It’s Not Falling Down, But How You Get Back Up

Last Saturday, I was racing a 24k Trail race in Bluff Creek. I felt great coming off a big week of training for me.

My goal was really to maintain a specific pace for training purposes. We started the run with a pretty good pace, I backed off a tad just to stay where I wanted to and have fun. The course was a double loop, it was great, it had tons of variation, rock, roots, ascents, and descents, a lot of fun. At mile 9.4 (I was wearing a Garmin) I went down. I was flying down a descent going into a gradual climb and I tripped on a tree root, I think. I landed so hard it took the breath out of me. I was laid flat out and stayed there a couple minutes to see if I could even move. I remember reaching up to get my glasses which flew off and landed infront of me, still laying down at this point. I felt a searing pain in my right quad. I staggered up and looked at my hands and wrists. The Garmin saved my left wrist, I had it flipped to the inside. My Polar on the right was the other way. Yes, I wear two devices.

My right hand was already swelling up, I figured something was broken. I wiped off and tried to start running again. It Hurt. My quad had hit something when I landed and felt like it was ripped open. I looked down and saw a mild abrasion but, I was in serious pain. My thought was to just keep moving, I had aboout 4.5 miles left. I started out very slowly just putting one foot in front of the other, I was trying not to cry but, my pain was deep.

It took me a couple minutes and I had my feet going again, but I was still in a lot of pain. I saw one of my local competitors Matty on one of the switchbacks and yelled to him the I fell and I was really hurt. He yelled back some encouraging words that kept me going. As much as I was hurting, him being behind me helped keep me going. I was getting back on pace somewhat, I was about 20 seconds off, but I was OK with that. I went through some bouts where I wanted to cry but I told myself to be strong. Then I starting singing ” even the best fall down sometimes,” I am not sure where that song came from. I think I am far from the best, but I strive at all times to be the best I can be. So the words went through my head again and again.

Then in pain I roared loud like a lion, I figured no one would hear me but Matty if he was close enough. I roared again and again, getting the pain out, the miles fading into the distance. I knew the finish line was coming up and I needed ice on that leg and hand. I blazed through that finish line happy to see my kids cheering for me.. Matty was close behind. I thanked him for the push.. He says “even when you fall down and get hurt, you won’t let me pass you.” I said ” If it weren’t for you today I would not have finished… Thank you.”

It’s not just that I fell, it’s that I got up to finish the race.

Now for damage control…. Sunday came and I was a mess, my hand was completely swollen, and my leg was horribly bruised and had knots in the muscle. This was not good. Early afternoon I hopped on my spin bike to do a recovery ride which is HR at 125 or less for 45 min. Then at 4pm I headed to the gym to see how my hand and wrist will affect my swim. I swim 1,000 m, it hurt but I did it. I was out of time, I needed to go get the kids and we had Trick or Treat tonight. No time for whining.

I got dressed up in my Supergirl Costume and claimed someone threw Kryptonite on the trail. I was actually only half kidding.

One comment


    November 5, 2010

    This is me smiling and saying to the world….YUP That’s my coach and that’s why I don’t use the word can’t and don’t quit.

    Thanks Coach….this was awesome.

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