I love running in the woods. LOVE IT. But I’m getting really tired of the accidents. At least this time I didn’t fall down.
I was hiking up one of the steep hills along a very narrow part of the trail, when I encountered a big chunk of rotten tree limb. It completely blocked the trail and there was no way to go around. No, really, I mean it. Steep hillside, poison ivy. Yes, poison ivy is an impassable barrier for me. It’s taking longer to heal up from the poison ivy than it’s taken to heal a broken bone. No way forward but through. So I kicked the stupid thing off the trail, and cruised on by.
Then someone poked me in the ankle bone with a red-hot needle. I’m glad no one was out at that hour, because I hollered. And plucked whatever it was off my sock—sort of grabbing, squishing, and throwing all at once. It was a weirdly graceful but destructive moment. Of course, now I have no idea what stung me (or bit me?), because I destroyed the little fucker and got away from there as fast as I could hobble. What else would you do if something was stabbing you with a red-hot needle?
I’ve never been stung before, so once I was well away from the place where it happened, I sat down to investigate the burning pain in my ankle. No stinger that I could see, just a blood spot over the bump of my ankle bone. I waited for the adrenalin to stop rushing around and making my heart and lungs go nuts. I waited to see if it would swell up or if I would stop breathing. Nothing. So I finished my run. Because it was a gorgeous day and wayyy to nice to give up and go home.
Now I have an itchy, red, slightly swollen ankle. I’ve been putting toothpaste on it (because some brave [crazy] guy let himself be stung repeatedly just to test OTC and traditional home remedies and he said toothpaste or ice gave the most relief). It is cold enough in the office here that my feet are usually fairly numb anyway. It’s annoying, but not too horrible. Still, it makes me wonder if other trail runners have these problems or if I’m just extra-lucky?