Monday, July 16, 2012

Marathon Madness Monday: Week 4

4 weeks down, 14 to go! I am almost 1/3 of the way through training which is kind of crazy!

Today I want to talk about something really important: runner safety. This is going to be a "do as I say, not as I do" post as I made some stupid mistakes last Wednesday when I went for a run in Seattle.  The first part was unpreventable, but I fell about 4 miles into my run (tripped over a buckled sidewalk).  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't too major, but I really fell hard, and skidded across the sidewalk for a bit. 

Sorry for anyone who is grossed out by blood.  It actually looks worse now than it did right after it happened! I also skinned my palms, got road rash on my upper thigh, and bruised my shoulder.  I am not kidding when I say I fell HARD.

It really hurt, but I was able to continue running.  In hindsight I should have turned around at that point and made it an out-and-back run, but I thought I'd be able to run around Lake Union.  Instead, I took a wrong turn multiple wrong turns, and this is the path I ended running. 

I had intended to run 8 miles that day, and as you can see from the map, I was no where near my starting point nearly 9 miles into my run.  I kept stopping and asking people how I could get back to the Queen Anne area and a couple of people were like - 'ON FOOT'?  I thought they were exaggerating, but once I realized where I was on my (crappy) tourist map, I knew it was time to throw in the towel.

I don't run with my iPhone, so I had to go to a restaurant to have them call me a cab.  I was dripping with blood from my fall (gross I know) and was pretty hot and tired at this point. The guy that helped me was  concerned as I looked pretty rough at this point.

Oh, and did I mention that I didn't have any money on me?  Rookie mistake.  Luckily the angelic cab driver that picked me up let me run up to my room to get cash.  I think he took pity on me as I looked pretty awful with all the abrasions from my fall.

It all worked out for me - luckily.  But I definitely made some stupid rookie mistakes that a runner with 7+ years of running under her belt shouldn't make!

So what did I learn?

1. Tell people where you are going!  No one knew when I was running, how far, or what area I'd be running in.  When you are a single person who lives (or is traveling alone), it would be smart to tell someone when/where you are running and approximately how long you'll be gone for.
2. Carry a phone when running in an unfamiliar area.
3. Always carry money on you. You may need water. Or a cab!
4. Wear something like a road id in case you are in distress and someone needs to contact a loved one (I ALWAYS have my road id on my shoes).

Wednesday was the perfect storm of runs but it all worked out in the end. Sometimes I am a bit too independent for my own good and I need experiences like this to remind myself that I am not invincible. None of us are. And yes, bad things can still happen to the most cautious runners, but it's pretty dumb to make as many mistakes as I did!

Here is how my week broke out:

Monday:  Rest day...  unless I can count dancing at the wedding as cross training.  ;)
Tuesday:  Rest day as I was traveling all day.
Wednesday:  Adventurous 8.75 mile run, 9:30 pace
Thursday:  5.25 run at 9:24 pace
Friday:  Rest day
Saturday:  16 miles at 10 min pace.  I meant to run 14 but the people I was running with were doing 16 so I stuck with them.  I was not at all sore the next day so I take that as a sign that my body was ready for the increase in distance.
Sunday:  Rest day

There were more rest days than I'd like, but I'll take what I can get when traveling.  This week will be a more solid week.

Training tally:
Week 4: 30 miles
Training to date:  105

Do you have any runner's safety tips to add to my list?


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Ah, this post answers Eric's final question about your run story which was, how the heck did she find a cab in Seattle? Haha. When we were visiting, we were amazed at how little public transportation there is and then ALSO how few cabs there are around. In most cities you just stroll down a main road and you'll find an empty cab but we saw like 1 or 2 in Seattle the whole time we were there.

Anyway, I'm so glad that everything ended up being okay with this run even though it was so crazy. I ended up getting a spibelt at my local running store on Saturday and using it on my run yesterday. I think I'm going to have my phone for all runs now unless I am with Eric. Now that I use the mapmyrun app (which by the way is the best) I need to have it anyways and I feel like it's just safer. I always have it when I bike because I bike so much farther than I run. I don't ever want to be like 6 miles away and have no way of getting home.
Glad you will be safer from now on :)

abbi said...

Wow, that's quite the story! I admit I'm a little lax in the safety area when I'm in familiar territory but when it's unfamiliar territory I carry a phone, ID and pepper spray.

missris said...

Wow that fall looks nasty! I'm glad you're ok! I always run with my road ID and my phone, but there have been a few times where I got really lost and I should have looked at the map and planned a route better before I left. My sense of direction is not as good as I'd like to think it is :)

Stephany said...

Oh goodness. What a crazy story! My mom has many of those, unfortunately. If she ever does a long run, I force her to bring her phone because I'm just too scared of something happening to her and not having her phone on her!

