After being sick for half the week, I was still able to get 11 miles in last week, which I was happy about. On Thursday night, I went out for a quick 3 miler with my Nike crew. It was an absolutely gorgeous night in Boston, and a mile in, I pulled off my light jacket and ran in a tank top. The warm weather of course, didn’t last. But then again, I do live pretty far up north, so 65 degree days in March are not what I expect. Either way, I felt good on the run and was hyped for the 8 miler I had coming up on Saturday.Saturday morning arrived and it was a sunny, beautiful day. The temperature was in the low 40’s, which is ideal for me. I was excited for a new route, and for the opportunity to get some miles in.
I put my sunglasses on and headed out with my pace group, happy to have Jay as one of my pacers. We ran an 8 mile route that included the Emerald Necklace, which is a park that runs through Boston. It was lovely running along the paths with the sun coming through the trees. Pretty quickly into the run I warmed up and peeled off my jacket, running along being kept cool and comfortable by the light wind.
There turned out to be what I’ll call a cross country portion of the route where we ran through the woods. The first part of the wooded run was up hill and I coached myself to be careful of roots, tree branches, and uneven footing. I made it through unscathed. Our route was an out and back, so after the turn around, we ran back through the woods, this time, downhill. Again, I coached myself to be aware of the roots, branches, rocks, leaves, and tree stumps. As it turned out, my eyes missed a root. I tripped, fell, and landed flat on my face. I didn’t actually hit my face, but I hit everything else. I quickly realized that I hadn’t twisted anything, so I scurried to get up and keep going. My fellow pace group members asked if I was okay and I muttered that I was. I was more embarrassed than hurt from the fall. As I ran along, I looked down at my hands because they were both stinging pretty badly. I realized that the thumbies on my shirt had saved me from having completely skinned palms. My shirt was dirty, but that could be washed. After looking at my hands, I realized that my left knee hurt a bit. Admittedly most concerned that I’d torn my relatively new, pricey yet wonderful Nike running tights, I stopped to check things out. The knees of my tights were dirty, but thankfully not torn. I pulled up my tight on my left leg to expose my knee so that I could survey the damage. It was red and cut up a little bit, but it wasn’t bleeding, so I rolled by tights back down and kept going.
The fall happened around mile 5, so I had about 3 miles to finish before the run was done. My hands were stinging and my knee was a little sore, but the pain wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. Once I got back to the store, I sat down and took a better look at the damage I’d done. It turns out that my left knee was totally skinned. Ouch. I cleaned the cut and headed off to CVS to buy the oversized bandages that come 6 to a package for $10 because the cut was too large for a regular band-aid.
It’s now a few days later and my knee is still sore and it’s pretty bruised. But hey – these things happen. Thankfully I’m not a runner who trips too frequently. The last time something like this happened to me was about 4 years ago. I think the important take away here is that once I realized that I wasn’t seriously injured, I kept going. To me, this is what running is about. Being a runner will test your perseverance. Sometimes you feel sluggish, other times you fall and skin a body part. But as long as you’re physically okay, you just have to overcome and keep going. And so that’s what I do. If I can do that, you can too.
A moment after the fall…