Exceed Your Limits!

One Step and One Day at a Time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Running Really Doesn't Suck, Until........

You do a face plant - on a beautiful day, during the lunch hour, along Ruston Way where all the nice restaurants serve wonderful lunchtime delights!  Seriously, I don't even know where to start - or better yet, where to start again.  In case you missed it in the past, I struggle with running - I am slow, and just not a natural runner.  Recently I started running again, with the goal of training for a half marathon I am registered for in May.  Mind you, I registered LAST May for the race, thinking that would provide me the motivation to improve my running endurance and, therefore, speed as well. 

After several treadmill runs over the past few weeks, the weather here became just absolutely GORGEOUS!  So, I headed outside.  The first lunchtime run I completed a 5k with relative ease.  I was excited.  It also helped that I had a new toy - a Garmin run computer - that kept me entertained and intrigued.  I will provide a post on that on its own, because I LOVE my Garmin!

My training routine includes running three times a week for at least 45 minutes.  Because of the weather here in the Northwest, I will likely do a lot of my weekday runs on a treadmill unless we get nice weather and until the daylight hours are longer.  My weekends are my long run - adding a mile each weekend.  My plan is to run a 4:1 run:walk ratio - four minutes of running with one minute of walking.  For the half marathon I hope to will run the last 3.1 miles non-stop.  Anyway, my first weekend long run I set out to do 5 miles to start.  And, I DID IT - with relative comfort/ease and minimal soreness afterwards.  I was psyched because, you see, I hadn't done much running and 5 miles is the furthest I can ever remember running.  LIKE EVER IN MY LIFE!  I thought I was finding a love for running - until this past Monday when doubt literally crashed back in.

On Monday the weather was fantastic - sunny, clear, and predicted to be close to or over 60 degrees!  So, I planned a lunchtime run.  Honestly, as the morning wore on at work, I didn't want to go.  But, I forced myself out the door - as they say, the hardest step for any runner is the one out the door!  I set out on my run along a beautiful stretch of waterfront trail.  It was gorgeous, and I was so glad I had forced myself to take a lunch.  At 1.7 miles, I decided to turn around back towards my car.  At 1.71 miles, I was crossing a driveway to a really nice restaurant, trying to turn my music up on my MP3 player, and loving the view.  Only one problem: while I remembered at the end of the driveway as you enter the trail there is a rise in the pavement, I totally misjudged the rise and my foot struck it.

It was kind of like slow motion.  Honestly, I almost caught myself, but in the end I concentrated on missing the poles put there to keep cars from turning onto the trail (probably a good plan) and went down on my right arm, which of course was holding my music, and it totally gave way - leaving me to slam my chin into the pavement.  All I remember is turning over and looking at my hands covered in blood.  I remember mumbling "SWEEET" in a very sarcastic tone.  Next, I noticed a car approaching in the drive and the woman in the passenger seat pointing at me.  The man driving stopped to ask if I was ok, and I remember stammering, as I was checking my teeth for chips or breaks, "Yeah, I think I just banged up my face."  His response after looking at me closer out the window? "YEAH you did."  I remember thinking "THANKS, that is just what I need to hear right now [insert some expletive here]!"  So I picked myself up, removed my fleece and held it to my chin, and began the walk of shame - all 1.69 miles of it - back to my car.  That was one seriously LONG walk.

All in all I was fine.  No chipped or broken teeth.  Other than a nasty mess of a chin and a few x-rays of my jaw at the insistence of my boss when the next day I couldn't even talk normally (which proved there was no break) the publicly noticeable ramifications have been few.  A very sore shoulder (my shoulders dislocate fairly regularly), some swelling and headaches, and an extremely sore hand remind me of the incident, but hopefully will fade in a few days.  After a few days and ibuprofen, I think I am on the mend - physically.  (But really, a fall running and all THIS?????).  But my ego is bruised.  My confidence busted.  I was embarrassed and that is the worst injury of all for me.  That walk of shame, having to return to my office with a chin and hand dripping blood, actually taking sick time to take myself to the doctor, and either having people I know constantly ask what happened or having strangers stare wondering what happened, I am embarrassed.  Humiliated.  That is always a challenge for me.  So, I need to pick myself up and get back out there - remembering the most difficult step will the the first step out the door.

Just to show that there is some humor in this, here are some fun facts:

1.  My Garmin shows I was running a 9:28 mile at the time I fell - that is freakin' AWESOME for me.

2.  The Garmin graph plots along until it goes straight up at the time of impact to a dead stop - interesting analysis of my run!

3.  At least it happened while I was running, and not in a walk interval.

4.  Last Tri season you may remember my fear of crashing on my bike and I endured not one centimeter of road rash last year.  This year I get road rash on my FACE during a RUN!

5.  My kids keep asking "Did someone push you Mom?,"  "Did anyone help you Mom?"  "How exactly do you fall running Mom?"  They are confused as to how old Mom goes to work and says she ran at lunch and comes home looking like a crash victim!

6.  Friends and colleagues at work feel much better now about my lunchtime runs.....I can no longer count how many times I have heard "See, exercise is going to kill you!"

And, really, I NEED to get back out there - how can you beat this view:

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