Why Hello Pavement…

15K playlistYesterday afternoon started off perfect. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Vancouver and I was set to do a long run. The plan was minimum 15K. I was planning on running Stanley Park, then English Bay to Yaletown, but at the last minute I switched to an adventure in Kits. I was worried I would get caught in Stanley Park in the dark — and we all know I don’t like that park in the dark. :|

I updated my tunes and off I went {pssst… if you have Rdio, you can view and listen to the playlist here!}

I headed over the Granville Bridge as an epic sunset was taking over the sky. My legs were moving and I was excited to tackle new ground. A friend / mentor / ultra running crazy man, Adam Campbell, has been reinforcing to me that I need to switch from counting kilometres to focusing on time and going with the flow. I decided to do just that …. {briefly at least… I had good intentions :)}.

I ran past Burrard Bridge, then Kitsilano Beach and before you knew it I was en route to Jericho Beach. I was feeling great and decide the I would turn around at 10K instead of the planned 7.5K — I felt like I could do 20K and I wanted the challenge. Jericho was new territory for me and I didn’t know the area. I got to the beach (10K mark) just as the sun was setting and pink was taking over the sky. I knew I wanted to get away from the beach area before it was dark, so I booked it back up to the street. A few blocks away from the beach I bailed.

One moment I was running, the next moment I heard my cheek hit the pavement. My right cheek struck first, then my right shoulder. I was immediately in shock, but conscious. My whole body was screaming with pain and I turned over to sit on the pavement. I had torn my Lululemon thermals open and I could taste blood on my mouth and see it on my legs.

At the moment, I realized I was in the middle of no where. Somewhere near Jericho. No idea where I was — and not in the sight of a runner. I started calling all the friends I knew in Kits, someone who could come and pick me up. No one answered and I moved to my downtown friends. Katie {from the #RunCrew} picked up her phone and in tears I told her that I needed her to come get me. {Thank you for the cement rescue darling}.

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We made our way to St. Paul’s Hospital and soon enough we were in emergency. My cheek was swollen up and my legs were angry. I had no idea if anything was broken, but felt like the fall was sketch enough that I should probably get checked out. I was fast tracked to see a nurse and the process began. X-rays of my shoulder and legs — thankfully both banged up, nothing broken. Then a CT scan of my head and face — right cheek bone fracture. Then a EKG, blood work and a whole lot of questions to answer.

The doctors were less concerned about my physical injuries and more concerned about why I fell. They either think I fainted or that something was going on with my heart {irregular heartbeat etc}. No history of fainting or heart issues by the way. I was moved into another unit to meet with the Cardiologist and shortly after 1am, I was admitted to Cardiology for the night. They wanted to monitor my heart and meet with the Head of Cardiology in the morning.

I haven’t been overnight in a hospital since 1999. It’s funny how it all comes flooding back to you. Vitals every hour. Nurses coming in. Machines beeping. Code white. Code blue. They hooked me up to the machines and told me they’d let me sleep for a few hours. Just after 6am, the hospital hustle started. They were back to do more blood work and hook me up to more machines.

Shortly after 9am, the Head of Cardiology arrived to chat. We walked through what happened on the run and the tests that were run in emergency. As I had been stable overnight, he would release me but wanted me to stay attached to the Cardiology unit as an outpatient for the next few weeks. This week I’ll have an echocardiogram {heart ultrasound}, do a cardiac stress test {watching your heart when you run on a treadmill} and pick up a holder monitor {electrodes applied to skin and attached to tape recorder for 1-2 days}.

Fingers crossed, all tests come back good, I get the all clear from the Cardiologist and I’m back to the grind soon. He did confirm that running is good for the heart and he wants me to be back at it as soon as I can.

580556_4836531964636_1570522840_nRight now, I’m sore as hell and it’s the last thing my body feels like doing. My head on the other hand… knows I was on my way to an epic 20K run and can’t wait to get back on the pavement.

Thankful for everyone that has reached out since my tumble — and thank you to Katie for sticking by my side. The team at St. Paul’s was fabulous — I couldn’t have asked for better care.

There are likely lessons that have come from this event — but I’m not far enough removed from the situation to think of them yet. :) For now I will focus on healing my broken face, doing the required cardio tests this week, and getting myself to physio this week to take care of my shoulder and legs.

0 Comments

  1. Jesse - Questionably Texan January 14, 2013

    Oh no! Hope everything cardio checks out ok!

    Reply
    • Jillian Walker January 25, 2013

      Just got the all clear yesterday! Cardiologist wants to chat, but nothing major for sure. #GOODNEWSTHURSDAY

      Reply
  2. missmadigan January 14, 2013

    You’re a warrior. Sending good thoughts for all the lame tests ; I love you and suspect you’ll be out again in no time. Hope they gave you some fun drugs for your face. If there is anything I can do, let me know.

    Reply
    • Jillian Walker January 25, 2013

      No fun drugs!! Thank you for the love. As always, means the world. xoxo

      Reply
  3. Dean Tsatouhas January 14, 2013

    Oh no! Hope your all good. Pavement is rough around Jericho, I’ve tripped once on my way back from a long run and ripped my gloves/scrapped my hands. Concentration can slip on long runs…

    Reply
    • Jillian Walker January 25, 2013

      But 11K isn’t a long run!! And yeah… ‘trance mode’ I like to call it…. very well could have been a factor. The good news it… my face is healing. :)

      Reply
  4. Kymme Paul January 14, 2013

    Ouch! You have lots of peoples sending you positive thoughts for a quick recovery!!

    Reply
  5. Buddhafied January 14, 2013

    Wow, I’m sorry that you fell! That was horrible, but I’m glad you’re okay. I ran on that route many times and as there are many shaded areas that could create black ice with yesterday’s temperature, I wonder it had anything to do with that. Anyway, rest up and stretch up, hope to see you on the road some time!

    Reply
  6. Solana Klassen January 14, 2013

    I’m so glad you are ok. That’s very scary, and lucky for you that you were running with your phone.

    Reply
  7. richardspearson January 14, 2013

    Happy to hear you are okay – hopefully nothing more serious. If you had a heart condition, I doubt you have been able to do the runs you have to date… but better to be safe and checked out.

    Reply
  8. Sue Dickie January 15, 2013

    OMG Jillian, how awful!
    I was out for a walk this morning instead of a run because I was worried about the icy roads. Even though I was very careful…I fell! I have a very badly sprained foot and am very #!* off!
    Get better soon.

    Reply
  9. Amy Wheaton (@a__money) January 25, 2013

    I just found your blog! Sending you good vibes from Halifax – hope your tests check out OK! I very rarely take my phone with me on runs so this is a good reminder to do so.

    Reply
  10. […] one of my favourite times of the day. Since I’ve been banned from running by myself in the dark {read about that time I fell on my face}… I probably need to start liking early […]

    Reply
  11. […] a race? Sure. Legs been massive sore? Yep. Fallen on my face? Definitely. At the end of the day, that’s part of the journey. With good comes bad. There’s no […]

    Reply
  12. […] I don’t usually train at more than 15-18k distance, but also because that’s the place I fell on my face. So the 4th ride of my adult life would be to UBC and back — unknown territory and a weekday […]

    Reply

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