All went well, running in the cold, crisp starry night by headlamp, feeling great as I got warmed up. Then about 5 or 6 miles into the run, for no particular reason more than it was the standard icy out, I miss judged a step, slipped on the ice, and literally did the splits and found myself in serious shock and pain grasping at my right hamstring while lying in the dark on the icy ground.
The first thought I had was "Oh my god! This hurts like @#!?#!." My second thought was "I am so, so stupid for not being more careful through this section of ice." My third thought was "I might not be able to walk!" My fourth thought was "How the hell am I going to get back home."
Luckily, after lying there for what seemed like an eternity staring up at the stars in shock and too scared to move, I tried getting up and it was doable. Amazing. I thought there would be extreme shooting pain in my leg as I tried to get to my feet. Instead, I was able to walk with minimal pain. Wow.
For about ten steps I was so impressed with the lack of pain that I considered continuing the run (I was about 5 or 6 miles in...) but then thought about what more trouble I could get into if my leg started hurting more later as it tightened up (which I assumed it would). I turned around and decided to consider myself lucky and go home.
Very luckily, I was able to mix walking and slow jogging all the way home with minimal pain. Mostly, I had that super stretched, sore, ache going on that as long as I didn't push it was kept at bay.
I most definitely did something in my right hamstring on that slip but I feel very lucky right now it wasn't worse! I made it home o.k. and am icing as I write this. It definitely feels like I did damage but hopefully it will mend quick. Man that was scary.
That run reminded me big time of how, in the icy winter, just one wrong move can be catastrophic with that pesky ice. I thought about getting micro spikes after this run but realized that 80% of the trail was dirt and only bits were ice and snow (as are all of the trails in Flagstaff right now). Micro spikes would be useless. But it did remind me that on runs of this length out in the woods, I should have my phone with me, no exceptions. If I fell like that again, injured myself and couldn't have walked I would have been screwed. It would have taken me forever to get out. Good lesson but a hard way to learn.
Oh, my poor leg.
On a lighter note... I just listened to a good segment on NPR about running R2R2R that I found through Just Another Running Blog.