Confession: I fall off my bike a lot. I love it dearly, but it’s fast and scary. (Yes, I’m wearing a helmet.) The last time I took my bike out for a ride, I crashed into a light pole I was trying to grab on to so I could unclip from the pedals quickly. I’ve kind of concluded that it will take a miracle for me to get better at cycling.
Second confession: In the hundreds of miles I’ve logged outside, I’ve only ever had a “tumble” when running. It wasn’t even a legitimate fall. It was, to say the least, weak sauce when it came to falls.
That’s an epic bad wrist sprain thanks to a stupid broken sidewalk that I missed.
Let’s back up to this morning: Jennie and I were planning a noon 15-mile run through my very small city. Tracy is literally five miles each way, not counting the outlining areas, and pretty easy to navigate around. I have five, six, nine and 10 mile paths that are my “go-tos” when I need those distances. I usually do my long runs in an adjacent community where I know the paths, the sidewalks and basically feel comfortable about not getting cat calls (I’m not the cutest girl, but men can’t seem to resist yelling “hey baby!” or whistling as I run by).
Today, we decided on a Tracy run. That meant I needed a new plan since I didn’t want to repeat my five-milers three times.
We started out slow. It’s March 1, but it’s been pleasantly nice in California. I’d say it was somewhere in the 70s today, which was hard on us if only because we are so used to cold-weather running. My legs took forever to warm up. We got lost, my fault, once. And as we were finally getting our stride, I turned back and said something to Jennie…
All of that happened.
I had missed a part of the sidewalk that was sticking up. In broad daylight. And I was the spotter, the lead runner. I basically failed at my job today. (I’m also always the one with the headlamp, go figure.)
I think Jennie was so awestruck she didn’t know what happen.
She tried to pick me up off the ground as I rolled there, half stunned. The fall took my breath away. I got up and started walking.
I’ll premise this next stuff by saying this: Jennie is a mom.
She’s not just a mom. She’s a pretty excellent mom. And therefore Jennie went all mom on me (I’m not being patronizing, I’m actually really glad she did).
I got up and started walking. I was a little off. I couldn’t hear out of my right ear (!!!!). I was wobbly at best. My chest hurt. And the world around me kept getting black. I told her all these things.
“I’m going to call Chris to come get us,” she said, taking my phone. Chris is her husband. He was home today too (Jennie had off, I stepped away from my freelance stuff to run).
“We need to get you ice,” she said.
Twenty minutes later, we were stocking up on ice packs, bandages and Peeps (don’t judge me) at CVS, which happened to be right down the street from where I fell.
Jennie did an emergency wrap in the car. I was still kind of fuzzy.
Jennie also did something that I wouldn’t have done myself: She told me the run was over. No ands, ifs or buts. The run was over. I was to go home, take Ibuprofen, apply ice and rest.
That’s why I love Jennie. When she means business, she means business.
So I was all iced-up. I’m still feeling a little woozy. But my legs, which took a hard hit, don’t hurt, outside of a new war wound that isn’t too bad. I was surprised, actually, that my Nike Retro capris didn’t rip. I think if I’d been wearing any other pair of capris, I’d have a hole as big as my knee where I hit.
And let’s ignore the fact that I don’t shave my legs well.
Five hours later, I’m grateful for a few things. The first is that Jennie’s husband came and got us. I don’t think I would have been able to walk home. I barely got to CVS. We were about two miles from home. (Again, not long, but long enough when you can’t see anything right.) He’s a good guy like that.
The second thing is that Jennie has enough good sense for the two of us. She knew, despite my initial protests, that there was no way I’d finish this run, no matter how much I wanted it. And I did want it. This marathon training cycle has been so messed up that I really just want some good training runs so I know I’m ready for the April 7 marathon in San Luis Obispo.
I’m also grateful I’m not hurt worse than I am.
I’m a little wobbly still. I feel a little nausea as well. Jennie says I might have hit my head. I can’t remember if that happened (would I?), but I know I’m feeling off balance.
I have a wrap around my wrist, but it hurts far above where it stops as well.
I told my husband that’s what happens when 170 pounds falls hard on the ground. I’m not a light woman. I may not look that big, but my legs are pretty heavy. (When I started marathon training years ago, I weighed 160. I haven’t gained any inches per se, but I’ve gained weight. So it’s muscle, thank you very much.)
The Garmin, replaced as of November before the marathon, also is a little worse for the wear.
I’m pretty sure I looked down at it and was disappointed as Jennie was trying to hold me all together.
My legs are surprisingly feeling OK right now. I’m planning to do a short run with Sam tomorrow in fact. My arm and upper body aren’t feeling as great. I told Jennie it’s like I got hit by a car. There’s a lot of pain.
That said, my wrist movement, while slightly unbearable, isn’t enough to keep me away from work (or my blog).
But I’m saying it: Sometimes running sucks. For me it’s usually when my calves hurt so bad I can’t go any further and my body feels like giving up.
Even more: How come more cities don’t mark sidewalks when they are screwed up? I know that’s a lot to ask for. And I know my regular routes have marks where the sidewalk is broken, cracked or peaking up a little. Could I have been paying more attention? Yes, definitely. But still. A hazard is a hazard.
Speaking of which, I’m considering investing in this sign:
Not so much for the route, but for me. After ramming the woman at Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena and taking myself out today, I’m starting to think I may be the problem.
But I consider myself pretty cautious. I run at night with a headlamp and pepper spray. I scout the roads and crossings before we cross. I’m pretty vigilant. Except today. So how do I avoid being the tripping hazard?