Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Freak Injury in 3-Day Camp

When you are training for an endurance event, such as the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure or a marathon, one of the things in the back of your mind is a freak injury. I got two of these last year just before my half marathon in Seattle - a rolled ankle and a slight tear to a calf muscle. I was lucky, because had either been a little more severe, it could have knocked me out of the race. I had a similar incident the first night, Friday, in our muddy camp.

I had eaten dinner and returned to my pink tent to rest a bit and read. After a while, I decided to go back to the main tent to watch the camp show. It turned out that I was too late, but as I walked down the mulch path that the crew had put down, my left heel stepped on a large chuck of mulch, like a piece of a branch. The force lifted the opposite end into the air and pivoted it backwards. A fraction of a second later, my right foot swung, toes first, into the piece of wood made immobile by my weight. I was wearing my open toes crocs because of the muddy conditions, and I drove two toes right into the wood. The pain was such that I nearly said a very bad word. Maybe I did. In any event, I knew I had done some damage.

I got up a couple of times during the night to take a pee, and each time, my right foot hurt a good bit as I limped along. In the morning, I could see that my toes were bruised and there was a slight cut. Then I worried about getting an infection from having mud all over my feet and tried to remember when my last tetanus shot had been. I washed my feet using my water bottle and put on my running shoes. I could walk okay, although the 21 miles that day would not be pain-free. But I decided that at the first aid station of the day, I would stop and see if they had any antibiotic.