when running & cycling collide

May 18, 2012

nope, this isn’t a post about brick workouts or training for triathlons, although I did mention to Billy a few days ago that I would like to tackle a sprint triathlon one day.

this is a post to tell you about an accident I was in yesterday in the hopes that someone reading here will take something away from it, or share with someone who might. I know I’ll benefit from writing, so thank you! here we go…

warning! there are bloody photos in this post.

I was headed out for a run yesterday morning and Billy decided to join me. that’s sort of rare, but I’m certainly glad he did. we ran south on the West Side Hwy down the same path I’ve run many times. I moved on ahead of him after a mile or so, and it was a gorgeous morning so the path was really crowded with runners and bikers.

as I ran through a pedestrian crossway, a super speedy cyclist coming from behind me caught the left side of my body, and his speed caused the impact to throw me onto ground as his bike ran over my left foot and caught my left wrist.

it happened so fast, I literally had no idea what hit me, but I’d been taken down hard.

the left side of my body took the brunt of the fall, and I immediately felt the sting all the way from my ankle to my face. I have porcelain veneers on several of my top front teeth from another accident many years ago (a story for another day – it’s actually quite funny!), and two of them popped off when my face hit the ground.

I got up quickly (under the circumstances) as a group of people gathered around to help. I told one of the women that my husband was nearby and she ran to get him. poor Billy! he said his heart dropped when she told him his wife was in an accident.

I felt so much better once I was with Billy, but I was really disoriented and everyone who witnessed the collision kept telling Billy that I hit my head really hard and needed to go to the hospital. we cabbed it home to get our iPhones & wallets. I changed out of my (really short) running shorts, and cleaned up a bit. I have road rash all over my body, and my worst fear is having someone clean scrub it to get the dirt out.

of course I snapped some shots. #bloggerforlife

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that’s just a few of the cuts pictured. I kept finding new ones on my hip, elbow, wrist, etc. they sort of cleaned me up at the ER, but their priority was to test my vitals and make sure I didn’t have a concussion. the doctor determined I needed stitches on the inside of my lip. I know, so sick. the cut was deep and likely caused from a tooth.

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I managed a semi-smile when the doctor asked, “were you running a race this morning? I see that you’re in matching shirts.” we laughed because when we got in the elevator to leave for our run, we realized we were both wearing shirts from the White Rock Half Marathon. this is a no-no for us. we avoid dressing like twinsies.

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Billy had to tie my shoes, and I kept finding new minor injuries like my jammed finger.

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then we were off to the dentist where I stared at the beautiful ceiling for 2 hours while they fixed my teeth. I would not recommend having dental work after stitching up the inside of your lip, but I breathed through the pain and daydreamed.

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we got home and I showered with several pours of hydrogen peroxide on the wounds to kill some germs – oh, the pain! then Billy brought me Puffins in a purple bowl.

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the day was rough (and very expensive)! there were highs and lows, pain and frustration, and some prayers for patience. but throughout the day, we just kept repeating, “it could have been so much worse.” there were tears of gratitude when Billy looked over and said, “Birdie, nothing else matters except that you are here.”

and the pain? instead of letting the pain remind me of the actual accident (shudder), I let the pain remind me that I got up and walked away. my knees might be busted up, and I may have cuts and bruises, some road rash and swelling, but I will heal.

these types of accidents can be fatal. a childhood friend who I knew through high school died from a critical head injury after she collided with a cyclist in the fall of 2010. I thought about her a lot yesterday, and this accident has opened my eyes a little wider than before. my heart is full of love from every person who helped me yesterday, and for my friends and family who sent me support from near and far.

now I have more love to share. what a gift.

