Friends, the trails are a mighty foe. One must keep one’s wits about them when heading into the dark, hilly, obstacle-filled death trap that is known as trail running. This is a cautionary tale for those among you who would dare to underestimate the dangers that lie in the forest.
No, not those sorts of dangers.
I managed to hurt myself on Thursday on a nice, relaxed morning shakeout on some trails. I wasn’t paying attention and managed to trip over a root that towered an enormous inch and a half off the ground. I flew forward, taking the brunt of the impact on my right knee, falling and then somehow rolling onto my back. I took care of important matters first; I hit the stop button on my watch to ensure that it wasn’t counting time when I was on the ground and not actually running. Then I inspected the damage. It was only my knee that was damaged, and it was merely skinned at that. Unfortunately I looked like a mess because the dirt had stuck to my sweaty back and limbs. Oh, well. We can’t all be like Robert “I look immaculate and classy except for the large gash on my leg that will require eight stitches” Kitz.
I made it out of the trails intact, though I noticed that the toe that had hit the root initially was stiff and slightly painful for the remainder of the run. For the rest of the day, I was forced to hobble around because it hurt to bend my big toe on my right foot. I suppose that sort of thing is to be expected when one bashes one’s foot into a root. Needless to say, there was no afternoon run that day.
And so here I am, not having run for over a day and a half. My foot is doing much better now; I can walk without pain, though there is still some stiffness. It is encouraging that there has been no swelling to speak of, perhaps indicating that I probably didn’t do any serious damage to my toe (dammit Jim, I’m a history student, not a doctor!) In any case, I am taking a down week right now in order to recharge after track season, so I can afford to take a day or two off. In fact, taking some days off might be the only way to get me back on pace to hit my prescribed total of 50 miles for the week (I hit 33 miles on Thursday morning).
Speaking of attacking trees and such, I came across something interesting a while ago on TV Tropes (so it must be true!) Supposedly, Tolkien’s idea for the Ents in Lord of the Rings was inspired by Macbeth. According to the article, “Tolkien said he was disappointed that Macbeth wasn’t just killed by a woman and that Birnham Wood didn’t actually get up and march against Macbeth.” That would have been cool.
Until next time, be aware of the dangers that trees and roots pose. Constant vigilance is necessary!