If you think this post is going to be a deep metaphor for how to handle the trials and tribulations of life… you’ve given me too much credit. I literally meant the title of this post to be “When you fall” as in… down on your face. Also not a metaphor.
On Sunday afternoon after watching Mike run the Army 10 Miler, having brunch on Clarendon and going grocery shopping, I finally went out on MY long run. I left the apartment and headed over towards the Custis Trail. The last time I ran on Custis was at the beginning of an 18 mile training run for the marathon, and I inexplicably cried for the first three miles. That’s right, just big crocodile tears of emotion rolling down my face while ticking away my training miles. I’ve never claimed to be an emotionally stable individual. I decided it was time for me and Custis Trail to make up. It’s easily accessible, and it’s got a lot of great rolling hills. I didn’t have a ton of a time (I was going between 8 – 10 miles) so I wanted to make it as challenging as possible. I hopped on the trail and took it all the way down Route 66 to where Custis meets the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. I had only gone 4 miles to my displeasure (I swear the last time I did this it seemed like it was 1000 miles long). I turned around and headed back home thinking I’d tack on a mile or so once I got back to my hood.
And then it happened. I tripped on an uneven piece of pavement and I went down… hard. I had so much forward inertia going I didn’t even get a foot in front of me to break my fall. I did the dumbest thing possible and stuck my hands out to break my fall. I literally barrel rolled over my head off the paved trail into the grass. I definitely screamed a bad word… I’m SORRY it was a reflex I couldn’t help it. I sat up in the grass, took off my headphones, and surveyed the damage. Thankfully I was wearing running tights, so even though I could tell my knees / shins had gotten hit really hard, they weren’t bleeding. My hands were another story… they were in fact bleeding. I only had 2 bottles on my water belt, but I sacrificed the end of one bottle to wash the dirt off my cuts.
Picture evidence of my mortal injury. Ok ok I know it doesn’t look that bad right now but I swear it really hurt!
Mercifully, I was beat up and bruised, but I hadn’t actually injured myself. This was a big win especially when you consider I was 4 miles from home, and hadn’t brought money or my cell phone (I know I’m like a big walking advertisement for how to die while running).
I sat in the grass for a minute or so and contemplated my predicament. I really only had one option. As much as I wanted to just go home and sulk, I wanted to get at least 8 miles in, and I was really far from home. So I sucked it up, stood up, dusted myself off, and took off running for home. I figured at least the burning sensation in my hands would distract me enough to make the miles pass quickly. When I got home (totally didn’t add on that extra mile at the end but hey let’s not get picky here), I was really proud of myself for not giving up. I feel like in the last couple months, there’s been a lot of giving up on the running front. No more!
So when you fall… be a warrior. Put on your big girl (or boy) pants and finish the run. Obstacles only make reaching your goal that much sweeter 🙂 Happy Monday.