WARNING: This blog entry has blood in it! Not for the faint of heart! So much blood!
I recently was handed down an entry for Foot Traffic’s Flat Half Marathon, which happens on July 4. Realizing that this was only seven weeks away, and I haven’t been sticking to any kind of regular running routine, on Monday I decided to start training. I went to Hal Higdon’s website and printed out his intermediate level half-marathon training program, wrote July 4 on the last day, and worked backwards. That meant that as of Monday, I should have been near the end of week 5 of the training plan. Luckily it landed me exactly on a rest day, so it was easy to start there.
Yesterday was meant to be a three mile pace day (three miles at half-marathon race pace). I got two birds stoned at once by starting from A-Boy on Barbur, dropping off my ballot, and then running down Terwilliger. It was hot, I felt out of shape, and I had to poop, but it wasn’t too rough. The only bad part was when Pascal started pooping – it always makes me angry when I have to go and he just starts flaunting how he can go wherever he wants.
Today my training plan told me to run eight miles. A significant run when I haven’t done it lately, but I often go from not running at all to running upwards of ten miles. It usually results in some kind of injury, but the point is that I can do it. And so this morning I headed over to Leif Erickson, where I do most of my long runs. It was great weather, there were a bunch of people there but not so many that it was hard to park, and I was feeling pretty good, so I predicted that it was going to be a very excellent run.
The first 1.5 miles went pretty smoothly, other than general stiffness and still feeling a little out of shape. Then the trouble started: I brought my foot into a sticking-out-rock super hard, tripped, and almost face-planted into the ground. Thank goodness I have amazing reflexes, and was able to recover just in time, avoiding an embarrassing fall. At that point I told myself that today would be a good day to practice picking my feet up when I run, to double-extra make sure I don’t trip again.
After this close-call, the next mile went great. Sadly, the greatness ended there, because another giant pebble was sticking straight out of the ground and tripped me so hard that even my incredible reflexes couldn’t keep up. I landed pretty hard too, at which point I just sat there for a while, stunned. I know sometimes it may sound like I’m over-exaggerating my greatness in some areas, but I really am very coordinated. I absolutely cannot remember the last time I fell over (except in soccer, where usually it’s because someone pushed you). Falling over just isn’t something I do, so I was very surprised. Once I recovered from my surprise, I realized that falling over was actually a blessing in disguise, because now I had something fun to blog about! So I started taking pictures.
Next I took a picture of me, to illustrate how I was just sitting there and not knowing what to do. Aside from being surprised about falling, I was also in a decent amount of pain, so sitting there for a while longer seemed like the best course of action. Nobody came by during that time so I got to sit in peace.
I finally got up, and for half a second considered trying to just keep going with my run. Nothing felt terrible, and how am I supposed to do a half-marathon in seven weeks if I don’t get an 8-mile run in today? I was soon very happy that I didn’t try to do that. Instead I decided to just turn around and start walking back, in case the pain started to set in more after a bit. I was reminded of one time when I was at a Portland Power basketball game, and my mom gave me money to get some ice cream. I got excited and started running up the stairs, and fell, smashing my shin bone right into the corner of a concrete stair (which reminds me that I must point out that as coordinated as I claim to be, stairs are my Achilles’ heel – that and being drunk). The pain was excruciating, but I walked it off and it was fine. Until the next day when I couldn’t walk at all. So after this fall, even though I wasn’t in quite that much pain to start, I realized that it might hurt later, and I should be gentle on myself. After a while I ran a little bit, confirming that running was a bad idea. Before I started running at all, I let Pascal off his leash because my hands were too scraped up to try to hold on to him with it. He immediately sprinted away.
The main things that hurt were my left knee and the scrapes on the palms of my hands. But as was getting up, I took a look at my left forearm for the first time, and saw that I had grown an egg on my arm! Much like the leg egg I got last year when somebody kneed me in the shin. I took care not to leave my arm egg out of the pictures.
The upper-left picture is right after it happened. Notice how it pops right out! It looked much bigger in real-life of course. The one right below it was when I got home. It was still just as big, but the whole area around it had started to swell so it’s not as defined. The lower right is my other arm, so you can see what my arm is supposed to look like, only in reverse. The upper-right is now, when it’s turning colors. My mom says I burst a blood vessel, and she is a doctor so that must be true. If you’re just starting to read this blog now, click here for elaboration on my mom’s doctor-ness.
Finally, here is the blood I promised you:
I know, it’s not that much, but I didn’t want to make anyone look at blood unless they really wanted to. The picture on the left is right after it happened. The one in the middle is once I got home and it had gotten a little messier, and the right picture is of just now, when it’s all cleaned up and swollen. You can also see what a nice pedicure I just got. As I was walking back, I hoped that the amount of blood coming out of my leg would be sufficient to make someone stop and ask me if I was okay and I would say “yes but please can I have some of your water to rinse out my wounds real quick?” and then they would give me water to do just that. Mostly for my hands, because the scrapes were full of dirt and hurt really bad if I moved them at all. Instead, nobody noticed at all, or they did and didn’t say anything. I know it didn’t look that bad, but I probably walked by twenty people or so. Rude! The only people I forgive are the two girls who were having an in-depth conversation about pizza toppings, because that’s enough to distract anyone from a limping/bleeding person who crosses their path. But I really did want to make sure that I got my wounds cleaned as soon as possible, so I could clean out the flesh-eating bacteria that might be growing in them like that woman from Georgia got. This is legitimately terrifying. I cleaned my wounds when I got home.
Note: when I say “Rude!” please imagine it said in a similar tone of any of the people in this poorly-done montage:
I’m back at home now, recovering. In lieu of flowers, please send knee pads or cash. Because really the worst part of all this is that I can’t work when my hands are all scraped up (I am a hand model). Thanks in advance for all of your kind words and gifts!