Brad Feld

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Blood and the Trail Runner

Apr 27, 2008

You aren’t a real trail runner until you’ve taken a spill that draws blood.  I had a doozy today at mile 4.

I was on a stretch of trail that I’ve run hundreds of times.  I was humming Across the Universe (Amy and I watched the movie last night – five stars) and thinking about whether Google AppEngine is the reinvention of the 4GL.  I was jolted back to the present moment when I realized I had caught my toe and was now flying through the air.

I’ve gotten pretty good at falling on trails (an important skill if you are me) and usually manage not to hurt myself.  My method is to fall on my side leading with my shoulder.  It’s inevitable that I am going to land on some sharp rocks – I want as much surface area to absorb the fall but stay off my front and my knees (too many dangerous things to hurt there).  Shoulder hits, hands hit, then knee hits, then everything else hits.  I then roll on my back and look up at the sky for a minute while my heart rate comes down from 195 back to something manageable.

I picked myself and finished my run.  I decided to cut it from 14 to 10 since I knew my knee would get stiff at some point.  The picture above is after six more miles (yes – the cut is deep enough that it is still bleeding.)  Other than being a little sore, my knee is fine.  I’ve got an equally nasty cut on the palm of my right hand which is going to slow down my tennis game for a couple of days – fortunately I didn’t have any tennis plans this week.