Taking a Stack

As the weather was going to be a hot one on the weekend. I rescheduled my long run to a cooler day during the week, then organised a tempo run with a friend for Saturday morning instead.

I’ve been lacking the motivation to go fast lately.  I know I’m fully capable of going fast.  Yet when it comes to training runs on my own it just doesn’t happen.

Hence why I asked a faster-running friend to join me for a run.

The plan was simple, he run at pace, and I keep up with him.

You see there is nothing like the motivation of a faster runner, or being in a group that makes you go faster.

But this blog post isn’t about going faster, that will be for another time and place. Today I want to talk about taking a stack (aka falling over).

Every runner, no matter how old or experienced will at some point in their lifetime take a stack during a run.

I’ve had a couple of them. My most recent was on my tempo run on the weekend.

Can you believe it, only 250m into my run, my foot slips on some loose gravel and that’s all it takes for me to fall over.  It’s like the whole thing happened in slow motion, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

I slightly grazed my hands, but somehow managed to roll over and land on my butt.  All this happened in a split second of course.

During the rebound fall, my knee hit the ground.  And while I was grazed and my knee ached, I wasn’t bleeding or in pain.

After a quick once over by myself and Kieran, I dusted myself off and continued on.

I finished my run.  I was sore and achy but I wasn’t in pain.  No negative split, due to my heart rate sky-rocking with a mile to go, I couldn’t get my breathing under control and had to slow my pace.

Overall however I was still happy with my result.

This run however could have gone a lot differently. I know that.

I could have decided on any of the following:

  • Give up then and there
  • Keep going and stop the run short if need be
  • Or ignore it

I chose the option “keep going and stop the run short if need be”.

Always listen to your body.

While I ached I wasn’t in pain.  Because I wasn’t in pain I continued on.

When I got home, I took a shower, then RICE’d my leg.


This without a doubt helped my recovery.  Yes, my leg was sore the rest of Saturday (I also worked an 8 hour shift, most of that standing up).

Yes, I’m bruised, but nothing is broken. Not even my pride.

Falling over doesn’t make me a failure.  If anything it makes me stronger and more determined.

Have you ever fallen over during a training run?
Have you fallen over during an event? If so did you finish?

43 thoughts on “Taking a Stack”

  1. I fall ALL the time. In fact, I think i have more scars and bruises on my body now as a grown adult then I did as a tomboy kid! Elbow, arm, knees…you name it!

  2. Glad to hear you weren’t hurt badly and were able to continue on. A fall is quite the shock to the system, isn’t it? I went down on a run for the first time in a long time a while back when I slipped on some ice. With the winters we have in Illinois, it’s pretty common for me to slip and fall a couple of times during the season. I consider it a win if I get back up with everything intact! :–)

    1. I would be so uncoordinated slipping on ice. So glad it doesn’t get THAT cold here.
      The last time I fell over (I was bleeding from the knee but nothing major), I told myself I would just take the next km easy, which I did in my mind. I was the fastest km I did on that run.

  3. I have fallen a lot over the years, luckily I have never done more than just bang myself up a little. I also stumble quite a bit, so I am proud that I have more saves than out and out falls.

    I have fallen during events, but I have always managed to finish. You are right though, you do have to listen to your body.

    I’m glad you were only banged up and not hurt worse.

  4. I’ve fallen a couple of times on my runs, but it usually happens when I’m trail running and tired so I’m not lifting my feet up enough anymore…that makes for a good combination to trip over a rock or stump. Thankfully I’ve never fallen during an event (I should probably knock on wood) but unless I have to stop I would hope I’d have to heart to keep on going! Glad you’re okay after your fall, I hope you stop aching soon!

  5. Ouch! That looks like it hurt. I’ve taken a few spills myself, but I just pick myself up and keep right on going. =)

  6. I play tennis and I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen during a match. Luckily, it wasn’t bad enough and I kept going. I have learned that being as clumsy as I am, I’m going to fall from time to time, I just have to brush off the dust and keep going!

  7. Ha, I’ve fallen so many times during training runs – mega clumsy 🙂 The last time I really fell hard was a few weeks before my fall marathon. I tripped on a crack in the road and landed super hard, ripping open both knees and my hands. I couldn’t run for a week and a half after and still have the scars!

  8. Glad you weren’t hurt too badly. I think a lot of people would have called it a day. I think it’s great that you evaluated your situation and decided to press on.

