations we really hated.  At mile 4, we paused briefly for our own little SAG stop, and I was happy we were already one-third of the way done.  Time was passing nicely.

Then, shortly after our break, something happened.  Something that, until last night, I could proudly proclaim had never happened to me on a run.  I tripped.  I was running on the sidewalk (which are more like rough trails in the city) and misjudged a drop.  The next thing I knew I was landing on the ground.  Apparently I had been moving at a pretty good clip, because I couldn't seem to stop the fall at all.  First my knees, then my hands, and then, to my horror, I felt my face skid on the pavement.

I heard a grunt come out of me, and then came the slew of curses.  I was mad at myself for falling, I was worried that I had seriously hurt myself, and I was upset because I feared the run might have to end.  Luckily, Hans was right there to help me asses the situation.  We poured water over the cuts on my hands, and I stretched out a little.  I could keep going, so off we went.

Unfortunately, I never found that relaxing stride again.  The fall had jarred me, and I ached.  My knees, face, and hands hurt from where I'd fallen, and I really just wanted to relax in a hot bath.  I had to pause at a local store for a bathroom break, and I had an extremely difficult time running again after that.  I could feel my stride had changed.  My feet weren't landing the right way, and my back ached.

Finally, just past mile 11, so close to the finish, I had to stop.  Hans offered to bike the mile home and get the car, but I figured I could walk.  It was a very painful walk, and even just 2 blocks from the house I almost asked Hans to get the car so I wouldn't have to walk another step.  When we finally made it home, I sat in a chair, washed my wounds, and applied Neosporin.

Today, I ache.  Some of the ache is just that of a long run, but most of it is so much more.  My shoulders and back hurt.  My glutes hurt.  My feet hurt.  I probably should have gone for a swim, but I was too worried that the water on my scrapes would sting too much.  I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow, but today is one for rest and recovery.

So, now I've had my first big issue on a run.  I'm proud of myself for running 7 additional miles, even if I didn't make it to the full 12.  I'm proud of myself for walking the last mile instead of having Hans come back and pick me up.  Heck, I'm even a bit proud of the road rash on my face that gives me a little street cred.  All I can say is it's a good thing I love this running thing, or else last night would have ended it for me!

After my run, as I try to tend to my wounds.  Trust me, it feels worse than it looks.

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