This past Sunday I had my first race of 2015. It was the hypothermic half marathon put on by the Running Room here in Red Deer. It’s not a competitive race but I was excited to be in a race environment again, regardless of how competitive it was. I knew the footing was probably going to be bad and slippery in spots so I had to readjust my goals going into the race. I was hoping to average at or just under 6min/mile pace, thinking that would be a great pace to hold considering the conditions.
Race morning was pretty typical. Woke up a couple hrs before the race, ate a banana, did some light foam rolling and then Kayle and I made our way down to the race site. We were a little early getting there so we sat in the car for 30 minutes or so until I was ready to start my warmup. I was planning on doing a longer warmup (6-8km) but I ran into an old running friend I haven’t seen in over a year. We ended up running a couple miles then chatted near the start until it was time to line up. The pace felt easy to start the race with a small group of us running just sub 6min/mile pace. After two minutes I could still hear footsteps right behind me so I dropped it down another 10-20 seconds miles until I knew I finally had a gap on them. From that point on it was just about knocking off the miles while trying to avoid the many patches of ice. I went through 10k in 37 minutes comfortably and felt pretty confident that I was going to be under 6 minute miles for the entire race.
At the 45 minute mark I came to a part of the course that was super straight, flat, and ice free (or so I thought). I was running quite fast at this point, partly to make up for the times I had to slow down before for all the ice. Unfortunately this section wasn’t ice free and at one point when my right foot came down, I immediately slipped, both legs going up over my head. I landed on my palm and my knee, thankfully not hitting my head. My very first thought was, “oh no, I’m going to get caught!” but then I remembered I probably had a good 1-2 km lead cushion. It wouldn’t have mattered anyways, it was just a fun run, but I can’t help being competitive! I stood up and checked myself out, making sure I could still run. My knee and both hands were bleeding but nothing serious. Once I gave myself the green light to start again, it was easy to settle back into the pace I was at before (probably because of all the extra adrenaline from the fall). I couldn’t feel my left hand for about 20 minutes after I fell, but once the feeling came back I noticed it was quite painful and it was hard for me to hold onto my glove. Once I started thinking I might have really hurt my wrist/hand I slowed my pace down and just wanted to get the race over with. With about 2 km to go, the race course cut through the trails of an off the leash dog park. Going around a bend with only a few minutes to go to the finish, a lassie dog and a bunch of shihtzu starting running towards me being very aggressive. I had no choice but to stop because they had me circled. I kept yelling at them when they would get close, always keeping my eye on the bigger dog, since it was the most aggressive. After half a minute the owner came running and finally got all her dogs to back off. I ran to the finish, was ready to go home and get my hand looked after. After visiting with some friends I haven’t seen for a while we decided to head home. On the way home, my wrist starting hurting more so we went straight to the hospital to get some x rays.
Three hours later I was finally able to talk to a doctor who looked at my x ray. He told me I had no breaks and I was finally able to go home and eat something! It had been 20 hours and all I had to eat was a banana and some water, all while running a half marathon! I should thank my wife for dealing with me when I was hangry. I was in quite a bit of pain and couldn’t move my wrist/hand much throughout the day. I obviously strained my muscles and ligaments. We went to Killam to visit my family for the rest of the day and as soon as we got there my mom was all over me to go get x rays there and see what their doctor had to say. Mostly just to make her happy, I decided to go to the hospital in Killam. I knew it wouldn’t take 3 hours like it had in Red Deer. The same exact thing happened in Red Deer, the doctor told me the x ray said no breaks. Just as I was sitting up ready to leave, he told me to wait and he pressed on my scaphoid bone and asked if it hurt. It did, my whole hand/wrist was in pain. He told me he would have to put me in a cast for 10 days because sometimes that bone won’t show up broken in an x ray for 10 days after the incident. I was pretty gutted, I went to the hospital mostly to make my mom happy and now I was leaving with a cast on for 10 days and more x rays. I just wasn’t expecting it, and I realize that it’s not the end of the world. My fall could have been a lot worse and having a 10 day cast on just means I won’t be able to swim and can focus on my running and cycling more.
It’s been two days since the fall and already my range of motion is almost completely back to where it was. I still don’t know if my hand is painful where my scaphoid bone is because I can’t press on it because of the cast. I’ll be focusing on consuming a lot of anti inflammatory foods this week to help my body heal faster. All in all, I can’t regret doing the race. I made it my goal to race as much as I can this year and I’m happy I picked myself up and finished the race. The cast does suck, but now I can get my running closer to where it needs to be for the competitive races coming up soon. I’d like to send a shout out to my sponsor Four Sigma Foods for keeping me powered by shrooms! I use their chaga every morning to make my immune system bullet proof and help my body handle all the training stress I throw at it. Unfortunately, it won’t stop me from falling on ice, but chaga keeps my immune system strong.