Saturday, November 22, 2008

Run, Even When It Hurts

The alarm clock went off at 4:30 in the morning. Woke up got out of bed, went to my office to look at the outside temperature and all I could see was the # "1". Didn't bother to see what the second digit was, could have been 11, could have been 19. Didn't really matter. Went back to bed and reset the alarm for 6:30. At least at this time the sun would be out, not that I thought it would make a difference with the temperature, but it sure was nice stealing those extra two hours.

At 6:30am the thermometer read a frigid 20 degrees. That seemed more manageable, I thought. Put on the coffee and dropped a bagel in the toaster. Got dressed, eat my bagel and drank a cup of coffee, stretched and off I went... It was now somewhere around 7am and the temperature was 22 degrees.

So how cold was it? Just to tell you that as I left the house our two Siberian Huskies just lifted their head and halfway looked at me with that "Are You Crazy" look and went back to sleep.

It was a cool, crisp, beautiful morning. It didn't feel as cold as I thought it would. I have done my homework and purchased the right kind of clothing for this weather. Only discomfort was on my fingers, but they too felt great after a couple of miles. I was wearing ear covers with no hat and for a bit I wonder if maybe I should let my hair grow, but just for a very brief moment. That as well, took care of itself in no time. I was off to a good start, it's going to be a great run.

It was somewhere on mile seven that things headed south. Well, at least that's how it seemed at that moment. I was on pace and on track to run a sub 2 hour 13 mile when my right foot stepped on top of a rock of boulder proportions. Really, it was thaaaat big. And down I went. In that millisecond between the time when I knew I was going down to the time when I went down 423 thoughts came through my mind. Most of them had to do with how silly I must look to anyone looking, to will I still be able to run in Memphis on December 6th, to my ankle, my hands, my elbows, knees and back. But the dominating thought that seemed to take over was just one that wondered if I had ruined my new running clothes.

As I lay on my back I began to take inventory. Back felt good, no damage there. Ankle a little sore but not broken, thank God. Right elbow somewhat sore, left one okay. Left knee check, right knee hurt. And the hands, oh the palm of my hands. The right one was aching a lot, the left one was hurting bad. It took the bulk of the force as I landed. I got up and started walking slowly just to make sure. At this point the right knee and both palms were in pain, severe pain. I was just a mile or so from where my wife was exercising so I thought that maybe I could make it there and get a ride home with her.

I picked up the pace and much to my surprise everything felt good. Just my hands, they were in serious pain. So I decided to try to finish my run. The further I got the better I felt and in just a mile or so, the pain was gone. Amazing thing adrenaline does. I finished the 13 miles in 2 hours and 7 minutes.

My wife got home and saw my wounds and after she asked how I was she told me to be ready for the pain to show up. I knew that. I knew that after the body cooled down all the aches and pains of the fall would surface. And boy did they ever. A friend has told me to be proud of my war wounds and that, I am. It's a great story to be able to tell.

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