Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pride cometh before the fall

I was pretty darn proud of myself for winning my age group in the Lincoln-Douglas 3 Mile race yesterday.

So today, in order to restore balance to the universe, I fell.

Not intentionally, of course. I was just running a 10-miler with some friends, minding my own business, when out of nowhere, the sidewalk jumped up and grabbed my foot, causing me to do what looked like a slide into home base... except that instead of a nice sandy baseball field, I was on a gravely concrete sidewalk . And instead of simply getting my baseball uniform a little dirty around the knees (because I wasn't wearing a baseball uniform), I ended up with bloody knees and scraped-up palms. Yeah, it was a bright and shining moment for me.

As an added bonus, several people saw it happen. I was running with my new marathon training group this morning. If I had been running alone, it would have been no big deal. Anyone who might have saw me wouldn't have known me. I would have gotten up, dusted off my knees and acted like nothing happened. Instead, though, at least three people (who now know me and will run with me many times) witnessed my abundant grace and elegance. This proves the first and second corollaries of the Theory of The Pride Cometh After The Fall, and those are:
  • The fall that cometh after pride is much more effective if there are witnesses.
  • The fall that cometh after pride is most effective if the witnesses are familiars of the fallen.
Fortunately, my familiars did not tease or taunt me. They were very kind, in fact, stopping to make sure I was okay, and offering words of support and encouragement, such as one woman telling me about the time her husband tripped and fell during a run and ended up having to get stitches in his forehead. He must have had a LOT of pride before that fall!

My fall happened around the 3.5-mile mark of my run. Though my wounds were not deep, they really stung, and I was a bit worried about what chunks of dirt and junk might be lodged in my skin. Fortunately, at the halfway point of my run, I was at the Tower in Peoria Heights, where I could stop in the bathroom and quickly clean out my wounds. It was then that I realized I had blood running down my leg. Nice!

After I cleaned up, I turned around and headed back to the starting point of the run. I finished strong, not letting silly things like surface abrasions slow me down. If anything was going to slow me down this morning, it was the weather. It was a unbelievably muggy, making this "easy 10" anything but easy. To those members of the training group who showed up and ran this morning, whether they ran 10 miles or 6 miles, I give high fives and fist bumps. Well done, team. Well done.

And here's my run graph... I actually felt pretty strong today, even with the humidity and the whole falling-on-my-face incident.

I like this marathon training group a lot. They're really supportive of each other. There's a large mix of different abilities and paces, but everyone encourages everyone. It's a lot like FAST in that sense. Also, they put out water and Gatorade along the planned route, which means I don't have to wear that water bottle belt that I loathe with every fiber of my being. I am a much happier runner when I don't have to carry fluids with me.

So, despite my fall, I had a good run this morning. And shhhhhhh... don't tell anyone, but I'm still proud of placing first in my age group yesterday.

Peace. Love. Train.

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