  9. Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry

    Oh my gosh…I have not fallen while on a training run, but does falling down stairs in heels too high count OR tripping as you are walking across a busy intersection in the city and having your hubby grab you mid air in order to miss the on coming traffic? LOL
    So glad you are not hurt too badly and will continue your training 🙂

  10. Congrats on making the decision to continue on with your run. It’s those hard decisions that make all the difference when it comes down to you succeeding or not.

  11. Ouch! I am glad you are okay and can continue training. I have never fallen while running (but now that I said that, I bet my luck will change!!) I have slipped a few times on the ice though but was able to catch myself before falling!

  12. Sorry about your fall, but I think you did the right and smart thing. Not every runner knows how to listen to their body, instead of just their head:) You do, that puts you a step ahead of many in the distance running field!
    I have fallen or gotten hurt on training runs before. I once caught myself on a fence and took a gouge out of my leg:) I have’t ever fallen or been injured enough where I had to stop or cut the run short either. Sure I’ve had to take a few steps walking just to “walk it out” but once the initial pain is gone and you can like you did “read your body” usually things are okay:)
    Heck I have even fallen in a race before, I remember in High School Cross Country. I bounced back up, nothing was hurt worse than my ego that time, LOL

  13. I have actually never fallen on a run, but watch, now that I say that I will. I have several friends though that fall a lot and I give them a lot of credit. I’m a baby and would probably end my run and go home crying, lol. RICE RICE RICE!

  14. Sorry to hear about your fall, but it sounds like you didn’t let it stop you. Way to go to keep running (after making sure that you were okay). Just pay attention to your body and keep RICEing as needed to make sure that you really are okay.

  15. I have never heard the term ‘taking a stack’ before, but you’ve painted a vivid picture. I have fallen over (love the image of that – sounds like it just ‘happened’) during a training run just 2 weeks before the Honolulu Marathon (mentioned in my blog here: http://bit.ly/1A7a8vP). I described it as ‘taking a tumble’. Basically, a fallen tree branch after windy Friday, coupled with my running buddy’s leg, took us both down on the pavement. Thanks to my gloves, I did not scrape my hands – which would otherwise have been badly damaged!

    Keep up the good work!!

  16. Ouch! So glad for you that you kept your spirits up! Hope you feel better after resting and recovering. You seem ready to get back out there and run your heart out 🙂

  17. I’ve taken two really bad falls while running. the first one landed me in a doctor’s office and left me with bandaged hands and permanent scarring on my right palm (which is hard to do). The second one sent me to a hospital and left me with a permanently mangled finger on my left hand.

    Falls are no joke! Glad to hear that you survived yours relatively unscathed.

  18. I have not fallen yet! I know it is coming though! and then it will be ugly and I will fall, wet my pants, slobber who knows what else! I am glad you are ok! and I am glad you stuck it out!

  19. OUCH! I am such a klutz in general so running just ratchets that up by like a million! It was really smart of you to use the RICE method that probably saved you some pain in the long-run!

  20. Oh no I am glad you are ok. Sometimes it’s nice to run with people who are a bit faster but not when you get hurt. Take care of yourself, I am glad you are RICE (ing).

  21. I’m glad you’re okay! I’m a total klutz, so I feel ya on the falling part. 😡 Good on you for RICE-ing though, and I wish you a speedy recovery!!

  22. I have fallen more times that I can count. My husband always jokes that I will never be a knee model. Smart to run with a faster friend (that can be scary) and to take care with RICE! Feel better quickly!

  23. I remember everything about the time I fell over running! It was when I dod my “elle” run! It’s the background on my twitter! we were about 2 mins in and I tripped on the pavement. My hands were scuffed more than anywhere else as I was wearing long pants. I just got up, dusted myself off and carried on! lucky it wasn’t a long run! …I feel like it’s one of those things that happens, and defines you as a runner 🙂 x

  24. Amanda M (@mommygorun)

    I’m generally quite clumsy, luckily I’ve only fallen a couple times, none of which too damaging. The most memorable was tripping over absolutely nothing and looking up to find a police car next to me. The officer asked if I was ok and when I said yes, his response was, “well, I’m not leaving until you actually get up and start moving.”

  25. sorry to hear about your fall…glad you were able to finish your run…hope the knee is better. I have falling one too many times, on the run and yes…it happens in
    N 🙂
    I’ve fallen on many training runs…I also fell during a half marathon, at mile 5. I almost let it get the best of me but I dusted myself off and PR’d. 🙂

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