Last week or so I was sort of humble-bragging about never having fallen in years and years ( 40, maybe) of trail running.
It's a good thing I don't believe in fate or kismet or superstitions or angels or demons or stuff like that.
(Karma might be a real thing but that's more psychological than theological)
Was trundling along in an un-fueled haze (water yes, but no gels or such) and switching back and forth between road and trail. Running in Seneca Creek State Park and zipping down the Old Bathtub trail cross into a clearing and see a fox! Stop to watch and then scoot on. Connect up with the Seneca Creek Greenway and feeling better coursing by the creek when I hear an owl. Seconds later, I see the owl flying low through the trees "Nice!" I say and then…
Stumble, stumble, roll left and kapow, on my left side into some soft earth and hummocks of grass.
Groan, roll over and do a quick check. All good! except my left collar bone, but while it's sore from the impact, I can wiggle my fingers and raise my arm so in my opinion, not broken.
I laugh to myself and head off again…the soul of caution, I move along more carefully and ignore the owl who hoots and flits.
An hour later, running the same loop again, I'm being quite careful and…
Down again in an almost exact re-play of the earlier tumble.
I get up, shake myself off, wipe off the mud, check for damage and walk a bit just to make sure I'm ok.
The rest of the run I stick to the roads and less possibility of a face plant which I KNOW will be next of the dance card.
18 miles in 3:20. Stops, drops and rolls included.
Running un-fueled is a great way to teach the body to burn fat for fuel. It's intentional bonking and brings in mental toughness to the game. Do this once in awhile, and while it can suck you learn to run on less fuel and know how to gut it out if you do bonk. Caution! You can get yourself into a lot of trouble doing this so always have a plan "B".
For folks not in the know: Bonking, The Bonk: Running out of fuel and becoming so depleted that you sometimes literally sit on the side of the road and cry, stumble, slur your words, stop in the middle of the street and are unable to take another step and generally feel like death warmed over.
Bonking IS NOT "I'm tired but I can still walk." or you are forced to slow your pace because the old energy level is falling. i.e.: "I was running this half marathon and running 7:00 minute miles but I bonked and had to drop my pace to 7:10.
That's not bonking.
There is another "bonking" but that usually involves someone you like… a lot.