Posted by: runawaynotes | August 23, 2012

Hands, knees – meet Sidewalk [ouch!]

It has finally happened to me. I’ve heard other runners tell stories before. I’ve even seen it happening to other people. But up until today, I’ve somehow managed to maintain a 3-year long fall-free running track. I will be the first one to admit that this accomplishment has nothing to do with me being naturally graceful (because I’m not). It’s been pure luck, and today my luck has finally run out.

It was a perfect combination of limited visibility (6:30 am), uneven pavement (old neighborhood), and slippery road (sprinklers going off). One moment I’m flying forward, the next moment my trajectory changes and I’m sprawled on the sidewalk wondering “What the %&#@! has just happened?!” That was my first thought. My second thought was “Are there any living witnesses to this embarrassment that I might need to eliminate?” Thankfully, not to many people in my neighborhood like to hang out at 6:30 am. So, no one has seen me actually take the dive. That was good. Pain is easy to get over. Public humiliation – not so much.

After I’ve made sure that my dignity was intact, I began assessing physical damage. I got lucky again. Even though most of the impact came on my hands, my wrists didn’t feel injured, and because the road was wet, my palms just slid over the surface after the initial impact without getting scratched up too much. My left knee didn’t fare as well. I actually managed to skin it, so it was looking red, angry, and bloody. Fortunately, all of the damage seemed to be surface deep. I didn’t feel any discomfort in my joints or muscles. All of which left me with a dilemma – since I’m not REALLY injured, does that mean I can just keep on running. Since the fall happened about 5 minutes into my run, it meant that I still had 45 minutes left to go. And I didn’t feel like quitting over a few scratches. So, I got up, adjusted my belt and kept on going.

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I could feel some tension in my left shoulder (I always get a pretty bad muscle spasm when I’m startled or shaken), but my arms and legs were working just fine. I finished my 4.65 mile run going about 10:50 and feeling pretty good. I did get a few looks from some cyclists and dog walkers, since there was no way of hiding fresh blood on my knee, but that was about it. The only real discomfort I was feeling was the burning in my knee from the salt (from sweat) and the tightness where the skin started to dry up. I made it back home feeling like a complete bada$$ instead of a clumsy goofball. The right attitude is everything 🙂

So, now that I’ve gotten that particular running experience out of the way, I can hope that the rest of my training and the race itself will go smoothly. I mean, the lightening doesn’t strike twice in the same spot, right?



  1. Well done for carrying on! If it were me, I’d probably go home and feel sorry for myself.

    • Thank you 🙂 I swear I had the “Eye of the Tiger” song playing in my head as I got up off the pavement.

      • That explains it then, it’s against the law to give up when channeling Rocky!

  2. Welcome to the club :-). You saw my graceful fall at Komen last year! Glad your ok and you are a bada$$ for finishing!!

  3. Ugh. I’ve fallen more times than I can count, including a spectacular fall on a busy Saturday at the lake surrounded by hundreds of runners who all emitted a very audible “Oooooh!” when I hit the ground. Another fall was in the middle of Buckner Blvd when a friend accidentally tripped me. Thank goodness I crossed at rhe light, but I went down hard and was the main attraction. Trail running is even worse, but falling in the dirt is less painful than pavement. Welcome to the club!

    • Thanks! This will be a second exclusive running club of which I am a member. The first one is the club of people who get sick in the middle of the race. Still haven’t decided which experience is more humiliating.

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