Tuesday, April 10, 2012

War wounds

It's been over a year since I first started -and promptly fell in love- with winter running. It feels amazing to bundle up and face the elements, and not turning into a sweaty mess feels pretty great. And you can't beat a sunny day with crisp white snow, frosty trees and that noisy kind of quiet you get from muffled snow running. I can't believe how many gorgeous winter days I wasted inside on a treadmill thinking my lungs would freeze or I would slip on the ice.

So after all this time in the great outdoors and the unpredictable Calgary weather, it was bound to happen. On Saturday, a few days after an April snowstorm, I went out for a quick morning 5k in the ravine behind my house. I had breakfast plans and had overslept a bit, so my timeline was pretty tight. As I approached the switchback path down to the ravine I recalled how slick it had been the week before in the spring thaw, so I slowed right down as I came to the halfway point on the path. I had moved off the snow covered path to what I thought was bare road...


Before I realized what had happened, I was sitting flat on my ass, too stunned to move or even comprehend what had happened. Did I just...FALL??? A shriek of pain and rage was heard over my iPod as pain set in. Now, I had fallen right down, no twisting or sliding, but rather one second I was upright, the next picking dirt out of my palms. I sat there for at least a minute, still shocked that I was sitting instead of jogging up the ravine admiring the trees before I dared move. I was so afraid of finding out I'd twisted or banged an ankle or knee and that it would be a long walk home followed by rest...

Fortunately, the only thing I'd hurt was my hands and elbows as I crashed down. Well, guess I smacked my rump pretty hard too, but there's certainly enough padding to protect me there. My palms certainly stung, but the cool air helped, and there didn't seem to be anything too permanent and nothing to stop me from running. I carefully picked my way down the hill and very cautiously finished the run. Took a few minutes longer than usual, but no more mishaps and I got the sympathy I was hoping for when I got home and showed off my puffy hands and slowly brushing elbows. I self treated with ice and a few beers and I should be as good as new in no time!