By Nicole Cesare for Philadelphia Runner
While I will likely never be the first person across the finish line, there is one physical arena in which I excel: falling.
Yes, I am a champion faller with a wide range of expertise. I've fallen on ice, of course, but anyone can do that. I've mastered the rare double-sub, falling down the subway stairs and on the subway platform. I'm quite competitive in the five star bracket, having hit the ground in a fancy dress at a wedding and having gone down at a fine dining establishment, taking another patron's table with me. And of course there's the sentimental favorite, when I fell out of a chair during class. While teaching.
However, there was one type of fall that exceeded my grasp all these years. Until this week, I had never fallen while running. Hard to believe, but true.
Tuesday morning I was going back and forth on whether or not to head out for a training run. I was fighting off some kind of head thing, either a cold or allergies, and I wasn't sure if it was best to rest or proceed with training. After some googling, it seemed that conventional wisdom holds that it's fine to run as long as the sickness is limited to your head, not your chest. And since at that point all I had was a runny nose and sore throat, I decided to go for it.
I wasn't even a full block from my house when it happened. You know how sometimes you know a fall is coming? You have a second to stumble, to flail, to try and catch yourself? This was not that kind of fall. By the time my brain registered that my toe had caught on an uneven piece of pavement, I was on the ground, hands stinging and knees throbbing.
One good thing about falling is it kicks your adrenaline into gear, so I just jumped up and continued the run. Aside from the scrapes and soreness the next day from catching my full weight on my hands, I was fine. And I have another great fall for my trophy case. I even managed to stop and enjoy the flowers that are finally blooming.
Alas, that little head cold developed into a full blown chest cold/sinus pressure situation, so I wasn't able to get in any kind of long run this week. I'm hoping that a weekend spent mostly in bed will have me back on the roads soon, but for now I'm listening to the experts and laying low. I wish this had happened a bit earlier in the training, but I should still be able to get in a ten miler before race day.