I know it will take some time for my physical wounds to heal, and additional time for me to consider getting out there again to run. on a multipurpose path, I don’t know how this could have been prevented, but as a biker (and one who rides at a moderate pace), I’m always sure to clear the runners/walkers as much as possible. I also use my bell to alert the runners/walkers, and announce that I’m passing.

bell

I don’t run with headphones, so I’m able to hear if a cyclist gives warning.

if cyclists are speeding through a crowded pathway, they shouldn’t come within an inch or 2 of a human body. the slightest deviation can cause a terrible collision. the cyclist who hit me was really shaken up and concerned. he even followed up with us yesterday afternoon (via the park officer who wrote up the account of the accident) to make sure I was okay. with all that said, my faith in humanity increased yesterday as so many people – from cab drivers to ER nurses – were so helpful & friendly!

ok, wrapping this long post up now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

be careful out there,

bird-blue-2

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) May 18, 2012 at 8:19 am

Oh girl – I am sooooo sorry, but so glad that you’re ok (all things considered). How scary. Glad Billy came along on that run! I almost got clipped last week. Where I run for my long runs, it is a multi-purpose trail. Most of the cyclist will call out “on your left” and I try to wave to let them know I heard. I try to always stay as far to my right as possible anyway. But the other day some guy came flying through, didn’t say anything, I heard the bike, but he came so close it really scared me. And there was no need for it either. It’s one thing if there are suddenly several walkers, runners and/or other cyclists all coming at the same time. I’m just so sorry this happened to you.

Jess May 18, 2012 at 8:20 am

Oh man, Dorry. I saw your pic on instagram while in a meeting at work and my heart just ACHED for you. I cannot believe how badly you were injured from that collision — how very scary and painful!! I am SO grateful that you were not more seriously hurt and that you had your Billy by your side the entire time. Hang in there beautiful, sending you lots of love and hugs and strength!! xoxo
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jobo May 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

MY goodness Dorry, I am close to tears reading this! I feel so SO badly for you and this accident is just so so awful and worst of all? PREVENTABLE if the cyclist heeded just what you said here. Don’t come close to runners. And um, did they even STOP when they mowed you over? I thought about this all day yesterday and was praying for you and hoping everything would be ok. You are so strong, you have an amazing husband, and family and friends and all of us supporting you. I hope you know how much you mean to all of us!!! XOXO, rest up my dear.
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Christine @ Love, Life, Surf May 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry that this happened but so glad that you are OK! So scary but glad that your husband was there with you. I love cycling and think that it’s great to be able to do it in NYC but it does scare me sometimes as both a cyclist and a runner/walker, especially now with kids too. I hope you feel better!
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janae@hungryrunnergirl.com May 18, 2012 at 9:11 am

I am so grateful you are okay. Those pictures almost made me cry! So glad Billy is taking such good care of you and I am glad you got your puffins! I have never even thought about being hit by a cyclist….now I will be extra careful when I am riding my bike near pedestrians. LOVE YOU!

Marci May 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

It’s amazing that you can be so positive (and take pictures of yourself)! I am glad you are ok and hope you have a restful weekend on the couch. I thought about the Katy Trail accident too and don’t like multi-purpose paths.
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Missy May 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

Oh, my heart!

These pics ARE so hard to see…our little Birdie!! But thank you for sharing…people do need to be aware.
You are handling the situation with such grace and serenity — it is truly an awesome thing to witness. SO glad Bee was out with you that day, and …well…let’s not think about how it could have been worse anymore. Deal?

<3 sending healing prayers to you.

Wendy May 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hey there. Heard about your accident from that sweetie, LC. :-)

Prayers are wtih you and wishing you all of the speedy healing that you need. Please take care of yourself and believe in your ability to make it back fully!

Side note- true story. My hub was hit while cycling by a car 2 years ago. Bikes and cars don’t make for the best of intersecting objects either. Short list of injuries: nearly severed right ankle, crushed ribs, broken left scapula, paralysis on left side, TBI (bleeding in brain), etc.

