Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Just when you think things can't get much worse....

Through in the "Dear Green Place" yesterday, so I decided to go my usual wee run up by the banks of the majestic Clyde. The predicted heavy rain hadn't really come to much and there wasn't even too much of a wind, so conditions were ideal.
I knew that I wasn't going to be running at night - there was an East Lothian Summer Series race on and I was on my usual stopwatch duties. So, if this was going to be my only (short) run for the day I thought I might as well push it a bit and get in one last bit of speed training before Saturday's Musselburgh Festival 10k.

I was really enjoying the run. Really, really enjoying it. It was one of those runs where everything just clicks into place. I was going along at a fair pace (averaging on the 6 minute mile pace) and even although the old heart rate was up a bit (nicely in my "blue" zone) I didn't feel that I was working too hard. It's the way you always want to feel on race days. All was well with the world.
Then, not long after I had turned and was heading back to the office - THWACK !!!

Now. I don't really know if "thwack" is the correct onomatopoeic term for the sound of a runner hitting tarmac at speed, but it's the best that I can come up with and hopefully it helps convey a little of what happened.
It would appear that during the recent tree pruning/felling exercise (or whatever) a few bits have been left scattered about....
My right foot found one of those bits. I came down like a sack of spuds.
As is always the way with such accidents I jumped right back up as if nothing had happened. Just in time to feel something warm and wet run down my leg .... no not that! There was a "chunk" missing from my right elbow, from which was squirting at regular intervals like a child's water pistol... blood. I think it was the shock of seeing this rather than the pain that started the string of profanities that came from my mouth.
Luckily two rowers were training on the Clyde and the chap in the small motor boat who was training them brought his boat along side me to see if he could help.
Just then though an elderly couple who had been out hiking came round the corner and stopped.
They were on holiday from Australia and had obviously come very well prepared for all eventualities.
The lady, managed to stem the blood flow with a small compress that she held in place with a bandage and also gave me some dressings for my other injuries that I had overlooked (hand, knee, thigh chest, and hip). It looked for all the world like I'd been in a fight with a maniac armed with a cheese grater.
Anyway, this really, really nice couple made sure I was OK (she even gave me a wee sweetie) and I tootled off at walking pace back to the office. Walking back through Glasgow Green covered in blood (it was all down both legs and my hands were literaly dripping) drew a few stares and comments.
I'd already made up my mind that I needed at least the elbow wound seen to properly and, given that I can't remember the last time I had one I also decided that a tetanus injection might be in order...
Now. I was buggered if I was going to some West Coast A&E so I had a quick (and painful) shower in the office and got changed to head back to Dunbar (I'd phoned ahead and managed to get an appointment with the nurse).
It was when I was getting changed after the shower that I discovered the worst of the injuries (from a running point of view anyway). When I was bending down to tie up my shes there was a "click" noise and sensation from my chest. Looks very much like I've either cracked or bruised a rib! Bugger.
A sore elbow and a wee bit of road rash I can cope with, but a cracked rib takes time, and experience tells me that even when I can get back running it'll take a bit longer before I'm really able to push it and run.

Anyhow, when I did see the nurse she was impressed by the dressing that the Australian lady had put on. Changed it though, for a clean one and gave me a few spares to bring home with me - not looking forward to changing it myself and having to look at it again! Worst part was when she used tweezers and scissors to peel away and trim all the torn skin round the wound in my hand. Told the nurse about my rib suspicions and after a brief rundown of a few checks to ensure it wasn't really bad (not sticking into a lung or anything like that) she basically confirmed what I already knew. There's nothing you can do with a bad rib except give it time (and a few painkillers). As for running? If you try it and it hurts? Stop!

Feeling stiff and sore this morning. A couple of Co-Dydramol last night at least ensured a half decent nights sleep.
Couple of things for sure though -one; the Musselburgh 10k has been taken off my dance card and two, I don't know how, if at all, this will affect my hopes of an Autumn marathon. Might throw all my training to pot.
I'll give myself one or two days of sympathy cake and chocolates - then all crappy eating habits will get put on the back burner till I'm back on the road.

By the way... the good thing about running with a GPS? I know for a fact that when I hit the deck I was doing 5:43 minute pace and the heart was at 163!


Yak Hunter said...

Very harsh! We are sorry.

Ray said...

I hope you are recovering quickly Stuart.