Monday, August 15, 2011

GOMERs Go to Ground

Turns out they're not the only thing.

So here I am, out for one of my runs. I tend to change the route up pretty much every day. While certain stretches often repeat, each day takes me along a slightly different path through the city.

Running the sidewalks of the city is sort of like a game. Many, many people are considerate of your athletic effort and will move over to let you by. If you're approaching someone, a simple "on your left" often leads to the person making way for you (though they inevitably move left, but hey, they tried).

But, just as with everything else in life, there are some inconsiderate folks as well. They'll look right at you and walk in the middle of the sidewalk, taking up as much room as possible. It's in these situations that you begin to play a game of frogger... quickly bobbing and weaving between people, fire hydrants, light posts, etc. Don't forget the added excitement of intersection traffic. All of a sudden, the run is almost like a game. But no matter how annoying these things can get from time to time, I love to run through the neighborhoods and see all the stores I want to visit or restaurants I want to eat in. It's a great way to see the city.

So last week, I'm doing my sidewalk dance around a pedestrian, and as I stepped to the right, my foot hit very uneven pavement and my ankle totally buckled, inverting and sending me right to the ground. I was able to brace myself and not hit my head, but my left knee was a casualty in the process, earning itself a nasty scrape.

It was easily one of the longest few seconds of my recent life. When I hit the ground, my first instinct was to make sure I didn't hit my head. Then I just had this flash where I was overcome with fear that in that one misstep, all my work was for naught. Over two hundred miles of training, and I was petrified that I had blown my ankle and wouldn't be able to claim the fruits of my labor.

This kind older gentleman came over to make sure I was okay and to help me up. But rather, I told him I needed a second laying on the ground. The ankle moved. That was good. So I decided to stand and bear weight, and all told, my ankle felt a little sore but stable. I had not hear a pop, and the pain seemed very ligamentous.

Thank the good lord.

So maybe not the greatest idea, but whatever.... I walked if off and kept going. I mean hell, I was already running, might as well get my miles in. And I kept a wicked time, considering my spill.

I found it really hilarious that I forgot how much it hurts to skin your knee. Of course, it wasn't helpful that I was sweating, either, but still. I know give little kids a lot more credit.

So I stuck with ye old RICE protocol, took a day off, and let things heal up. My knee is actually the most sore out of anything - I think I took a good shot to my knee and it's a little bruised, but not too uncomfortable to run with. The ankle is actually really good. I've definitely strained my ATFL in the past and been laid up for days with a sore, swollen limb, but this actually worked out as well as it could have.

And now, I'm a little paranoid as I navigate my runs - whether it's the streets or a path. I'm just afraid that one wrong step will lead to my demise, and I'm just too far into this to give up now.

So I'll tread lightly now along the streets of Chicago. Perhaps I'll just start knocking people over instead of avoiding them. Yes, that seems like a logical plan :)

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