Ice, Or, The Story of Why I Didn’t Run Today

As it became clear today that I would not be completing a long run this afternoon, I told myself I would do a blog update as a consolation prize. Why did I not complete a long run this afternoon? WELL LET ME TELL YOU!

Falling on ice is a pretty common occurrence during a Maine Winter, but it all felt fairly dramatic while it was happening. (Mom you can stop reading now I’m fine!) I got a nice early start to the day, did some laundry and tidying up, had all my things together to leave the house and run some errands, was feeling really great. I went down the rear interior staircase from my 2nd floor apartment, opened the outside door, stepped out onto the three exterior steps leading from the door to the driveway…and immediately went down. There had been a drip of water from the roof onto the steps; the ice was wet and perfectly smooth. Zero traction. I’ve never had problems on these steps before and it wasn’t sleeting or anything, so I didn’t think to be careful. Just step and gone, keys and purse and my new vacuum-insulated tumbler flying out of my hands. I landed HARD on my right hip/buttock and my right elbow, and it HURT. I had to lie there on the steps a minute, whimpering slightly, in enough pain to wonder who I could call for help who wasn’t at work at 10:30 am on a Friday. I don’t remember hitting my head; it all happened very quickly and the largest amounts of pain were focused in the hip and elbow areas. When I eventually stood up, however, I found that I needed to crouch back down almost immediately and put my head between my knees like you’re supposed to do if you’re worried you might faint. It felt PRETTY SILLY to be crouched in pain at the bottom of the side steps next to the driveway, though, so with EXTREME CAUTION I eventually made it back up the three outside steps and through the door to the carpeted entry way. Where I felt very nauseous and once again had to sit down, low to the floor, and keep my head very still. In addition to the nausea, some of the arm muscles I was using to support myself were acting all shaky and not behaving precisely as told. But sitting in the shared entryway still felt silly, so after gathering my resolve I got up, shook the container of ice melt LIBERALLY over the offending outdoor steps, and made my way back up the indoor flight of stairs to my second floor apartment. I headed straight to the couch, and balance/walking was pretty tricky for a minute there. I saw the proverbial stars, which in actuality appeared as kind of a moving diamond pattern overlaying my vision. I was also overheating at this point, and struggled to remove hat/scarf/jacket while also lying down and ceasing movement as quickly possible.

And… within a very short amount of time the room stopped spinning and I was able to sit up, and felt fairly normal aside from general shakiness and bruises.

I figure I must have hit my head, although there still isn’t a bruise or specific place on my head that hurts. Once walking felt okay again I went to the bathroom mirror and checked for dilated pupils, and they looked fine. I also never lost consciousness, and I think those two things are some of the signs of a really bad concussion. After giving myself a good few minutes to make sure I stayed feeling fine, I decided to go about my day but take it with a grain of salt. When I stopped by the donut shop to pick up my tips I went for a mocha with whipped cream instead of my usual plain coffee—icy falls call for treat drinks! And I went to the bank and did all the out-and-about things I’d been planning on, feeling fine and capable but just a little sluggish and off. I decided my body would probably be better served if I replaced “doing a long run” with “resting on the couch” this afternoon/evening, and by the last errand on my list I was starting to get a tinge of a back-of-the-head, nauseous kind of headache. So I went home. And I feel okay, but also like “resting on the couch” is a good thing to be doing. And that’s my story!

I’m mad about the miles I’m missing. Due to scheduling conflicts I won’t be able to get a long run in on Sunday, and I’m not going to run tomorrow unless I really feel up to it. I don’t want to mess around with a possible concussion, even a mild one, and getting through work may be quite enough for the day. This might leave me with as few as 10 miles for the week , which is frustrating when I’m shooting for 20 at a minimum and would rather be in the 27-30 range (somehow I couldn’t fit in any extra mileage on top of the pub runs this Wednesday and Thursday either). But one thing I learned after an injury last spring is that sometimes rest is just what you need, so I’m trying not to stress about it. I’ll just try not to look at my Strava mileage for the week (Strava is the run app I use) and hopefully I can make up for it next week. I did a pretty hard workout at my circuit class yesterday and I’ve been leveling up on some of the weights, so it hasn’t exactly been an easy week and it might be an okay time to take a break. Either way it can’t be helped. And at least I hurt myself while walking, in winter boots and street clothes, and can still claim to be pretty darn good at running on ice.

Stay safe out there, and be careful on steps!

One thought on “Ice, Or, The Story of Why I Didn’t Run Today

  1. Pingback: Update: It was Definitely a Concussion | Grace Makley

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