This morning was my first time back on the trails after a two day break. My planning ahead of this weekends trail half marathon in Rambouillet was simple, put in a solid penultimate week, then take a little weekend break and follow up with 3-4 days of relaxed jogging. All sounds relatively simple right, not so much.
I sauntered out into arguably the finest day this year has produced so far and fought the urge to put in a more challenging effort. The trails at the moment are in the driest and most solid condition I have seen them since early winter last year and as I type it's a nice fifteen degrees out there. I decided to take a relatively flat route and came to a section I am very familiar with, a double track path on a slight gradient that could be classed as technical due to the protruding rocks and tree roots. I am pretty sure it was due the fact that because my body was not being challenged my mind was not engaged either and I tripped on a root and came crashing down hard. It took me completely by surprise as one expects to fall on a descent or a meandering single track, not a relatively open and easy stretch like this one. Instantly I started to replay the scenario in my head as I hobbled to a nearby tree stump to sit down and asses the damage. From what I could recall I had tripped with my left foot and the first thing to hit the ground was my left knee, in trying to over correct with the right leg I was at full stretch and could feel a muscle strain in my upper right quadriceps, near the groin. The last part of the puzzle to fall into place was my entire weight landing on my right hand, then my right elbow until I was sprawled on my back spread eagled.
Checking over the damage it was my knee that needed attention first, it was bleeding a bit and although it was more of a trickle I still couldn't get it to stop. I had no tissues or a buff to tie around it so I got up and kept moving for home. After a few kilometres it was worse and my right leg was still aching, so stopping at a little stream I washed the blood off, took off one of my exo-calves (never leave home without them) and tied it around my knee as a bandage. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention and it did the trick perfectly until I got home and got some antiseptic spay to it. It is mostly grazes and bruises which will heal quickly and my only concern is the strain on my right leg, if it recurs on Sunday it could mean a change of race plan but hey, these things happen and by taking my mind off the job just for a second I paid for it.