And fall I did - on Lake Drive, landing hard on both knees. In the moments before the fall, I was watching two people that were hiding behind some bushes and taking pics of one of the mansions lining the street. I was distracted and not paying the best attention to the pavement in front of me. And the next thing I knew, my toe caught on an uneven patch of cement and I flew forward.
My first instinct was to jump up as quickly as possible and keep running. I was super embarrassed! I was in a bit of shock and couldn't let myself look down at my knees to assess the damage. I knew it wouldn't be good. When I reached the Lake Park bathroom, I finally stopped. It was gross. Blood. Dripping. Swelling. I decided I had no choice but to pick up the pace a bit to get home faster so I could bandage my knees. Also, I knew there was a chance my knees were going to lock up at some point and it would be better if I was at home when this happened.
So I made it home, showered, and bandaged my knees the best I could. I had high hopes they were just a bit banged up but would be fine the next day.
Every accident-prone girl has a full arsenal of bandages at her disposal!
Wrong. My knees wouldn't stop bleeding and as I suspected, they locked up. But ... I thought if I took care of them, I could still get in my very important marathon simulation run the next morning. I had really been looking forward to this run - a final long, hard effort before Lakefront Marathon. So I tried to stay optimistic. I would be cured in time to have an awesome 20-miler.
So I woke up Saturday morning, had my usual long run breakfast, got dressed in the outfit I plan to wear at Lakefront, stashed my gels in my FlipBelt, and headed out the door. I chose to ignore the stiff feeling in my knees and covered them up with some extra strong, extra large, waterproof bandages.
Within one block, pain kicked in. I thought I could shake it so kept running. Because sometimes a run feels bad for a few blocks but then things resolve themselves and everything feels fine. I held out hope but every stride continued to hurt. I couldn't bend my knees. I was afraid of falling again. I made it one mile - at a very slow-for-me pace of 10:53. I called it a day.
Sunday was a rest day. Coach Matt said I can try running again this afternoon/evening. If things feel okay, I can try the marathon simulation again on Tuesday. If not, more days off may be necessary.
Sometimes the hardest part of training for a race is working through times like this. Tell me to run XX miles and I will run XX miles. Tell me that I can't run and need to take a few days off ... And I will have a mini meltdown.
So right now, it's not about building endurance or testing my speed. It's about working on my ability to stay positive when the times get tough. To recall the training and workouts I've already done. To believe in myself and my potential. And to have faith that the tide will turn and things will get better.
I got knocked down but I'm not out. Just like a rough patch during a race, I'll ride it out - and then kick it up to get to the finish line, faster and stronger than ever.
My questions for you:
- Have you ever taken a fall during a run or race?
- What is your weirdest running-related injury?
- Sidenote: What are you most looking forward to this week?
I am looking forward to Briggs and Al's on Saturday. I'm doing the walk and will stroll along while sipping a large iced pumpkin spice latte :)