In case you didn’t notice, I was pretty psyched about Runners World’s Inaugural Holiday Running Streak.
Before I took the plunge to join the Run Streak, the most consecutive days I’d ever run was 5 or 6 days, but I’ve read stories about people who have been streaking for years and always thought it sounded really cool. Plus, the goal of streaking until New Years was exactly what I needed to boost my fleeting motivation.
So, rather than taking a few rest days, like I normally would after finishing the White Rock half marathon, I kept the streak alive with daily easy runs. By the weekend, I was itching for a good trail run — a luxury I can’t enjoy in the darkness of my pre- and post-work hours.
On Sunday, I set out from our backyard for a solitary trail run at Northshore Trail. I didn’t feel so hot when I left, and I hoped the run would help. By 2 miles in, it was definitely working. My pace was good, my heart rate was happy, and I decided to take the long way home, making it at least a 5-mile run.
Half a mile later, I was on the ground. The surface had changed from hard, packed dirt to rocky sand, but I didn’t adjust my leg pick-up accordingly and tripped. Instinctively, I put my hands out in front of me as I was falling, thinking I could catch myself. When it became clear that I was going down, I realized I needed to get my hands out the way as fast as possible. (The only thing worse than falling is landing on your hands!)
Unfortunately, I didn’t act fast enough and landed on the side of my left hand. I looked down to find my pinky finger pointing in a direction that was definitely not normal. I channeled my best Macgyver, moved the finger back into place, held it in place with my other fingers, and took a shortcut off the trail to get home via the road. I walked about half a mile back home, holding my fingers together like a splint and praying it wasn’t broken. Of course, it was.
Two days later, my entire hand started turning this lovely shade of purple, and I got the bad news that I would need surgery.
I was in and out of splints and casts all week until I had surgery on Friday. I’m now the proud owner of two metal pins that are holding my “5th digit” in place. In case you’re wondering, waking up after having nails driven through your hand isn’t as painful as it sounds. It’s much worse.
My doctor ordered only brisk walks for 2-3 weeks while the pain and swelling go down. I balked at first, quipping “We don’t need to talk about my running. My legs are fine!” Sadly, given how nauseous I get with my pain meds (even at 1/2 strength), she may be on to something.
So, after 18 days and 60 miles, my running streak came to an abrupt halt.
In lieu of flowers and other condolences, please just take a moment to appreciate your hands and fingers. Like many things, we are quick to take them for granted . . . until they’re gone.
~your broken little B