The Dangers of Trail Running

I have always had an irrational fear of falling down hills on trails. Like, once it was so bad that on a family hike I broke down crying in the middle of hill and had to be convinced by both Kris and his older brother that I wasn’t going to die if I kept walking down the hill kind of irrational fear.

Given the title of this post, I am sure you can see where this is going.

A few months ago, one of my friends asked if I’d like to sign up for a local trail race. I don’t do much trail running, but I literally live right next to this trail and I’ve been hoping to start running with people sometimes so I thought it would be a good idea. I’ve only run on the trail once or twice, though, and never on the part where the race will actually occur, so we decided it would be a good idea to meet up a couple of times before the race to practice (she walks on it but does not run on it a lot).

Running with someone else was pretty nice! I was afraid that I was holding her back, but she was also afraid she was holding me back, so I’m sure both of us were going at an adequate pace. I am sure she could have gone a little faster than me, because she is more used to trail running and was more rested (I’d already run 12 miles this week), but I didn’t feel like I was ruining her day or anything. It was also nice to talk, though we eventually had to stop talking as we got more tired. I was also worried about the trail being muddy because it rained all week and I don’t have trail shoes, but I just wore my old running shoes and they held up well. My arches hurt a little, but my newer, thinner, shoes would have been awful in that mud, so I am glad I made that choice.

Of course, around mile 6 (we were almost done, we were practicing for a quarter marathon, which is just over 10K), she said something like “Be careful! Now that we are getting tired this is when people break ankles!” as we went to go down a hill. So, of course, being me and all (meaning clumsy), I fell down the hill. I am mostly fine – just two bruises and some barely-broke-the-skin scrapes, but it looked really bad because of all the mud and the fact that I didn’t clean it off until we finished running about half a mile later (we were so close to the parking lot, and I figured it would be more productive if I waited for it to stop bleeding).

We are going to go back tomorrow to practice again, and this time, I think I’ll take her advice and wear my leggings so as to avoid this. Warning: slightly bloody photo ahead.

My battlescar. Don’t worry, those are the shoes I brought to change into due to the mud, not something I’d wear for running!

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