Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Twenty Miles.

This past Sunday, I hosted a free group run for running buddies and former couch to 5k participants.  We expected about 20+ runners on Sunday morning.  But the icky forecast caused me to receive a lot of texts and emails early Sunday morning, from runners cancelling.  I keep hoping that spring will be here soon - especially when planning these events.  But, the weather just doesn't seem to want to cooperate.  I didn't pay too much attention to the forecast before we ventured out to the trailhead.  If I know it was supposed to be blowing snow, I probably wouldn't have been so unopinionated about my twenty miler that morning.  It was also going to be The Boyfriend's first twenty mile training.  So, it's especially just as well that he didn't know what was waiting for us either.  We ended up meeting about ten folks for a group run.  Everyone was different paces and running different distances.  But, it was nice to hold eachother accountable and show up and commit to our training - whatever level.  The loop is five miles.  Some were running a half-loop; some one loop; some two loops and The Boyfriend and I were running four loops.  Our friend was also running to meet us half way and finish the run with us.

We headed out for one five mile loop and I alternated running with various members of the group.  The skies were gray, but the ground was pretty clear and the snow wasn't falling.  On the second loop, the snow started to fall and then blow.  My running buddy, Michelle, ran with The Boyfriend and I on the second loop.  Snow was starting to accumulate on the path and boardwalks.  During the third lap, our friend, Dwight literally ran into us and joined us for the remaining miles.  The snow was really pelting at our faces.  I just kept looking down at the ground and watching my footwork on the snow and ice.  When we started the fourth loop, every single step was the furthest The Boyfriend had ever ran.  His knees were starting to bother him.  Even though we both took energy gels, he was starting to lose energy during the last loop.  He was running slower and walking up hills.  I kept running and would swing back to get him.  Because, I was worried I wouldn't be able to get going again if I stopped - and also a bit worried I would pee my pants!! (TMI)  Despite the weather, I was feeling full of energy.  I could have kept going quite awhile.  My hip flexers weren't acting up too badly; my knees were fine.  It was just my lower back that was starting to ache, like my other runs. My friend thinks I might try to lean back to much, while trying to keep good posture.  Next time, I'm going to try to lean forward a bit more.  After mile 17, Dwight headed home and The Boyfriend and I had about 2.5 miles to go. 

We headed back up the biggest hill on the beautiful path.  The Boyfriend tried walking it, while I ran ahead.  Again, I was worried I wouldn't be able to get going again if I stopped.  I got to the top, conquered the hill - and then I slipped on the same patch of ice we had been trying to avoid all morning.  It was now covered in snow and more slippery than ever.  I slipped, I fell on my lower back, and then I hit my head on the snow-covered 1/2 inch of ice.

I just layed there, not moving for moments - which seemed like minutes.  The skies were grey and the snow was falling on my face.  My handheld water bottle was busted.  I must've used it to break my fall.

I immediately thought, what am I going to do if I'm hurt?  I didn't have a phone on me.  I thought of the other people running with us - and all winter long in my groups.  I thought of them and was immediately thankful that this didn't happen to any of them on those cold, dark, icy nights.  I would've felt terrible.

I layed there still, not knowing if I could move.  I was stunned.  In Shock.  Then, I rolled over onto my belly.  I had my arms in a push-up-like position and tilted my head and could see The Boyfriend running again, up the hill to see me.  I was happy to be moving and happy to see him. 


I layed my head down in the snow and tears started rolling down my face.  I didn't speak.  He came up close to me, layed his face next to mine in the snow and kept asking me if I was ok.  I managed to say that I was fine.  His eyes were filling up with tears, too.  (He later stated that he was getting emotional - just at the thought of having to carry me over his shoulder for the two miles to the trailhead.)  I layed there for a bit, just trying to figure out what happened and trying to get my barings.  I stood up and looked at the sky, looked at my watch and grabbed my broken water bottle.  We still had over two miles to go to the trailhead.  I decided I was ok to run and was going to finish this.

He ran/walked the last two miles.  I ran ahead and continued to circle back to him.  The trail was getting more and more covered and the board walks were slick.  I figure that I ran about 21 miles with all of the turning around I did on our route.  We were out there for 3:38 (didn't stop my watch during the fall - but thought about it - LOL).

Sometimes, I really wonder why I run these monumental training runs; why I run in the sleet and snow; why I get up at ungodly hours on the weekends when I could be sleeping in my warm bed.  But, even after an accident like this, I am left with a huge sense of accomplishment for just getting out there - and then finishing.  I rarely - if ever - regret a run.  And, I have such admiration for him having completed this distance - being a non-runner just over twelve months ago.  I'm so happy we get to continue this journey together.
Running truly is a test of not only the legs - but also of the heart.

And, I am not alone in this .... THINK SPRING!!!!!


  1. Wow, so glad you are doing okay! I went out on Sunday and fell on the ice no less than three times :-/ It's insane!! So ready for the end of winter!

  2. That sounds scary! Glad everything turned out alright. Winter sure has a stranglehold right now…


  3. Goodness! I'm so glad you are ok! That sounds so scary!! Congrats on getting all those miles in, especially with the sleet and snow!

  4. Glad you are alright! And Yeah boyfriend for your first 20 milers!! I fell midrun once..knocked the wind out of me..I too just layed there for a bit until I could get up..no fun at all!

  5. Good job getting those miles in! I'm glad to hear you are okay after your fall. Scary indeed!

  6. I'm so glad that your OK stay safe out there!

  7. What a sweet boyfriend! Glad you are okay.