This is a running related post (cue: My Lovely and Talented Wife to move to the next post) and it will involve talking about pooping (but only briefly) and there is a rather gross picture below of my knee. I will try to do a mouseover code so that if you don’t want to see the oozing mess, you don’t have to.
So the story I am about to tell takes place on Thursday October 23rd in Knoxville Tennessee. My Lovely and Talented Wife has her unit meetings on Thursdays and so to spend more time with her and to get some mileage in (her suggestion) I drive her to her meeting and then run home. This works out perfectly because I get a decent mid-mileage run of 6.1 miles in when she is “working”.
This past weekend the In-Laws were in town (for more than 24 hours – THE SHOCK!) and so My Mother in Law, we will call her Lola since that is Tagalog for “Grandmother” and what the kids call her. Likewise My Father in Law is called Lolo which is Tagalog for (you guessed) “Funny Old Guy” or “Grandfather”, whichever seems appropriate at the time.
So, the deal was that I was going to take My Lovely and Talented Wife’s Car to the meeting and I would pick up some cupcakes since it was the Birthday Meeting and she would ride with Lola in her car. Everything goes as plans, and I start to run. Now, 6.1 miles takes me about an hour or so to finish since I am dealing with lots of traffic and hills, I just can’t get going with any amount of speed to have a faster average pace. And this is a good thing for my training because training is not all about being fast.
Not 7minutes in my run, do I get the “Call of Nature” (which The Younger refers to as “I gotta Poo-Poo”). Now, this call of nature seems to be something of a theme this marathon season as I have had this call more than once and more “unopportune” times then I want to count. My 18 mile run for a week ago was cancelled after 2 miles due to “technical difficulties”.
Anyway, I got the “signal” and I knew that I needed to so something, now. Why look it’s Family Bowl, the same bowing alley in my Facebook profile picture from a few pictures back. They have a bathroom, I am going there. So I make my way to the bowling alley and I have to stop and access the situation. Things have become much more “urgent” and I am only 30 feet from the front door!
Since I said that I was only going to talk about this briefly, let’s just say that Runners Do What Runners Do.
So I am leaving Family Bowl to head home but I am now on the opposite side of the road. To better describe this road, it was a frontage road for the interstate that became one of Knoxville’s Motor Miles. On the side that I usually run on, there is a large grassy “buffer” from the road, hence the reason that I usually run on that side. Plus, some of the car lots are set up so that I can run on the asphalt, which is nice and flat.
The Side that I was on is the “under developed” side and has a small shoulder, maybe 2-3feet or so, but the terrian just past the road shoulder isn’t condusive to running. It’s either a drainage ditch or shrubbery-wooded area or at best an unattended open field which is a footing nightmare.
As I am leaving the Family bowl, I get on the shoulder. I am looking to cross to the otherside when I can, but I want to keep moving forward. A couple of cars in both direction keep me from making that move and the shoulder comes up to one of the areas where there is a drainage ditch on the side of the road. As I am approaching it, I see that the edge of the asphalt has buckled somewhat and that it doesn’t look too stable as there are parts of the ashpalt that are “splitting” from the road. Not only that, but it has shrunk the good footing of the shoulder such that it would take me right to the yellow line, if not over it. Plus there were a couple cars coming towards me as well.
The plan was to jump over the worst part of the asphalt and to never break stride. Easy enough, it would just be to time a 2-3ft jump in stride, something that I have done before. I quickly ran the visualization in my head, and it was 1, 2, 3 and jump.
This was one of those times where time seems to stand still or move VERY slowly. I felt like I was up in mid-air for a long time, and as I was up there, a few thoughts crossed my mind. One, the asphalt looks weaker from up here than originally thought, I am going to have to adjust my landing. Two, that car is going to just pass me as I am making this jump, so I can use the road as contingency plan if something goes wrong. So I have to jump straight forward since there is the road to the right and the ditch to the left.
As I am landing, I see that the asphalt isn’t flat but looks like the reason that it looks torn is because it has caved in slightly, making me question landing in full stride… so I pull back at the last moment. This threw off all the Force Vectors that were going on in my head and I lost control of the situation and I fell went splat.
I must have fallen either after the 1st car had already passed me or as it was passing me. I didn’t remember seeing it, but I do remember the car behind it approaching me. It was dusk and although there was still some light outside, the car had their headlights on. I had fallen and my palms and right knee had taken the brunt of fall. I was prone on the shoulder of the road, with an approaching car. Speed limit is something around 35 but everyone goes whatever the hell they feel like… myself included.
My first thought was “GET UP” as fast as I could, but not knowing what was injured, I didn’t want to try to get up only to fall into the path of the moving car. Or being winded and trying to get up only to fall back down again and roll into the ditch. Quick mental internal scan revealed that nothing seemed to be seriously hurt, so I started moving my feet and was able to get upright before the car was close to me. It was only a few steps before I could feel the burn in my hands and my knee.
Apparently I had fallen straight down and not down then forward. I had an abrasion, but it was just from the impact and not from skidding, so the skin was broken but not bad. My hand were red, but they weren’t bloody at all… they just hurt. I couldn’t see any blood running down my knee, but that hurt as well, but not to run… just from the injury.
So I am less than 1.5 miles into my run, and it’s already an adventure.
I was able to cross quickly to the other side, the safer side, of the road fairly quickly. Once over there, my knee was sore but not too bad, I had run in more pain before, so I didn’t stop. I didn’t feel any running blood, so that was a good sign. Getting a better look at my hands, they were sore but no real broken skin. I must have come straight down.
So, I keep moving forward. Further down Parkside Drive, I cross back over the road. The reason for this is that I can face traffic at this point and run on the shoulder of the road. I can see when a car comes and then can hop back onto the shoulder with plenty of time. This time, I try something new… I run in the island section of the divided road. This way I can see the car and the ground is a little more stable then the side of the road. Plus there is plenty of buffer between me and traffic in both directions.
But then a mini-van honks at me. And scares me enough to break my stride, oh no. So for the next few miles nothing of consequence happens, which is fine by me. However, once I was on Kingston Pike, there was another honking incident.
I am not sure if the car didn’t see me until the last moment or what but as the car was passing, it honk. And it scared me again because I wasn’t expecting it! Oi! I can only imagine that the driver didn’t see me until the last moment and I scared them, so they honked the horn and probably called me a few expletitives, which in turn scared me. I was easily 3′ from the white line of Kingston Pike, so it’s not like I was very close to the car. I just need to remember to bring my clip on lights to make me more visible… “oooooo Shiny light”
Despite being the injuries, my net run time was fastest for this route to date. It was about 6 minutes faster! So, I’d probably do decently in a 10k right now, but I am still unsure how I will fair in my two marathons in November.