Getting Back Up


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…

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