Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Past On The Trails

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!


jeanne said...

third time's the charm!

Chief Wahoo said...

That's so funny about feeling like you had to run because people were watching...I could totally see myself doing that exact same thing!

ShirleyPerly said...

My guess is that this trail is probably either paved or very easy to run/walk on (hard packed dirt/gravel and free of obstacles to trip over). I can't imagine anyone putting on a race that will attract people who are dressed up, wearing jingle bells, etc., on a rougher trail, and certainly not the Arthritis Foundation!

Road Warrior said...

You know, I have exactly the same feelings about running trails now. I fell on a root a couple months back and dislocated my shoulder. I've never been back. Too bad because I loved doing it, but it's more important to me that I'm physically healthy than that I can trail run.

Good luck on it. Maybe there will be a physician in the race. :)

Jason The Running Man said...

Susan - Thanks for the kind words. Good luck on the trail, you'll do fine.

Annette said...


Have fun at your race tomorrow!! The weather isn't looking to great but hopefully you will be able to get your race in before the rain starts.
Be careful!!

IrishBlue said...

Wow, that's some bad luck out on the trails. Hope all went well today. Then the trail curse will officially be broken. ;-)