Search for running injuries on the internet and you’ll see a variety of running induced issues – Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Runner’s Knee, Ankle Sprains, Shin Splints, Blisters, Chafing, etc. I’ve suffered many of these maladies over the years, as well as several I didn’t even list. But today I suffered a dumb one, one that I had only suffered once before – I fell down, go boom.
You would think that I would have mastered not falling down while running, but sometimes dumb stuff like this happens. The first time this happened to me was on April 22, 1991. How do I know this? Well, it’s written down in the running log!
It was a memorable fall. It was my girlfriend and future wife’s birthday and I was doing one last 10 mile run three days out from my first marathon, because that was what newbies who didn’t know any better did back in those days. And the trail I ran on had a portion that was next to a railroad lot where they parked trucks and equipment. In the gravel was a wire hanger that was partially buried. I caught my foot on in it and down I went, scraping up my hands and knees pretty good. The scariest part, I was three days away from my first marathon. I ran on egg shells the rest of the way home.
Okay, back to today’s fall. I was about 10.75 miles into a 12 mile run and my concentration was diverted to this minivan than had pulled up along side of an entrance next to the nature preserve running trail. This guy gets out and starts running to the gate and I’m wondering what the heck is going on. So I was kind of watching them over my shoulder when my foot got caught on a bumped up, broken crack portion of the trail. Now usually I can stumble my way out of those types of trips and catch myself. Not this time. Fortunately for me, I was pretty heavily padded with running gear, since it was 26 degrees out and I was freezing.
The fall was pretty typical, I couldn’t get the tripped leg back under me fast enough and I put my hands out to catch myself. It happened super quick, and I didn’t really have time to think at all. But I was pretty impressed with my catch and roll. It was like text book. If I had to do it over again, I probably would eliminate the verbal “UGGGHHH” sound I made as I hit the ground, but it was pretty unavoidable.
As I got up, the palm of my hand was vibrating and I thought that I had sprained my wrist pretty good. I got to my feet and assessed myself. I could walk, that was good. My hand hurt, but I could move it okay. All that was left was to pick up my pride and finish the run.
I got home and surveyed the damage. The palm of the hand had been what had really concerned me, but the glove I was wearing limited any bruising or abrasions. But I could sense something wrong with my outer knee. I pulled up my pant leg and saw a pretty good abrasion. My son and his girlfriend where listening to my story and were surprised to see the damage. I figured I might need to show this to my wife, you know, for spousal support reasons. I needed a “mommy.”
She was shocked, but she didn’t kiss it. I also had another abrasion on my left elbow, but it was smaller and didn’t hurt much. Didn’t hurt until I got into the shower, that is. Then it hurt like heck. I put some antibacterial ointment on it, and now I’m healing. I should be good to go again soon.
At this rate I should fall again in another 26-27 years, sometime around 2043. I’ll keep you posted.