I’m no stranger to falling while on the run.
Remember when this happened last year?
I still have a dark circular scar on my right knee from that fall.
I hope I don’t have any scars from today’s run.
It was a Saturday morning trail run at Cougar Mountain. It was supposed to be a 10-mile trail run — my last long run before next week’s 25K race.
I was running with Bryce and less than one mile into the run, I fell. I tripped over a rock (during a flat part of the trail), and completely wiped out. My left hand got scraped as well as my left elbow. But, my leg got the worst of it. There was blood dripping down to my sock. (After the run I realized that my ankle also got beat up so the blood could have been from that).
Bryce, who was ahead of me turned around since I yelled. I don’t know if actual words came out of my mouth but some type of noise did. He asked me if I was OK and helped me to my feet. He retrieved my handheld water bottle that had fallen out of my grasp and was now on the side of the trail.
I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.
My left leg was burning. It hurt.
“Do you want to go back to the car?” he asked me.
I stopped my watch — our time was still running — and saw that we had only been out running for 0.95 mile.
“No,” I mumbled back.
With not even one mile done, I wasn’t going to quit.
We stood there for a bit as I regained composure. He told me that we should pour some of my water on my wounds since there was dirt all over the cuts on my leg. I didn’t want to, mainly because I didn’t want to waste my precious drinking water. We compromised and he only poured a little bit of water on it.
We continued on our run, with me hobbling behind. Now I was being overly cautious with my head practically down the entire time. I wasn’t going to let another rock (or perhaps a tree root or uneven crevice) take me down again! But this meant that I continued on at a way slower pace. Plus, my leg hurt with every step I took so it wasn’t like I was that into running in the present moment.
“This is why I should stay a road runner,” I negatively thought to myself.
I had to make a pit stop to use a portapotty at one of the trail heads. We had only been running for maybe two or three miles. I wanted to give up at that point. I wanted to give up at many points along this run.
After my pit stop, we started to climb up and up. I was feeling pretty negative thoughts but Bryce was supportive and kept yelling words of encouragement.
If I had been alone, I would have stopped. I would have walked all the way back to the car.
At one point there was a 1,500-foot climb and we did it in about 25 minutes. Every step I took felt dreadful but when we finally arrived at the top, I was happy that I didn’t quit.
And later on when we were stopped at a fork in the trail, another runner stopped to read the nearby trail sign. We exchanged a few hellos and he commented that I didn’t look very enthused to be on a run. Bryce replied that we had just run up the very hilly part and the guy responded that that is a steep part and added, “That’s why I take fake-streching breaks!”
We ended our run just short of seven miles. I couldn’t do any more. I felt a little discouraged that I quit early on our run. But, I was extremely thirsty and hungry. (I only brought along one pack of Gu, which was a mistake).
The run back to the car was going to be just to refill my water bottle.
However, once we arrived back to the parking lot, I knew I was done. I would not be going back out there today.
But, I could have quit at mile 0.95 when I took the spill.
So, I’ll say the near-seven miles was a victory.
And, let’s be real. Taking a shower hurt way more than the actual fall did.
I’ve also continued to wear shorts the entire weekend because having material touch any part of my lower leg hurts.
Work will be interesting this week.