That Time I Face Planted on the Sidewalk

My Wednesday morning was off to a great start. The weather at the start of my 7 mile run was the perfect temperature and I felt strong running up the gnarly 520 hill. I turned around at the midway point and started climbing another gradual hill that would take me home. I was attacking that hill and then suddenly, I was face down on the sidewalk. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to brace myself with my wrists and my face took the full force of the fall. In the second or two it took me to fall, I thought two thoughts: “Please don’t let any running body parts break” and “This is going to be a little embarrassing. This sucks.” When I sat up and touched my face, I realized blood was pouring out of my mouth and since I was in shock, I had no idea if I had broken my nose, my jaw or cut through my lip. I sat on the ground and realized I wasn’t in such bad shape, except my lip and the inner part of my mouth was all cut up. It was a busy intersection but no one stopped their car to see if I was ok. If a fellow runner had been around, I’m sure he/she would’ve asked if I was ok since runners are generally awesome people.

Luckily, this incident happened close to an ER so I walked myself down the sidewalk and into the ER and thankfully there wasn’t a wait. I guess there aren’t a lot of emergencies at 7:30 AM on a weekday? On the way up to the ER, I started feeling faint and nauseous, which is strange since the sight of blood doesn’t gross me out. While I was lying on the bed, I called my husband and played on Twitter since I didn’t really have anything else to do. I sat down and a very sweet nurse took care of me and up my wounds after the doctor decided that I needed stitches. He said I was lucky that the inside of my mouth acted as a shock absorber since nastier things would’ve happened had my teeth hit the sidewalk directly. My two front teeth were pretty loose and he recommended that I see a dentist after leaving the ER. My nose also started turning a little black and it’s a bit sore but not broken. After receiving some stitches, I headed over to the dentist who told me that one of my teeth has an internal fracture and that the nerves could potentially die (which = root canal). I was also given specific instructions to not bite into anything, including a banana for the next few months. Sidenote: Someone brought cupcakes to work yesterday. Try eating a cupcake without using your front teeth. I can assure you that it results in more cupcake frosting on your face than in your mouth. After the dentist, my husband drove me over to the pharmacy where I picked up my prescription for antibiotics to prevent infection inside my mouth. After that, it was time to get a smoothie at Jamba Juice.

Since I was a little slow to respond and a bit dizzy, my husband insisted that I go to work with him so that he could keep an eye on me. Thank goodness he has a couch since I spent most of the afternoon alternating between work email and napping. Smacking your face on the ground is very tiring.

It’s been a couple of days since my fall and my mouth is starting to heal, although my teeth still really hurt. Hopefully the lip swelling will go down soon since I keep drooling soup and oatmeal all over my face and I would like to eat food again. For those of you who are curious, I’ve included a couple of photos below. Don’t scroll down if bloody mouth pictures bother you.

A huge thank you to the hospital staff at Evergreen Hospital for being so caring. And thank you Twitter friends for posting your get well wishes!

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Chicago Marathon Training update

I’m about 2 months away from the Chicago marathon and despite taking a nasty fall on Wednesday (more on that in an upcoming post), I’m feeling much better about my training this time than I did last summer as I was prepping for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sammamish River Trail

I love the Sammamish River Trail

While I was training for my marathon last year, I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan and while it got me across the finish line, I don’t think I was running enough miles during the week. I believe my plan peaked at 38 miles right around when my long run hit 20 miles. This time around, I have a personalized plan that’s been created for me and can be adjusted on a weekly basis depending on how I feel. Even though I’m still 2 months out from the marathon, I’m going to hit 38 miles this week and will keep increasing my weekly mileage until taper time. This week’s plan called for strength/core on Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, 7 on Wednesday, 5 miles on Thursday (tempo), rest on Friday, 16 miles on Saturday and 5 recovery miles on Sunday. I never did recovery runs during my last marathon cycle and while they’re called “recovery” runs, don’t let the name fool you. They’ve lately become some of the hardest miles of the week since my legs are fatigued by Sunday and 5 miles feels more like 15. According this article by Matt Fitzgerald, the benefit of recovery runs is that they increase your fitness by challenging you to run in a pre-fatigued state and recovery runs are only necessary if you run four times a week or more and you’re doing high-intensity workouts.

Sammamish River Trail running

Another view of the Sammamish River Trail. On a clear day, I can see Mount Rainier

My goal for the Chicago Marathon is to get to the starting line without getting injured, unlike what happened at Marine Corps. While completing my first and only 20 mile training run for Marine Corps, I experienced a sharp, stabbing pain in my groin area and thought I had a stress fracture somewhere in my pelvis. I was diagnosed with osteitis pubis and the sports doc told me to completely abandon my hopes of crossing the finish line. I made an emergency appointment the next day with a physical therapist who said that I needed to take the next 3-4 weeks off from running and focus on building core strength. Arriving at the start line of the marathon with a whole month of running fitness lost was not exactly confidence-boosting but I got through it and crossed the finish-line without any significant pain, other than typical running-related soreness. I still have some lengthy runs to tackle in my training plan so I’m hoping that the groin and pelvic pain doesn’t come back. I’ve tried to stay on top of core / strength training to keep the inflammation in my pelvis at bay. I’m curious what I can do time-wise without an injury interrupting my training.

I’m looking forward to the crowd support at the Chicago marathon, to meeting some other Oiselle birds the day before the race and crossing the finish line of my second marathon wearing my Oiselle team singlet. I get goose bumps every time I think about the race and crossing that finish line. Heads up, wings out.

Are you training for a fall race? If so, which one?

Back at it

After the Marine Corps Marathon, I decided to take a break from running since I had been training non-stop since last January. Plus, I find it really hard convincing myself to get off the couch and run outside when it’s in the low 40s, dark and raining. I’ve lived in Seattle for over 10 years now and the Florida girl in me still can’t stand being outside in gross, nasty conditions. Continue reading