In training for each of my previous marathons, I’ve developed a minor injury as the mileage climbs – typically around week 13 or 14. I’d been wondering if that will happen again, but this is different: I fell full-length (even hit my chin!) just a minute after starting my Sunday long run. I tripped over nothing as I was adjusting a strap on my Camelbak. I hadn’t warmed up yet and in fact I was probably extra-stiff because it was a cold bike ride (5:15am, 50-ish degrees – I wore gloves). I scraped my knees and palms and bruised my thumb enough that it’s a little swollen and still somewhat painful four days later – and of course I was shaken up and annoyed with myself. But I was so lucky! A big advantage of being short and slow is I don’t have as far to fall and can’t build up as much momentum. If I were six feet tall I’d probably be out of commission for a while. A few years ago I fell on a steep downhill and hurt my hand badly enough that I had to stop running for at least a month – just short of a fracture, thank goodness, but the whole arm was painful.
It makes me extra-appreciate a bunch of things: how amazing it is that the body heals itself – and so quickly! – how much health and ability are matters of luck, how fortunate that I could finish that 11-mile run and get back to my normal training. But it also makes me wonder if we are the only creature than can damage ourselves by tripping – as opposed to falling from a height, or while jumping. Just a few years ago I learned the terms “committed biped” (ie humans, who always walk on two limbs) and “facultative biped” (creatures who can walk on two limbs sometimes, like gorillas and bears, but typically don’t). Facultative bipeds would just land back on all fours where they belong. We have this potential energy of a heavy head way up in the air on a body that can turn into a lever. I guess it must be so evolutionarily advantageous to be upright that it’s worth effectively living on a small cliff – just like it’s worth it for mountain goats to risk falling. And we are remarkably sure-footed – I’ve caught myself when tripping the vast majority of times.
If something else happens and I do have to drop out of the marathon, it would be sad but fine. I wanted to enjoy the training process itself, and I am! Highlights of this week:
- I met a Sphynx cat (or part-Sphynx, as it had patches of fur) on a weekday run. I won’t say where just in case (petnappers do exist), but it was friendly and encouraged me to pet it. The wrinkled skin was as soft as it looked.
- Northampton has so many beautiful neighborhoods. The Round Hill area gardens are delighting me.
- Long run: 36.71% of Easthampton! I forgot to mention that right behind me is the creator of CityStrides. It’s awesome that’s he’s a regular user too.
- Park Hill Road is one of the most beautiful areas in the Valley. I’ve enjoyed Art in the Orchard many times, and the Royal Frog Ballet Surrealist Cabaret once, but just running past the views early on a Sunday morning was almost as special.
- A slightly weird thing: the biggest development I ran through has signs for both “Carillon Circle” (the correct name) and “Carrilon Circle” (the typo). I figured they couldn’t be two different streets, but it’s a long road that intersects itself so I did wonder.
- I was really lucky to stumble across Wonky Owl Farm a few weeks ago – it no longer exists! The sign is gone and the roadside furniture was being given away. I’m glad I noticed it when I did!
|Date (temp/humidity)||Distance||Avg pace/fastest split||Time||HR (avg/highest)||Notes|
|Tue 7/27 (67°F/83%)||3.89||12:37/12:31||49:03||143/160|||
|Thu 7/29 (65°F/90%)||5.56||12:07/11:44||1:07:21||Intervals only: 146/169|
|Fri 7/30 (67°F/85%)||3.0||13:34/13:25||54:12||140/153|
|Sun 8/1 (53°F/96%)||11.46||14:22/13:13||2:44:38||145/171||I fell and also took lots of pictures|
|Totals||23.9 miles||||5.6 hours||||Weight avg 116.4, resting heart 57|