Don’t Worry, The Bridge is Still Standing
As you may know, I have been training for my 2nd full marathon coming up in July. After writing my soon to be published book, “Running Blind: The Journey of a Blind Runner Training for Her First Marathon” I decided it would be fun to run another full marathon to be able to put into practice all that I had learned from the first time around.
So starting in March, I have been adding miles onto my long run on Sundays. A few weeks ago, I ran the 18 miles that my marathon training schedule said I was to run. Not really having a route that is long enough to run straight out and back, I had to come up with a plan that would allow me to get my 18 miles in somewhere around town, in areas that I was familiar with.
It did involve me having to back track some of my miles, and run past my house again, which usually makes me want to head straight for the barn like some kind of out of control horse, but since it was only a few miles into my run, I didn’t have a problem passing the barn…err my house.
I was now 6 miles into my run with another 12 to go. I knew if I ran all the way down the Kim Williams Trail, an old railroad route turned into a bike and pedestrian path, I’d be able to get my full 18 miles that I needed. I have always enjoyed running this trail, but since my eyesight has gotten worse, I have not run on it by myself in a few years.
The main reason I don’t run it is because I have to go a lot slower and really watch out for tripping hazards such as rocks, fallen branches, and small children.
Once on the trail, I remembered how much I loved running on the well traveled path. The mostly dirt trail runs right alongside the river. It starts at the edge of the U of M campus and goes in about 3 miles. It’s very peaceful and pretty, but as I said, lots of opportunities for me to get tripped up.
So on this particular Sunday, I had to be extra careful as I was running the trail with 12 miles already logged on my pedometer. My legs were getting fatigued as I turned around to head back, the last 6 miles home.
But it wasn’t on the rocky, family and children-infested trail that I “ran” into trouble. The trouble was much less obvious to anyone with eyesight. It came on the newly paved Riverfront trail that hooks up with the Kim Williams Trail.
I had deployed my white cane after coming off the dirt trail, and was weaving it back and forth on the shiny new path, thinking how nice it was. The weather had been a perfect 56F degrees and partly sunny. All of a sudden a gust of wind and some light rain began to fall, just as I felt myself leaving the path.
I was on a downward slope, and I knew I had gone off the path, and was preparing to stop, when a very large and very hard concrete pillar stopped me instead!
Imagine my shock and disbelief as I did a face plant into concrete. My nose and upper lip took the brunt of the impact. Thankfully my running hat and white cane kept me from hitting it super hard. I’m not saying I didn’t hit it hard, but at least I didn’t knock out any teeth or break my nose!
This concrete pillar is attached to a major bridge. Yup about the only obstacle on this path, and I run right in to it!
So I stood there licking my wounds….well, not really licking… I used a tissue, and made an assessment of the damage. Other than a fat lip and a small cut on my upper lip, I would live to run another day. I debated with myself whether I should call home. But since I was not hurt too bad, and I really did want to finish my run and get my 18 miles in, I pulled myself together and continued on. I’m just glad I couldn’t see the people’s faces as I ran by, I’m sure I was a sight to see. I did stop and run cold water on my lip from a water fountain.
Sometimes it sucks to be a blind runner!
When I got home we got an ice pack for my lip. I said, “At least I didn’t come home without any teeth.”
T replied, “Just come home, we’ll deal with the teeth later, just come home!” We both laughed, what else could we do? I know it’s scary for her to let me go out and be independent, especially when I do things like this, but she knows that I’m doing what I love, and really I am careful, and now I know not to run into pillars…Yes I knew it before, but now I REALLY know!
How ‘bout it?