I've started a weekly trail run with a friend. Yesterday was our third run together and we were both pretty tired. Me because I'd done 5 miles of speed work the day before, and Kathi because she'd raced (and won her age group) that weekend.
Here's the trick to trail running: You have to pick your feet up. Sounds obvious, but many runners use a "shuffle-run" to propel themselves forward. The problem is that once you get tired, you think you're picking your feet up, but you're really not. At that point, one little root or stump can send you spiraling.
I was aware yesterday how tired my legs were so I was making a conscious effort to lift my feet. We were at the end of a 7-mile run, cars literally in sight, when---BAM. I tripped over a root, was suspended momentarily in the air in a full out Superman pose, arms straight out in front of me, then gravity kicked in and I did the mother of all belly smackers into the earth.
Knocked. The. Wind. Out. Of. Me. My neck snapped back when I hit and I had one of those, "I may have just really hurt myself" moments. But no, I was fine. Scratched up on the arms and stomach and I've got a nice bruise on my right hip bone, but that comes with the territory. Picked myself up and we finished the run.
Today, however, I'm quite sore. I was already something of a mess to begin with. Aside from my Superman bruises, I'm also dealing with:
- Bicipital tendonitis in my right shoulder
- A pulled back muscle in lower right back
- I rolled my left ankle a few days ago and it's swollen
- Now it feels like the bicipital tendonitis in the left shoulder is coming back.
See? I'm a mess. But other than feeling a little stiff, I'm good. Nothing is so bad I can't keep moving.
Except for today. I'm giving myself a day off. Not so much because I need it, but more because given my track record this past week, I think it's just safer to stay put until the bad mojo passes me by.
Bring on the ice-packs and heating pads!