I’m not a fast runner or a smooth runner or a pretty runner. People would not look at me running and think, “gazelle.” I would never run in sports bras and booty shorts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to women running in that, I just couldn’t pull it off. I lumber along, sometimes panting heavily when I forget to take my inhaler. I am short and stocky, with large thighs that served me well in gymnastics. I shuffle my feet too much and am easily distracted, which of course causes me to fall a lot.
I decided to train for a 50k (Way Too Cool) and then complete a 50 mile trail race (AR50) in honor of my 50th birthday, which is 5 days before the race. Since I have such a bad habit of falling on trails, my goal is to make it through AR50 without seriously injuring myself or making my husband take out additional life insurance on me. This is the start of my journey.
January 1st was my first day of serious training after completing CIM and I decided to run the 10 mile Resolution Trail Race out of the Auburn Dam Overlook. As I was using it as a training run, I took it easy and enjoyed the scenery. I had an awesome time running with a friend and didn’t fall once. Score: Runner 1, Trail 0. My legs also felt pretty good afterwards, which was encouraging for my 10 mile trail run the following morning.
Day 2: Run on tired legs they said, it will be good training they said. The run started out great as I met up with a fun group of trail runners. I typically don’t run trails alone, unless it’s a trail I am very familiar with since I am so directionally challenged. So I headed out of upper Salmon Falls in high spirits and hoping I could successfully conquer this trail. The scenery did not disappoint and the conversations made the miles fly by.
However, on the way back, my legs were really feeling tired. At about mile 7 I tripped and my right shoulder/arm hit a tree and bounced my left upper knee onto a rock ripping a hole in my tights. I was okay, just scraped and bruised. I was more upset about the hole in my favorite winter tights. I got up, took a couple of ibuprofen that one of my running friends gave to me and moved along. At about mile 8, I tripped again and fell to the right and was about to roll down the hill except that I hit a tree, which thankfully stopped me. unfortunately, my right hip took the brunt of the tree.
At that point, I just wanted to be done and get back in one piece. I slowed down quite a bit and decided to walk through the techncal areas. I didn’t want to push my luck this late in the game and alert any turkey vultures that may be hovering nearby. Current score: Trail 2, Runner 1. My body is very happy that I took Sunday off of training. We’ll see what bumps and bruises next week brings.