“What on earth do they have to do with running,? you may be wondering.
Well, they all were a part of my long run Sunday. A beautiful 20-miler on a gorgeous fall day that I perfectly timed and mapped out to end at my daughter’s softball tournament.
Marred only by my spectacular, agony of defeat-style fall at mile 14. Sir Isaac was right: What goes up, must come down. Or to put it another way: Gravity is a Bitch.
I skidded across a pile of wet leaves to find that a rock was underneath. How did I find out? By faceplanting. Hard. Barely had time to put my hands out. My right shoulder and right knee took the brunt of the fall (was I attempting to Stop, Drop and Roll? Isn’t that for fires?), followed closely by the right side of my face. Ugh.
The fall did have a few casualties: my beloved and now-discontinued Oakleys and my headphones. My stupid $10 water bottle holder, of course, never even left my hand. My Garmin has a tiny scratch but is otherwise fine and I’m not proud to admit that I remembered to stop the timer when I fell so I wouldn’t mess up my pace tracker. Maybe I deserved to fall.
I was lucky, though. Much luckier than Colby in her Spring fall, and I think I even fared better than she did in her VT50 fall. As for my own record, I place this is slightly worse than last year’s wipe-out – I definitely got a little more banged up on Sunday. Are you sensing a pattern here? Suspecting that there is a good reason Colby and I do not perform on the balance beam? More on this later.
Anyway, I took a quick assessment of the bodily damage (starting with my teeth, which were all intact and still in my mouth, thank god) and concluded that all of the cuts that I could see were gross but not dangerous and I didn’t appear to break anything. Phew. I couldn’t see my face, but since I don’t use it for running, I figured I’d deal with it later. I dusted myself off, attempted to restore my dignity and equilibrium, and finished the rest of my run.
It wasn’t until I got to the softball tournament that I realized how banged up my face was. Before I was able to look in a mirror, I looked into the horrified face of my daughter and realized that I might have more than a few facial scratches. I ran up to the fence to wave at her, high on the adrenaline of a 20-mile run, epic fall and more than a few caffeinated sports beans, only to see her recoil in horror. I quickly was informed that I had a shiner, was bleeding from my chin and had road rash on the right side of my cheek.
My poor tween. She was mortified. All the other moms were there on time, appropriately clad in lululemon and sipping chai from recycled paper cups. I know the bubble over her head was asking how she ended up with the fool who came late in sweaty pigtails, off-brand running shorts, bleeding from the face and sporting slightly crazy eyes. She doesn’t yet know that you are always better off with a Quarter Horse in your corner than a Show Pony. But she will, someday. Until then, I feel her pain. I was 11 once, too. I did my best to fade into the background for the rest of the game.
Today was the first time I ran since Sunday and I knocked off 8 miles pretty easily, which was great. I think that confirms that my knee is fine, despite the lack of skin. My shoulder still hurts, but as long as my knee is fine, I am fine. My face will heal (unlike my Oakleys. RIP).
I can’t help but think that Colby and I are the Laverne and Shirley of runners. Ready, Set…Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Or maybe Lucy and Ethel. Why the hell do we keep falling? Does everyone else fall and just not talk about it? Or is this just yet another way in which we are two very special snowflakes? Seriously – what is wrong with us??? Katniss would not be proud and would not want us on her team and this bothers me more than it should.
Please feel free to share your own epic fall stories. Please. Let us know we are not alone.