Monday, December 17, 2012

Dangers of Trails

The alternate title to this post is "Best Laid Plans".  The weekend didn't really go as planned.  I helped my son work concessions for Scouts at the basketball games on Saturday morning for 3 hours.  Walter bailed on our afternoon bike ride because of 30-40 mph wind gusts.  It also didn't seem to warm up quite as expected (though there was a touch of laziness as I ran through five loads of laundry while sitting watching Netflix on my laptop).  Band concert was fine on Saturday night followed by pizza date with my boy. 

But Facebook discussions between the Team Virtus folks looked like I might be able to have some fun running the trails out at Binder Park on Sunday morning.  Then I realized I had to do mom duty of shuttling the boy to/from church to serve at 8:30 mass.  Oops.  Oh well, Kate was getting up early to drive in from IL and join Bob and Lukas for some miles so I thought I'd try to catch the tail end - maybe the last hour or so.  I hadn't run out there since the Kicks in the Sticks on my birthday in August. 

It had rained a little bit and the rocks and mud were a little slick.  I called just as they were starting the yellow trail (probably about half way through 13.7 miles).  Bob had peeled off after 9 or so.  They were running it counter-clockwise so I told them I would park near the start of the trail and go clockwise until I met up with them.  About 5-10 minutes of carefully making my way (mostly walking) along the trail, I heard Kate and Lukas talking.  I cut through the woods and caught up only to find poor Kage looking like she was in serious pain (hip issue).  She decided to hobble back slowly while I ran along with Lukas. 

It was all I could do to keep up with him even though he wasn't doing a blistering pace.  To some extent, the unsure footing of trail running is a blessing because the pace is naturally slower.  I tried to watch where he put his feet.  We chatted a little and ran to just the sound of my heavy breathing the rest of the time.  A couple miles in, I rolled my left ankle and went down HARD!  It was on a section of trail that runs right next to the lake, but thankfully I didn't fall into the water.  I tried to suck it up and get right back up, but I was hurting.  I walked it off for a couple minutes and then tried to ease into a slow jog and finished up the last half mile or so.

When we came out of the woods and could see Kate gimping across the causeway, I decided I would not run the next 3+ miles back to their cars (over hill and dale), but offer to walk Kate back to my car and drive her over to hers.  She went up to where they had stashed some Gatorade at the park entrance and then turned around and slowly gimped back to my car.  She could barely walk and was knocking out a 44 min mile pace at the end.  It was rough to watch.

We sat in the car and chatted until Lukas showed up.  We cheered him in and Kate got ready to head home.  She mentioned needing to find a Walgreens so I told her to follow me that there was one that was pretty close.  Once there, I verified she knew where she was and how to get back on the highway to get headed out of town and then went on home myself.   I ended up running for about an hour, so I'm going to go with a guess of 3 miles. It might have been a pinch more.  Failed to take any pictures even though my phone was in my pocket.

As I washed the mud off my hands at home (having gotten pretty dirty on the fall), I found a pretty good bruise on my arm.  Here is what it looked like today:

And my ankle really started throbbing.  It isn't as colorful, but a little swollen.  I stayed off of it most of the rest of the day, but I woke up this morning feeling sore in all sorts of odd places.  The ankle is still very sore so I don't think I will be running much this week.  Will have to see if the weather cooperates for a bike ride or if it is finally time to set up the trainer.  Or maybe I can get to the pool tomorrow.  Lord knows I am long overdue a swim.

I had planned on doing some kind of Jingle Bell Hell, but unless you count this half ass trail run with a good fall in the middle - I didn't quite get it done.  Trail running is more fun in some ways, but it definitely is more dangerous in some ways too.

Swim: 14,700 yds / 25,000
Bike: 804.9 mi / 1000
Run: 334.0 mi / 350

Days until Tour De Cure: 166

HBBC Points = 3


  1. After 45 I gave up on any idea of ever trail running or Xterra racing. That means I will never do an Ultra..... oh well.
    Heal up soon

  2. Hey, nice bruise! :)

    I'm sorry you got hurt, but I was soooooo relieved when you offered me a ride back to the car. I can't imagine how long it would've taken me. :-/ Nice catching up with you, and thank you for rescuing me. :)

  3. Nice badge of honor! Trail running is definitely more fun and more dangerous. Takes a lot of concentration for sure.

  4. Sorry you hurt yourself! Whenever I've hurt my ankle in the past, I've found that a massage as soon as I can tolerate it really helps, fyi. Other than the hazards, though, I LOVE trail running!

  5. Trail running takes a lot more concentration on my part than normal and always wears me out more

  6. Ouch, that's an awful place to get a bruise. Hope your ankle is feeling much better.

  7. Thanks again for running with me. You had no problem keeping up, and it's ALWAYS better to run with friends. Sorry you got hurt. There's an adventure racer in you that we'll pull out someday. You didn't complain once about your ankle or arm, and you just kept going like a true adventure racer. Very cool.

    Trails are definitely more difficult and more treacherous, but trail running keeps me more engaged and the miles seem to fly by compared to road running. But maybe that's just me.

    Anyway, thanks again for meeting up with us. Let's do it again soon!

  8. Half-assed trail runs where you get hurt are definitely JBH qualifying! You are on the roster :) Hope you've healed by now!