ALWAYS BRING YOUR PHONE. ALWAYS, ALWAYS. I'm just glad you were in a more suburban area, not on a trail or somewhere with little people.

I use my phone as my music, so it works out for me but definitely invest in a Spibelt!! They are so great at carrying a lot but not being bulky at all.

Marlys said...

Wow, that was quite the experience! I'm glad it all turned out okay, and that cab driver was so wonderful to wait for you! You are lucky you found a compassionate one! I hope your sore is healing by now!

Nora said...

Just so glad you are ok!!! I don't have a running ID but I probably should get one. I make a point to always text my mom or Knight when I'm heading out for a run and where I'm going, and how long I think I'll be gone for in case they don't hear from me. Then I text them when I get home. So far that's worked out well! I guess I should start carrying some money though... never thought of that idea!

Leigh said...

Oh no, your leg looks terrible! Glad that you are okay though and that everything worked out for you to get back to your hotel safely. That was super nice of the cabbie! But then again, if he didn't wait for you, he didn't get paid.

Cherry Blossoms said...

Ouch, Ouch Ouch!!! I hope your leg is healing well.

pinkflipflops said...

Yikes! I would have been crying and turning around when I fell. But I'm a super big baby. And LISA TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF YOUNG LADY! ;)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

OUCH! So sorry to hear about your spill :-( Yes, those tips are VERY important.

Caroline said...

Wow, glad you're okay! When I was training for my marathon last summer I was living in an unfamiliar city by myself and safety was always on my mind. Bringing my phone and money was a big one, I also planned my routes so I was running on public/busy roads but that had sidewalks and weren't super trafficy.

Raquelita said...

Ouch! I saw your tweet about falling and getting lost, and I see that you were definitely not exaggerating about tearing up some skin. I hope that you heal quickly.

I realized this morning that I forgot my phone when I went out for a run. Fortunately, it was just a little 3 miler on a now-familiar route in the park. I shouldn't underestimate my ability to get lost, though....

qwerkyqook said...

Totally agree. I've seen lots of runners in the ED unfortunately with no ID. NEVER run without your road ID!!!!!!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! That looks awful!

I haven't had any big scares like that, I've always ran in areas that I knew pretty well. The only scary thing I have done so far is an out and back that went "out" too far and I didn't want to half run "back." ha ;)

I'm glad things worked out and it was a learning experience for you. It's super impressive how much you got done while being on vacation! You're going to kill this marathon!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

"Half" should be "have to." Damn typos.

Gracie said...

That's one scary run - I'm glad you're ok. I don't run with a phone, so this scares me a little! And glad you got a nice cabbie.

J said...

Whoa - hope you knee/leg is ok. I have totally done that - tripped over the sidewalk. Multiple times. i ALWAYS worry about getting lost in new places. Glad everything worked out for you!

Abby said...

Ouch!! That is one sore, nasty looking leg! Hope you are better @ healing than I am. I still have these big nasty scars on my knees from my run-fall!

That is so scary to get lost in a city you're not familiar with! That cab driver was an angel!! OMg, but I can't even imagine if they would've been harsh (or their usual self).

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

What a lousy run. I agree with everything you advised (including "do what I say, not what I do" since I'm not always the greatest at following those rules). I think the only other advice I'd give is learn from past runs and apply lessons learned to future runs. =)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I haven't had any serious falls while running (a few tripping incidents in the trails though) but I had a pretty bad bike crash when I was triathlon training last year and was bleeding everywhere! Sorry that the last day of your vacation was kind of a write-off!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I think you pretty much covered the basics! I always run with my phone (which doubles as my music and camera) and my emergency $5. ALWAYS. And the Road ID of course. Also, I try to check Google Maps before heading out so I am certain of where I am going, although that sometimes backfires, especially on trails!

I also always carry water and usually some kind of fuel, more for emergencies than for use during a normal run. Especially on trails! I always assume I may get lost and stuck out there for a while... Better to be safe than sorry.

PS That fall sounds serious!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Jokingly I was going to say " take knee and elbow pads on your runs" but in all seriousness it could happen to anyone. I've tripped before and scraped up my hands and legs on a run. You feel stupid, but it can happen. Unfortunately, it made your whole run a bit more chaotic plus getting lost. Sounds like the cab driver was nice and well, he wanted his money so I'm sure he was fine with waiting. At least you have a good story to tell! :) I'm just happy that I have my Road ID on my shoe (thanks to your advice at Victoria) and that always gives me a little extra piece of mind in case I were to knock myself out from a fall or something.

WHen running during the early mornings this past spring for marathon training, I made sure to wear my headlamp and clothing so that cars could spot me and not turn right into me. Plus, I just kept my head up a lot more and was aware at all times just because it was still dark out.