When I was single, I lived just down the road from a great park with lots of running trails. It was the kind of trail running that was just perfect to do after a long day at work. I'd take my then-dog Willie and off we'd go. I really enjoyed it. It was serenity at its finest.
After I met Chasen, one Saturday we were going to head out of town mid-morning to go to a shin-dig in Louisiana. So I got up and headed out about 6:30 AM with the ole Willie-dog. I wasn't supposed to be at Chasen's place until about 11 AM, but I had stuff to do!
I was going along just fine on the trail when out of nowhere I tripped on something and went down hard. HARD! I knew I hadn't broken anything, but I was quite "roughed up" and dirty. I was still on the ground when two guys came up from behind. They asked if I was OK. I thought I was. Plus, I had the whole independent woman, I-need-help-from-no-one attitude back then. So they proceeded on.
I knew that I wasn't feeling great, so I decided that Willie and I would turn around and just go home. When I stood up, I got dizzy. So I sat down on a rock. Then the woods started to get dark... so I had no choice but to lay down in the woods! I kept thinking to myself "Don't go to sleep! Don't go to sleep!" because I've always heard that if you have a concussion, you shouldn't sleep. I didn't have my cel phone with me -- back to the whole independent thing.
You will not believe who came up on the trail next. MY OWN DOCTOR! It was divine intervention, I strongly believe. She thought I was laying there dead. Oh my! She spoke to me, got me up, even examined me. I had to "drop my drawers" right there in the woods! I had a "hematoma" on my right thigh (which can still be minorly detected today). I had banged my head (thus the darkening of the woods). I scraped my elbow, too. My thigh ended up bruising like crazy. I looked like I had been in a car wreck!
She walked me almost all of the way home, having given me a semi-clean bill of health. I'll never forget her kindness. I called Chasen and he thought I needed to go straight to the hospital. I assured him that I did not, due to the doctor and all. I said I was going to shower before I went anywhere. This runner has pride! Ha.
So that was trail incident #1. Trail incident #2 wasn't nearly as bad, just so you know. It took place about two months after incident #1. I have never been back to the woods of incident #1. I wasn't meaning to go to a trail at all the day of #2, but it just happened. I again had my then-dog Willie. We were going to WALK the trail, for safety's sake. It was an out-and-back. When I got to the turnaround point, there was a family. The dad said "Look, a lady jogger!" A) I had been walking. B) I am a runner. So, I felt the need to indeed run. I was doing great until the very end. Down I went again. I was steaming mad! This time I just scraped my knee and elbows. Aargh! I proclaimed that I was done with trails FOREVER.
And then I decided to do the upcoming Jingle Bell 5K (this Saturday). It was going to be two weeks after the marathon, and in Hot Springs to boot! I had NO IDEA that it was a trail run. So I am shaking in my running shoes!
FYI, it takes place at Garvan Woodland Gardens. That is where Chasen and I got married! In fact, we had our second date there, and walked some of the same trails that I'll be running on Saturday... but I was all google-eyed back then, I'm sure, and do not remember any danger with those particular trails. Good 'ole Coach Terry has given me a pep talk and even instructed me how to fall properly, should the need arise. What a coach! :)
I think I'll be OK, since there will be a bunch of people around. I know that is not logical, but somehow it is comforting to me. My office Christmas party is that night and I do not want to go all banged up!