Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's all Fun and Games 'til Someone Breaks Their Neck

Yesterday I woke up with a ton of energy! I couldn't wait to get out on the trails for a morning run. My training plan called for a fast paced 8 miler on trails with a long run of 18 or 20 trail miles the following day. This is my alternative to back to back long runs. I figure after pushing hard on tough trails for a moderate distance on the first day, that second day's long run will be on those much desired end-of-a-hundred-miler, tired, used-up legs. And this will be without increasing my weekly mileage to a level that isn't healthy for me. Whether this will really give the same benifit as the usual back to backs is yet to be seen. It seems like it should work in theory, but that theory is only my own.

I wore my heart rate monitor to keep me honest and put in a good solid effort for 8 miles of tough trails in just under 1:20. This was one of those runs where I just couldn't wipe the smile off my face. The air was cool, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was working hard. The whole time I ran, I was looking forward to the next day's long run and planning my route in my head.

In the late afternoon, Kevin and I rode the Ossipee River Trails, practiced some skills in the school parking lots, visited my little jump ramp, and then rode the difficult Black Forest Trail, which gives me some trouble due to tight turns, rocky and rooty ascents, log hops, a stump jump, and loose soft dirt. Yesterday on Black Forest, I had to get off the bike a few times. This doesn't frustrate me, it just makes me want to improve my skills! I need more practice!

To return home, we traveled the very familiar near end of the River Run Trail. I've been over this lots of times and it is relatively easy riding. Kevin led. We were really going at a leisurely pace, just kind of wrapping things up. I was still feeling great and energetic. I'm not sure why, but I suddenly screwed up on a technical little piece, went over my handle bars, and landed full force on the top of my head. I'm very thankful for my bike helmet. My neck and upper back took all the impact. I sat up and had to lay right back down. Kevin stopped when he heard the thud and was at my side in seconds. It took me a while to pull myself together, but eventually I rode my bike out of the woods and back home. By the time I got home I knew we had to go to the ER (where we spent at least 6 hours.)

So today there will be no long run. I am laid up and out of commision for a few weeks. I believe I will be able to walk and spin on the indoor trainer during that time. There will be no running, outdoor riding, working, yard work, or driving for a while. But believe me, it could have been a LOT worse than it is. I fractured a cervical vertebrae (broke my neck,) but it is a stable fracture and my spinal cord is not effected. I just have to wait for the bone to mend and I'll be as good as new. Good thing, because I don't want to wear this ugly collar for my wedding, I still want to run Nipmuck, and... I can't wait to get back on that mountain bike!


  1. Yikes! I'm glad to hear it's not worse, but losing a few weeks of training time will probably drive you crazy. Heal well. I'm sure you'll be moving as soon as you physically can.

  2. Time for me to stop lurking and wish you a speedy recovery!

  3. Wow...Crazy huh? You look pretty beat up in the picture. Hope you have a speedy recovery

  4. I am very glad to hear it wasn't more serious. You are one blessed and adventurous girlie.

    Heal well!

  5. Laurel, holy helmet. So thankful your injuries are not too serious. What a scare. You sound like you are in positive spirits with a wonderfully refreshing and bright outlook. The collar is white but hopefully that can come come off long before your nuptials. BEST WISHES to speedy recover and bliss.