April 24th, 2019
Farmdale 50M -- Another Big Surprise!
Saturday October 13th, 2012
A funny thing happened to me on the trails at Farmdale Reservoir today...
The 50M started at 5AM. I ran along with some girls, two who were
doing their first 50M. One of them had on sparkly shorts -- yes, it's
about the outfit. I met Jason and Dave. Jason was celebrating his
birthday today. I told him mine was yesterday. I talked about the Vol
State -- I made it sound so incredibly fun that I think they were
considering trying it :).
I got slightly off trail and everyone went by. It was dark and I have
a tendency to bushwack. I got back on trail and ended up with a guy
behind me pushing the pace. I decided to run faster and see how long I
could keep him from passing me. I was running pretty well and having
fun. It was getting light. Farmdale is a rolling, curvy trail covered
with leaves at this time of year. On a downhill, I lost control. I
stumbled toward the edge with a bit of a drop into a ravine. My ankle
went this way and that way and this way. I caught a tree and tried to
catch my breath. The runner behind me said, "That was a nasty spill!
Are you O.K.?" I said I thought I would be. The girls caught up and
looked at my ankle. "That is not just the way your ankle looks (looks
at the other ankle) No, it's not!" I looked and my ankle was bulging
out of my sock. It was just before 7AM. She instructed me to elevate
it and they would send someone back. We were almost at 9 miles on the
10 mile loop. I tried to walk but couldn't put any weight on it. I
found a spot to sit, elevated my foot, and waited. It got cold. I put
my jacket back on. It started to rain -- I pulled out a disposable
poncho and put it on. I was feeling pretty smug that I was prepared.
Tammy Massie would be proud. I waited. I started to feel sorry for
myself. I put a stop to it and did some self-talk. I tried to scoot my
way up the trail but it was difficult. Another runner comes by. His
name is Kevin and he had been off trail by a mile or so and found his
way back. He offered to wait with me saying, "Ultrarunners take care
of each other." We talked for a few minutes and I told him to go on. I
told him the course is well-marked as long as you watch for the pink
ribbons. He said he felt confident now. I sang a song. No one could
hear me -- why not?
"Did you see that girl who sprained her ankle?" said Adam as he headed
towards me. "I haven't seen her," I responded. I expected two guys
with a gurney. I felt really bad when Adam said he would carry me out.
He is a big man, but carrying someone on your back will give anyone a
hernia. "At least I only weight 110," I said from my perch. His
response was something like, "Sister, I think you weigh more like
115!" I offered to hop. He wouldn't have it. I told him to take a
break. He said, "Do you need one?" I said, "You do." He carried me for
about 7/10 of a mile with 3 breaks. He then got the golf cart and
drove me the rest of the way to the aid station. My ankle looked like
a baseball was sticking out the side. Ann put me in a chair and gave
me blankets. It was raining harder. A sandwich, a can of Pepsi, ice on
my ankle -- you will never get better care than this anywhere. It
started to rain steadily.
Val was planning to show up around 9 or 10A. He was back at the hotel.
Someone gave me a phone to call. Adam gave me another ride on the cart
to the portajohn. Everyone offered information on where to go for
urgent care. We finally got it together and went to First Care. There
was no MD on duty. We went to another First Care 15 minutes away. I
met JoAnne, the nurse, and Andrea or Andy for short, the X-ray tech.
Andy started running 9 months ago. She had questions about shin
splints and my compression socks (the right one had to be cut off). We
had a great time talking while she x-rayed the ankle.
Then I met Dr. M. whose name was hard to pronounce. He said everyone
calls him Dr. M. I asked, "M" for murder?" He laughed and said, "No,
"M" for mercy!" He said it looked like a chip fracture of the bottom
of the fibula. I said that sounded better than a fracture elsewhere in
the bone. He said it was better but it still needed 6 weeks to
regenerate and I could not run for at least that. He would get a
radiology opinion from the hospital and have it the next day. I was in
surprisingly good spirits until we were driving home when tears welled
up in my eyes. Self-pity is just so easy! I stopped myself before Val
had a chance to set me straight. He had a recent eye surgery -- one in
a series over the last several years for lattice degeneration. He
said, "At least you don't have holes in your eyeballs." I said, "But I
have corneal ulcer scars on my eyeball." He said, "You don't have a
big hairy floater that blocks your vision." I said, "You win!" Val is
off running for his second week because of the eye surgery.
I wrote to both Mike and Adam (Farmdale RDs) on the way home from my
phone to thank them. I later saw Adam's response and laughed. It said,
"110. Really?" That boy will need his sense of humor when he is
diagnosed with a hernia :)
Dr. M. said, "Accidents happen, even when you are sitting on the couch
watching TV. When you get out and do things, there is more chance of
accidents, but at least you are enjoying life." I like Dr. M. I LOVE
Congratulations to those who stuck it out in the rain all day to
finish Farmdale 50M. There was also a 10M and a 30M that started later
in the morning.
Thank you Adam, Mike, Ann, Kevin, and the runners on the trail and the
volunteers at the start/finish aid station for all your help and
concern. ULTRA means, "U Live to Run Again" and I will!
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October 14th, 2012 7:54 pm
April 24th, 2019 6:48 am
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