You know how when things are going all kinds of good on that run and you are feeling great? Great weather, great location, great training team………great not so huge stick that falls under your foot just right that allows your face to kiss the pavement that you have been enjoying……yeah. Those things are the things I would rather not fall totally in line. But, alas, they did.
On the Saturday long run yesterday in Johnson Park I was sure the worst result from the run would be the ever mounting mosquito bites that were popping up all over my body. I had planned for a good 12 miles. I really needed to see if I started getting leg cramps after mile 6 as I have been since hitting training runs that distance and further. But as I hit 4.5 miles I knew that 12 probably was not going to happen. My feet were starting to really ache. And listening to the little things your body tells you is important. So I turned around. Now, my calves were still holding strong, so I was having hope that the previous times I have experienced the cramping it was most likely due to hills. But my feet were struggling. And around mile 7 the little, quick, finger snap type of cramps started to tell me I needed to stop. So I walked. Teammates passing, looking good. And don’t get me wrong, I still walked at a good pace, but running the rest of the way was just not good. And I realized at that time that my beloved split-toe, zero drop ToPo Athletics are not meant for distances longer than 5-6 miles. My feet, my legs, my body cannot handle a half-marathon in toe shoes.
So I walked. And as I was walking, I picked up the pace a little. Tammy and Lauren passed me running, our team always gives great encouragement. And as I see them run further this crazy, stick jumped out in front of me and tried to kill me!!! (Ok, that is an obvious exaggeration, but, you know). I stepped on it just right and it rolled my right foot out from under me and down I went. I managed to get my left hand down, and luckily did not break my wrist. As a matter of fact, surprisingly, I didn’t even scrape up my wrist. My knees hit hard, and I scraped that hell out of those, but surprisingly did not rip my pants (and they were my favorite ones, too!)
Now, my face, on the other hand, that was a bit of a different story. Scraped chin. Scraped upper lip. Bruised chin. No broken teeth, athough I wondered. I hit my chin so hard that it jammed my teeth, so they did hurt. Now my chin hit hard, and first. Hard enough to actually leave small red brusied circles of the rock pavement in my chin. Not really the kind of tattoos I am a fan of, but, oh well. Then my face went forward and scraped along. Luckily Tammy and Lauren were near enough to hear me and assist. I am ultimately grateful for my training team! We are a big group, and not all of us know each other. But, we all KNOW each other. And the running community (and tri community as well) is just a wonderful group of people we have here in Grand Rapids.
So, my big lesson from my fall? Just get up. And I did. I got up and walked the remaining mile back to the start. Had our team leader and others check things out and move on. Would I have rather not fallen? Yep. Could it have been worse? Um, yeah. But it is what it is. And I can keep running. Just gotta find the right long distance shoes though……
Till next time….