Friday, October 21, 2011

Laying on my driveway at 4:25 AM

One fall, many injuries: (knee, elbow, shoulder, both hands)
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

Most of today's run was pleasantly routine but it ended badly. I'd expected colder weather when I laid out my running clothes last night, including long sleeves, long pants and running gloves. The local TV station showed 55° this morning so I opted for short sleeves and running shorts. In retrospect, I wish I'd gone with the original gear.

I ran my usual loop and besides the mild but persistent pain in my lower Achilles, I felt pretty good. By the first mile my Achilles pain had disappeared (as it usually does) and I concentrated more on leg turnover. I had read that arm motion influences cadence and I tried to run with more upper body movement to see if it had a measurable effect on my speed. I'll look at the Garmin read-out to see how my pace compares to earlier in the run, after trying that method.

I was preparing to hit the stop button on my Garmin when I reached my driveway and took a sliding spill along the blacktop. Apparently, my foot caught the edge of the concrete section that leads to the street. I remember falling and hitting the ground, my headlamp flying off and clattering on the ground. It was still very dark at 4:30 AM but I could see a lot of blood and the middle finger on my left hand was numb.

I collected my headlamp and righted myself. It took me three tries to key in the security code to open the garage door and I concentrated on keeping the den floor clean from blood once I'd made it inside. I washed my wounds and sprayed liberally with Dermaplast. Once I saw the extent of my injuries I went upstairs to tell my wife who was up and attending to the damage in an instant. She is a Red Cross volunteer and has been trained to dress wounds. That came in very handy today.

I soon realized that the bandaging required for the size and amount of cuts and bruises that I'd received would greatly limit my mobility. Besides that, my finger was aching and I wondered if I should go for X-Rays. I decided then to work from home today, since I wasn't able to shower and probably couldn't manage well on the train and subway.

I'm feeling better after ibuprofen and icing my finger. I can't believe how quickly a routine run could turn into a day-changing event. It could have been far worse and I was fortunate that if I was to trip, it would happen in front of my house. I won't be running tomorrow but hopefully by Sunday I'll be ready to (carefully) return to the road.


  1. Sorry to hear about your fall! I hope your hand is ok, definitely doesn't sound like a great way to start the day. Heal up quickly!

  2. Thanks! Hitting the pavement in the pitch dark was a painful surprise. It wasn't pleasant but I know it could have been much worse.

  3. Yikes! Thank God you didn't break anything! There wasn't as much blood during my spill. Just road burn. It was shocking how quickly it happened. I remember calmly thinking, "I'm sliding across the parking lot on my stomach and I can't stop."

  4. It's weird how everything happens in slow motion. It gives you plenty of time to think about how much it's going to hurt.


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