So the events of this week required that I dig through my old running logs to find the date of face plant #1. I struck gold in the first log I opened, 1996. The disastrous run occurred on December 2nd. I remember the day quite well. I had slipped on a pair of Adidas racing flats. The shoes had exceptionally long shoe strings. They were always a concern. So much so that even double knotting the shoes didn't keep the laces from flopping on the ground. Needless to say the shoes went into the trash after that run.
It was a beautiful late fall morning and I was a little more than a mile from home when I stepped on one of the dangling laces and went flying face forward into the blacktop. I remember thrusting my hands out to save my face. The pain was overwhelming. I rolled around in the street moaning and groaning. Remarkably an elderly couple watched it all from their driveway about two houses down. They got into their cars and drove off not stopping to see if I needed assistance. A postal worker drove by and did the same. After a few minutes I managed to roll up to my backside and gingerly got back to my feet. I somehow painfully jogged back to my house.
Once I got inside I realized I couldn't raise my arms to get my shirt off. I went over to my neighbors, a lesbian couple who were great people. She realized I was in trouble, got my shirt off, helped me on with another, and drove me to the hospital. I spent about two hours waiting to get x-rays and checked over by a doctor. I had hairline cracks in both arms near the elbow. I needed slings and a couple of days off from work. I couldn't run for a couple of weeks.
This is the x-ray taken Wednesday of my right elbow. You can clearly see the crack. The x-ray tech who nearly caused me to pass out missed the fracture in my left elbow. The x-rays taken the following day at my orthopedic doctor caught it. It's almost a duplicate of the break above.
What's amazing is that after the fall on Wednesday, I proceeded to run five miles. First, I jogged the quarter mile back home and cleaned up the abrasions. I needed to pick up my vehicle which had been at the Ford dealership for a recall. Since my arms didn't hurt much I decided to go ahead with my run to get my Escape. I think I was in so much shock that the pain hadn't hit me. It did with a vengeance about three hours later.
The pain was every bit as bad as what I remember in 96. In fact the following day was even worse. I could barely move either arm. I could barely open a door and couldn't really drive. But Dr. Gomez, the man who repaired both of my Achilles, had a simple solution to the pain and stiffness. He inserted a rather large needle into my elbows, drawing out an unbelievable amount of blood, a large amount of screaming from me, and even more yelling when he then injecting anesthetic. The relief was instantaneous.
I laid low for a couple of days before heading out today, Saturday, for an easy three mile run. Overall I felt amazingly good but my arms are still stiff and sore. I still don't know what caused me to trip and fall this time. One minute I was rolling along and the next thing I was flying forward slamming into the pavement. This running business is taking its toll on my health!