Falling Hard … for Gravity (A Brief Odyssey Report)

A brief weekend update: I DNFed Oddyssey. I cruised through Lap 1 (13 miles) in 2:02. I made good time to the summit of Middle Mountain, the midway (time wise) point of Lap 2 just slightly slower than Lap 1 (1:09 rather than 1:05) and easily caught the second place ultramarathoner shortly thereafter. I was running smooth, strong, and confident. That is until gravity made itself known while I was floating down the far side of the mountain at around mile 20. I let my concentration lapse for just a moment, but it was enough to send me on a close encounter with the ground. This marked my third hard fall within a week. Ugh. In this one, I hit the inside of my right knee pretty hard, though I ended up chest to ground. Immediately, my stride was affected. I couldn’t roll like I had before. I pretty much immediately knew my day was done as soon as finished lap 2. I hoped that my knee would loosen up, but it didn’t. Furthermore, as time went on I’d get occasional radial pain when I’d start running out of a walk or when there was more loss than normal on a downhill stride. My heart rate graph for the race clearly shows where I fell as I couldn’t get my HR up very high on the flats and downs afterwards, though I could still walk hard enough to raise it on the climbs. Had the RD let me drop down races, I would have been the second marathoner, but no luck on that. Oh well. I ended up with a time of 4:20 for the marathon. The race guide said that the marathon had 6,000′ total climb. I think that might be a tad high, but it would be close. I think I would have come through Lap 2 in around 4:12-15 had I not fallen. I also felt like I was ready to rock Lap 3, which had been my plan, but it was not to be.

If I get a chance, I’ll expand this report in the next couple days, so check back.

In other news, my fall from last Sunday STILL has the left side of my chest very uncomfortable. I’m increasingly worried that I’ve cracked a rib. However, I imagine a cracked rid would be excruciating, and my chest is merely bothersome to quite uncomfortable depending on what I’m doing. It hurts to cough, breathe deep, and put pressure on my chest. Doh!

Of my three falls last week, the least bothersome is the one that led to the most blood. On Tuesday night, I hit the sidewalk with a five-point (!?) fall. I managed to get both knees, both hands, and my right elbow. That took talent.

All of this falling if very unusual… and damn annoying. Remember to keep the rubber side down!