This week, I am feeling fragile and that my confidence has been shattered. I am that person always in control, in my element in a crisis, cool, calm, collected. I am the friend who never gets dangerously drunk so I can make sure everyone else stays safe. I am the strong one that no one thinks needs looking after, reliable, dependable until now… On Monday night I did my normal night run, I needed it after a weekend of sickness in our household and a busy work day whizzing around my head, I needed that freedom to run, to run fast and free. Corny as it seems, running is my time, my therapy. I was quickly in the zone and loving every step and then I fell. I have no idea how, but it was a heavy fall on a dark pavement and after the initial shock of the fall I quickly realised I was hurt and bleeding quite a lot. I weighed up my options and realised the simplest was to walk home, by the time I got there, limping and in tears with blood everywhere I was a bit of a wreck. I had two badly scraped knees which were already swelling and tender to touch, my left palm was missing a lot of skin and I had deep cuts on my right hand which were bleeding heavily. I was also pretty nauseous and light headed with shock, I cleaned myself up as best as I could and then quite numb in pain and shock just sat down unable really to think or move. After a difficult night’s sleep when I woke a couple of times in pain, mostly with my knees and right hand I realised that I needed to go to our local cottage hospital for my hand which was still bleeding and heavily swollen. It was glued and stitched back together and is now padded and bandaged whilst it heals. Although the physical injuries have been cleaned and protected until they are healed, I’m not sure that I’m healed, I am so shaken and numb by the fall. This is worrying me as this is not me, I get my knocks, shake myself down and just got on with life, no drama, feeling sorry for myself, but since the fall I have been cautious and hesitant, I’m quieter and feel withdrawn. I have been running for 8 years now and have had 3 falls, a twisted ankle, cut knee and now this, all have taken place on a dark night run, our roads are lit intermittently and the surfaces aren’t always as smooth as they could be. As important as my running is to me I can’t help but come to the conclusion that it’s time to stop running in the dark and only do daylight runs in winter. It is a difficult decision, my runs will be fewer and less thinking time but I need to look after myself so I can look after my family. Sadly our gym closed in July so I can’t swap for gym sessions on the treadmill, perhaps it’s time to eat healthily in the winter, do a DVD and step up my walking ready for a Spring full of running challenges.