Monday, March 5, 2012

The Great Fall

Photo courtesy of kim mcilrath

Have you ever had something happen to you and you can't explain how it happened or how you walked away in one piece. I had one of those this weekend during a run. I had an hour to fit in a run before my sister-in-law picked me up for a trip to my brother's this weekend. I am training for a half marathon at the end of the month and I have to be good at making my runs. I had intended to run my long run (9 miles) on Friday but due to some bad calf pain the Wednesday before I decided to make Friday a short run and the long run on Sunday.  Sunday runs are not ideal due to church in the afternoon/evenings but due to schedules lately I haven't had a choice. 

Almost every time I go for a run the first 2 miles are torture. No matter how long the run is, I never feel good in the run for the first 2 miles.  With long runs, I usually push through and by mile 3 or 4 I am in a groove and feeling good. But with shorter runs that range from 2.5 - 4 miles, finding that groove before the run is over is rare.  

This Friday I found the groove right away.  My breathing was even.  My muscles were loose.  I was feeling good. My only issue was the headphones I was using.  They kept coming out of my ears but I had resigned myself to it and didn't let it bother me.

There is this spot near the highway where there are exits and entrances all over the place.  It’s kind of a web.  In between one of those is a trail that goes down below the highway, down to the river.  The "trail" on the river pretty much spans the Hudson River.  Most days it makes for a beautiful run.  As I got to the beginning of the trail, near the highway web, I somehow tripped and went flying to the ground.  I was running fast enough and the ground was angled enough that I went straight to the ground.  I think I might have slid like you would into base.  As hard as I hit the ground I apparently hit on enough of the top part of my leg that I didn't really scrape anything.  I had a few scratches on my hand and on my leg but that was it.  But when I stood up I realized I couldn't breath. I had knocked the wind out of myself somehow.  I couldn't figure out why it hurt so bad to breathe when there were no signs that I hit my chest or stomach at all.  The pain in my throat area lasted all day into the evening.  I felt like someone was squeezing my esophagus.  My roommate and my sister-in-law were both thinking I should go to the doctor.  I couldn't figure out why it hurt so much since there was no outside pain anywhere on my throat or chest. So I figured it was just the "stress" of falling.  

The next morning it still felt a little sore but ultimately it was all better.  When I finally got home from my trip to my brothers I was talking to my roommate about the fall and how weird it all was.  I had no real visible signs of it but the whole not being able to breath well had me all baffled.  I showed her how I thought I fell. That's when she was like "maybe you fell on your hand against your throat or chest." BAM... that's it.  Mystery solved.  There were small signs I fell on the side of my hand, including bruising and swelling to my pinky joint, but nothing else but it made sense given the trauma to my throat.  

THEN, last night I was getting ready for bed and I must have been looking slightly up when I saw a bruise under my chin.  You couldn't see it if you were looking straight at me but it was there.  When I fell my hand must have been right under chin on my throat.  

Although it was scary, I am so thankful it wasn't worse. Had I tripped normally, I would have had all of that weight on my knee, which would have done some real damage, or had I had time to put my hands out more to brace myself, I could have badly damaged my wrists... Now falling on your hand, virtually punching yourself in the throat is not good, it wasn't bad enough that I did any real damage.  

I have a fear of falling down stairs.  It came after I fell all the way down a set of stairs in grad school. It was a pretty bad fall where I virtually flipped down the stairs.  Ever since I have a death grip on a railing anytime i go down stairs.  Every time I think i don't need the railing anymore, I trip, not falling down but enough that if my hand weren't close to the railing I'd fall.  So now, I will add tripping while running to my list ;)

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