Monday, February 8, 2010

A Bunch Of Dumb Decisions

My plan for Sunday was to wake up early (5am) and head to Blue Hills for another TARC run. I really enjoyed last weekend’s workout with the animals (3.5 miles of hills repeats followed by 4 hours of trail running). Well, things don’t always go as planned. I overslept, and since I didn’t prepare my gear the night before knew I would never get there on time. Instead, I decided to stay local and do a long run in Lynn Woods.

Last weekend, the trails in Blue Hills had only a dusting of snow and scattered patches of ice. I assumed the trails in Lynn Woods would be about the same so I left my screw shoes and Kahtoolas at home. When I arrived at the entrance to the woods I was surprised to see the ground covered in snow. I should have driven home to get my screw shoes but I didn’t. It was a decision I would later regret.

I started my run on a fire road that was solid ice. I did my best to stay off the ice and run on a light covering of hard snow on the sides of the road. The fire roads here get a lot of traffic from dog walkers, xc skiers and snowshoers so the snow gets packed and frozen. The rain and subsequent below freezing temperatures we’ve had turned them into a skating rink. I hoped the single track trails would be in better shape. They weren’t.

About 90% of the trails were covered in snow and ice. Of that, I estimate about 60% was hard snow and runnable. The rest was ice that required a slow shuffle or walk depending on the grade of the trail. I had planned to run about four hours but after two I decided it was unwise to continue. It just wasn’t very safe. I was pissed at myself for leaving my screw shoes at home and not being able to complete my run.

I had less than a mile to go when I came to a downhill section that was nothing but ice. I should have bushwhacked my way around the trail but I didn’t. I saw there were enough exposed rocks above the ice to rock hop my way down. I made it down slowly and unscathed and I guess I must have let my guard down. I jumped off a rock onto what I thought was a safe spot but I didn’t notice it was covered with clear ice. Both feet went out from under me and I was falling backwards onto my butt. I reached out to break my fall and jammed my hand hard on the frozen ground. The pain was intense and I thought surely I must have broken my wrist.

After yelling every curse word I could possibly think of I examined my wrist and hand. My wrist was painful to touch around the entire circumference. My fingers we numb and tingling but I could move them. I could also bend and turn my wrist so I figured it must not be broken. I walked the final half mile out of the woods and when I finished my wrist was feeling a little better. Perhaps I dodged the bullet. Later that day my wrist was getting more painful with each passing hour. My wife suggested I go to the ER to have it checked out. The last thing I wanted to do was spend 5 hours in the waiting room of an ER. I decided to wait and see how it felt in the morning. I iced and wrapped it before going to bed.

Well now its morning and my wrist still hurts, my hand is swollen to double its normal size and my fingers look like sausages. Should I go to the ER for an X-ray? Probably, but I’m not. I work in a hospital and I’ll see my primary care physician when I go to work tomorrow. If I need an X-ray I’ll get one done there in a fraction of the time compared to going to the ER today.

It looks like I won’t be running for a while. My wrist hurts like hell when I swing my arm (yes, I tried it already) and running with my arm in a sling would leave me with only one arm to break my next fall.

Damn, dumb decisions!


  1. That's horrible dan! I broke my wrist once, it was a hairline crack so I could move just you describe.....but it was broke and I had to have a cast.....hope ypu fair better then I did.

  2. Oh, what a bummer! But, know that most of us (hmmm, at least myself) would have done the same thing and kept running. It is hard to stop, particularly when the endorphins are doing their job. If you can move the wrist/fingers, then probably there is no fracture, just a bad sprain. Getting an Xray would be a good idea, though (I do agree about not going to the ER - in the wait time you are bound to catch some kind of a superbug that's incubating over there). You may be able to run sooner than you think. If it is a sprain they'll want you to move it even though it hurts. Good luck!

  3. Dan, that is a raw deal. My wife says always listen to your wife in these situations, but that's just crazy talk. Our ER is always full of drunken morons with poor hygiene and odious personal habits (and me when I eat nuts or shellfish). Best to avoid that altogether. Get well soon. PS Don't beat yourself up about it. I too made a mistake once.

  4. Keven and Ana, thanks for the commenta and advice.

    Steve, thanks for the post. You have me laughing (again) with your keen sense of humor. You were trying to be funny, right?

  5. Dan, So sorry to hear this and hope your wrist is feeling better. I too would have done the same thing so don't feel too bad as the ice is very deceiving as most of us have learned one time or another.

  6. Oh, man. That is NOT good at all. You SHOULD listen to your wife. The sooner you deal with it the sooner you can get back on the trails. Plus, don't you have a birthday run coming up? ;)

    Hope it turns out to be something really minor and you can rest for a few days and be back on track!

  7. Jeez, Dan! I'm with you on avoiding the Emergency Room. I've never had a pleasant ER experience. I guess one or another of us is due for some emergency medicine every couple of months or so. I'm sorry to hear your turn came this time. Hopefully you've seen your doctor by now. Any news?

  8. Streph, got an x-ray yesterday. At least it's not broken!

  9. Halelujah! I'm hopeful that your birthday torture is still on. I'd be up for celebrating 55 years with 55 km.


What's on your mind?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...