2 min read

Mouthful of Trail

A tale of biting the dust on the trail.
Mouthful of Trail

We have some pretty technical trails here in Western Pennsylvania and I'm usually reliable for a good fall every few months. In my mind, it goes with the territory of running on top of rocks, roots and mud. Event the best and most accomplished trail runners bite the dust. It's been quite some time – over a year I think – since I've taken a digger on a run, but today was my day!

I've been getting out early, pre-dawn with a head torch, and pushing my pace on some faster, shorter jaunts. Today, however, I decided at the start that I'd take a relaxed route and go super easy.

The first mile was awesome. Air was a crisp 46º and it hasn't rained in a week so the trails were perfection. Feeling excellent, I entered the section of North Park's red trail where the tall pines pierce the sky like wooden daggers.

Then I felt it. You know what I'm talking about. I felt my toe catch on an object underfoot and everything went into slow motion. In no particular order all of the following rushed through my brain prior to my hitting the ground:

  • Was that a rock or a root?
  • I wonder if I can save this?
  • Nope, not gonna be able to save this.
  • Oh man, this is a rocky section of trail.
  • Shit, this is gonna hurt.
  • How should I land? Brace with hands or tuck-n-roll?
  • When is the last time I fell? I can't remember.
  • Ground approaching, prepare for impact.
  • FUUUUU....

And then it was over. There I was, layed out in the wooded darkness, headlamp shining vertically up into the emerging sky, with a mouthful of trail. I spit out the dirt, brushed myself off and took a moment to assess my condition.

All good. Nothing broken. No blood. All I have to show is a few scratches on my knee and elbow, and a bruised ego. Hopefully I'm good for at least a year until the next one.