As you can tell from our recent posts, the PMC experience left me and Colby walking on air.
But my 20-mile run the other day brought me right back down to earth.
More specifically, my major-scale wipeout at mile 10 brought me straight down, face first, to the ground.
You know how skiers sometimes have “yard sale” falls? Man down, equipment flying everywhere? Well, I managed to achieve one on foot. Quite the spectacular accomplishment, if I do say so myself. (Pats self on back)
As I was running past a very crowded preschool playground – oh yeah, lots of witnesses, size 4T – I reached for my sports beans at the same time that the sidewalk became a little choppy. One minute I was up, the next, I was flying toward the ground. It happened so fast that I am surprised that I had time to block my face from kissing the sidewalk.
Everything I had with me – my mp3, my water bottle, those damn sports beans, my sunglasses, MY DIGNITY – went flying. In different directions, of course.
Many small faces peered in horror through the fence lining the playground. Why does this nonsense never happen in privacy? All those times I ran at 5 AM with only a few deer to see me. Embarrassing fall couldn’t have happened then? Yeesh. Now, thanks to me, there will be a whole generation of Fairfield students who will “Just Say No” to running.
It took me a second to realize what had happened. Then it was time to pick myself up and assess the damage. Right knee: huge scrape, lots of blood. Right hand – scraped palm, moderate bleeding. Right shoulder and elbow: heavy road rash; no blood. Face & head: unharmed. Teeth: still in mouth & attached. Nothing broken or swollen. Garmin, mp3, clothes & sneakers – intact.
Damn, I was lucky.
For me, eating and running is like texting and driving. Not advisable. I’m the person who has to slow to a near stop at race water stations because attempting to drink while running just results in me watering my shirt. Perhaps I need to slow down more to get out my beans, as well (ya think?).
Multi-tasking is apparently not something I can manage during a long run. Not too surprising, really – I have plenty of names- first name, middle name, confirmation name, maiden name, married name, plenty of nicknames. At least 8-10 names that I will readily answer to, but not one of them is “Grace.” No accident there.
On the plus side, I accomplished my first 20 mile run in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27! Finished well despite the bumps and bruises.I was much slower than I would like, but I don’t think I can blame that on the fall. I just have been really slow lately. Feel steady and strong, but SLOW. Not sure what is up with that.
I have been reading a lot about marathon training and one thing that everyone seems to echo is that you have to be prepared for the unexpected on race day – that things often don’t go as planned. I take some small comfort in knowing that I can probably survive a large-scale wipeout in a marathon and continue on. I just hope I don’t have to prove it on race day.
Although I was a bit intimidated by the idea of a 20-mile run, it was really manageable. If I hadn’t wiped out, I may have even found it pleasant. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I was happy to stop when the time came. Yes, my muscles were starting to feel fatigued. But I wasn’t dizzy or weak or nauseated or depleted. In fact, I felt pretty well at the end of the run.
Other than the bleeding knee & hand, banged up elbow & shoulder and injured pride, of course.