Friday, September 17, 2010


Sooner or later in your running "career," you will realize the hazards of your choice to tie up your laces and get out the door on the pavement.  You may find yourself in a crosswalk, in the direct path of a treacherously driven vehicle (and you thought the white lines meant pedestrian right-of-way).  Or you'll run a little bit too close to dusk and end up running home in the dark, without reflective gear or pepper spray.  Perhaps you'll even find yourself running past/near/into an ex, looking exactly like you feel--hell--when in your head you had pictured this awkward encounter as having a smidge more glamour and smelling better.

While these are the more serious hazards (except the last one--let's face it, while it is embarrassing, it's not life threatening), there are some other hazards, like tripping and falling, that are important to keep in mind.

I've been on runs where after a number of miles, it's difficult to pick up my feet.  Moving my legs forward isn't difficult, but getting the toes to lift more than 1 centimeter off the ground is.  This isn't a problem, unless there are things that get in your toes' way, like branches, rocks, uneven pavement, your other toes...

On Monday night, I went for a run along the Charles River, this time going from my new apartment in Brighton towards the city.  While there is a paved walkway there, I usually choose to run on the grass or on the trodden-down grass turned path that sometimes appears right next to the walkway, where many other runners have also decided to forego the pavement for softer running ground.  After crossing the JFK Bridge at Harvard, I ran along a bumpier version of this same path, one that was a down a slope from the real path.  I've tripped before, but I've always caught myself.  Monday wasn't so lucky, and I tripped on something--a rock, a root, who knows, and fell forward onto my left side.  I came away fairly unscathed, considering: my left knee was skinned and there was a rock that I had apparently slid across, creating a scratch a few inches long.  My iPod has a tiny scratch on its face, but it still works.  No one saw me, which I'm thankful for.  I did have to run the 3 miles home with my bleeding knees and in a thunderstorm, but perhaps it's a small price to pay for my social pride.

You can't prepare for falling, except to be conscious of your dragging feet.  You also can't prepare for the other atrocities mentioned above, except be aware of your surroundings, time of day, and your deodorant usage.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch Kristen! Been there and done that quite a few times. Also I'm thinking it was a CIA placed UAV that you tripped over...I mean, how likely are you to find a rock while you're out running.

    Anyways, Thanks again for guest spotting on our blog. It was excellent!