Saturday, July 19, 2008

The chupacabra that tripped me

I'd post a picture here, but the official photographer informed me that all shots (even though he blinded us in the woods with flashes) were basically dark with bright reflections from racing gear. So, just this once, you are spared. Not really. Injury pic follows.

So, I decided to run this 10k NIGHT TRAIL run. The distance wasn't beyond me, but running at night, in the middle of the woods, on a trail, is not my style and probably was not so prudent. But, what the hey, I have health insurance now, so I'm pretty sure they'll have to fix me.

It was fun - 9 pm start at McAllister Park - a lot of trail troll types who only come out for these crazy races. I felt a bit over-geared for me and under-geared compared with them in a water belt, race skirt, headlamp, and road shoes. Some of them were so geared out, I was having to double-check the distance of the run. I would have appreciated a better headlamp and some trail shoes, though.

This was a tough run - DARK and technical trails (meaning serious inclines/declines, roots, rocks, wildlife, and narrow ruts) - as you ran, there were calls back of "roots," "branch," and "piedras." Somewhere after two miles, I lost all depth perception and it was hard to tell the character of the upcoming surface. This is where trail shoes are nice - my feet and ankles are sore from navigating rocks, limbs, and other trail debris, but thankfully no twists or sprains.

I didn't bite it until around mile 3, when a chupacabra tripped me. Really, I was nimbly tiptoeing around rocks and other obstacles and, out of nowhere, I was going down. As I was falling, I put out my hands and flashed to a running buddy of mine who fell in June, braced himself with his hands, and received a blue cast on his broken wrist for the effort. So, I somehow wrapped my arms, tucked, and rolled into a PLF (parachute landing fall - guess that military training DOES come in handy) and crashed on my hip/butt. So, little scrapes, no big deal, and ran the rest with only almost-falls.

Here's the injury as of that night -

Actually, that's just the knee boo-boo - and that's not a tan line or hairy ankles on the right foot - that is the layer of dirt that was all over me after the run. So, not the fastest run, but in the disorienting dark, after a fall, with obstacles, on a trail, I finished the 6.2 miles in 1:19. Not great, but not bad.

After a coupla beers and a veggie burger around 11:30-midnight, I headed home to grab a 4 or so hours of sleep before the women's run, thinking I had done pretty well with the fall. Unfortunately, I woke up around 3ish in major pain with a veggie burger doing backflips in my stomach. I went back to sleep with frozen peas on my hip and you'll have to read the rest of the story after I take a nap and get the women's run pics from the next day.

dumb chupacabra!

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