As I left for my long run just before dawn, Greg shouted from bed, “Have fun and be careful.” He always shouts, “Be careful,” but the “Have fun” was an inviting addition. I had already decided to scale back my mileage after being so zapped running 10 miles last Saturday. I’ll run 7, I decided, the final mile swinging back by to pick up Greg.
Starting out on the first 6-mile leg, I decided if I wasn’t going to run far, I was going to run fast. (Well fast for me anyway.) I always start with a 10 minute mile or a close to 10 minute mile for my warm up and then for long runs I usually settle in to a 9 minute mile pace, sometimes slipping into the high 8s when I’m running downhill. I’m not looking to break any records, just spend an hour or so getting some exercise and exploring some interesting places outdoors. Today my warm up mile was at 9 and I just kept speeding up! Mile two was even quicker, Mile three I was at 8:25, by mile four I was almost at 7…then I was flying.
No, I was quite literally flying through the air with my body parallel to the sidewalk. Then with a jarring slam, the whole length of my body was crashing into the sidewalk. I fell? Really? That has never happened before. As I counted my blessings that my pavement encrusted hands were the only part of me bleeding, I took inventory. Palms: stinging pretty bad, elbows: slightly scraped, knees: somehow untouched. I looked around from my cozy spot on the cement, to see if anyone was going to try to help me. Nope, I was all alone. Well, at least no one had witnessed my stupidity! I carefully got up, and brushed myself off. I walked back to see what tripped me. All I could see was a slight (possibly ¼ inch) rise between sidewalk squares. Could my toe have possibly caught on that and sent me sailing? I wondered if I should call Greg to come get me and then a horrid thought raced through my mind. My iphone was in my flip belt and I had landed on my stomach. I imagined the shattered screen as I pulled it from its sleeve to find it in pristine shape. I sat down on a low wall in someone’s frontyard to make sure I was all right. I felt a little twinge in my hip, like a glute was somewhat out of wack but other than that and my hamburger palms, I felt fine.
So I decided to finish my run. Well, I decided to see if I could finish my run. No more testing my short little legs and their ability to run speedy miles for today. I took the next mile at an 11-minute pace, stopping at a water fountain to drink and rinse my stinging bloody hands. Once clean, my left hand revealed only tiny scrapes, but my right hand had a few gravel-sized dents in it. Seeing that the wounds were very superficial, I ran the last mile home at a gentle 9:50 pace.
The last mile went by fast because Greg joined me. I saw him at the corner and when I joined him, he asked how my run had been. “Another first,” I declared and showed him my hands. I thought he might scold me for not being careful but he was just really concerned. He asked if I wanted to cut it short, but I really felt like finishing. The 7th mile was at 9:13, not too bad for ol’ gravel hands. When I got home I had a date with the hydrogen peroxide bottle, that was none too fun. At first I felt a little silly that I fell, but then I realized I just ticked another box in the runner’s world. I ate it! I’d never eaten it before. Why did I eat it? Because I was really pushing myself to go fast and my form was probably compromised. Why did I need to eat it? I needed to learn something about myself as a runner. I learned that I probably drag my feet a bit when I’m working hard, possibly catching the toe on the uneven sidewalk, so I need to spend some time working on form while doing speed work. I don’t like the sound of speed work. I hear serious runners talk about it and, it sounds like, well, work! I want to have fun! Perhaps maybe doing a little work will result in my fun not being interrupted by a fall next time. I have no idea how to begin with speed work. Any advice runner friends?
Anyhow, here were our meals for day 13 gluten-free:
Breakfast: Recovery shake (apt meal, right?) kefir, milk, peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa and honey
Lunch: scrambled eggs
Dinner: fish tacos with corn tortillas, purple cabbage slaw, corn salsa, avocado and spicy sour cream