Monday, July 12, 2010

My Annual Fall


For the past 3 years, like clockwork, I take a fall while running. Not sure what happens but my feet trip over some mysterious object, I flail my arms wildly taking giant, heavy steps to try to futilely regain my balance and...then BAM! Tri Grrl go down; go boom. Those who have witnessed my annual elusive fall claim I fall with style. I think I look a bit like Superman. My arms shoot forward and I tip forward like a chopped-down tree, performing a not-so-graceful belly flop on the ground. This time would not disappoint...

I've been trying desperately to get back into shape. No upcoming races, no goals, just working out. It's fun and freeing. So relaxing. Back to basics. Unfortunately, I've been having a monster of a time waking up early. Sunday morning, I woke up at 6:30 am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, which would probably be the first and last time my physiology would support this energy state in about 5 years, past and future. I jumped on the opportunity.

I got up, showed my running shoes to the boys (Floyd and Travis), who immediately started salivating and doing mini-360s. We grabbed the leashes and set off down the trail. Travis sprinted out the gate, pulling us along at a impossible, blistering pace. Floyd, like me, takes awhile to warm up. We slogged along, wearily following eager Travis.

Finally, after a mile or so, Floyd and I started settling in. Travis, like clockwork, slowed and matched our pace. The pack was in sync. I loped along easily, my breathing settled, and, for the first time since I've started working out again (a few weeks), I started feeling good. Ah, the elusive runner's high.

Just when I was starting to really enjoy myself, reflecting on past fuzzy memories of 20-mile trail runs and marathons, my toe caught a rock. I stumbled, trying to catch myself. For one fleeting moment, I thought I had it, as I took several clodhopper steps to try and save myself. But, alas, no, it was not to be. Down I went. My hands flew forward but the momentum was too much. I landed knees, thighs, stomach, hands, and then, smack!, chin. Blood gushed onto the rocks and dirt beneath. A sharp stinging sensation pulsed on my chin, my jaw ached, and my head pounded. Shit!

Two years ago, I had continued a run like this with a concussion, only to deeply regret this rash decision later. I would not exhibit such silly bravado today. Using my running tee (sporting an ultra runner logo "Out 'n Back") to stop the bleeding, I held the cloth to my chin as I walked gingerly back towards home, head hung low, run stopped short.

Once home, I assessed the damage. I was relieved to see that the cut had already stopped bleeding and would not require stitches. All my teeth were in place. Although tired, ice and ibuprofen stopped much of the pain. Thankfully, I have no serious injuries. So I survived my requisite annual fall without too much drama or inconvenience. I'll try again tomorrow.

Previous Years' Falls:


8 comments:

bunnygirl said...

Glad you're okay. One of the many reasons I carry a bandanna with me on my runs is to bandage myself up after a fall.

Southern Cernock said...

I have not yet fallen while running but i occassionally roll my ankle really well. i did it a couple weeks ago three times during my run, and my calf was so sore the next day. glad you're okay.

Jack said...

I can totally relate to this sickness, my annual fall usually occurs in August, so far I have only required stiches once...

Christi said...

I do the same thing but my annual fall is from my bike. I have not idea why but once a year I take a big fall on the big and add more scars to both knees or shins. It is no fun!

I am glad that you were not hurt too bad!

Wes said...

We are going to have to put some bumper guards on you :-)

Colleen said...

Oh no... glad that you are alright! I fell last September when running, did the whole "hit the chin thing", and it's horrible. Hope you recover fast!

RoadBunner said...

Oh, man. I am glad you are not seriously hurt. When I saw the photo I assumed you had fallen on your bike, not on a RUN! Wowza!

Backpacker said...

Not a good tradition. I suggest an annual renewal of your mile high club membership instead.