You know he’s missing 6 months of memory, so the life flight to the hospital and being intubated on the side of the road aren’t part of his memory. ;-)

The person who docs gave a 50-50 chance at best of survival is back. 7 days in a coma, 3 months in ICU, 3 months in rehab just taught him a lot… like patience, listening to what the docs say, etc.

Like you, the woman who hit him just had a “bad day” (nothing in her system but food/water). They met up a few weeks ago on the 2nd anniversary and she’s a sweetie… life just brought them together in the worst of ways. She learned about love- as my hub’s family forgave her immediately.

So… please know that you are not alone in this journey. Healing is possible in each moment. Yeah, the situation sucks … the healing may not be the most fun, but you can do it. Also remember that there are tons of people supporting you… people you don’t even know! (Something my hub also learned…)

Peace to you!
Wendy recently posted..The Call

Kris May 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

oh sweetie! I heard about this from Linds last night, but reading now it made me cry! :( I am so sorry this happened, so happy Billy was with you, and yes, it could have been much worse (I remember now your friend on Katy Trail.)

Take care today, hope you are not in much pain. love you!!
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lindsay May 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

you scared the crap out of me yesterday… literally! When you texted me i started panic. I told james and he was so pissed at the cyclist. He says cyclist are making a bad rap for themselves. It’s true! we need to be more careful. Thinking of you, praying for you, and PLEASE CALL me when you can!
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Lauren @ WWoB May 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

Oh dorry, I am so sorry this happened to you (or anyone). Thank god you are okay, that is what truly matters. Maybe it was meant to happen, you know? To prevent it from being worse in the future? I think that may be the way to look at it. <3
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Emily Pereira May 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

Dorry!!!

Whoa! That was not a little clip! Are you OK?! Sending LOVE!

Wishing you a speedy recovery!
Xo!
Emily

Emily May 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

OH DORRY! Thank God you are ok. The injuries look so painful, but I’m sure the fear and trauma of the hit are much worse. Of course I thought of Lauren immediately when I started reading. What a sobering experience. This life can be so fragile and fleeting, but at the same time, the human body and spirit are so strong. You will recover and be stronger than before, but make sure you take care of your heart and fears too. Don’t be shy to get the help you need.

You are so precious! So many people (definitely myself included) love you dearly and are rooting for you in your recovery. God bless you, Dorry! And bless Billy and his sweet heart. You two are awesome. So relieved you are well. Much much love, Emily
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amy@healthyhungryhappy.com May 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm

omg!!! that is so crazy how scary! im glad you’re okay..looks like a pretty serious collision though. rest up!
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Jessica May 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I am so glad you are okay! But, what an incredibly scary event. I was just having a conversation with someone recently about some of the very aggressive bikers out there. It’s scary, at times. Sending lots of love and healing vibes your way!!

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm

thank you for your sweet comment! it was so scary, and my hope is that cyclists will be more careful when they are riding at such fast speeds. they get in a race mentality, and it’s incredibly dangerous on a multipurpose path. I’m going to have to find an alternative place to run because I’m terrified now. I know some of that fear will wear off with time, but I want to be as safe as possible.

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm

thank you so much, Jess! thankful for Billy & thankful it wasn’t worse. I appreciate all of the support and love! xo

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

thank you so much for your sympathy and sweet words! so preventable if he hadn’t been so freaking close to my body! it’s really scary. yesterday was a rough day and today has proven to be painful with some mobility issues, but I know I’ll heal in time. hopefully quickly. :) thanks again for your comment! means so much to me.

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

thank you for your sweet comment! it can be a dangerous situation when the path is crowded, but I know I’ll always be even more aware of runners when I’m on my bike. of course, I’m not going quite that fast. ;)

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm

thank you, Janae! the discomfort and pain is nothing compared to what it could be. I’m restless, but I know I need to just relax and let me body heal. love you, sweet friend! (and see you in less than 1 month!!)

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I’m with you – I need to find a safe place to run free of cyclists! I’m not sure if a place exists like that in NYC…besides the treadmill. ;)

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

thank you, Missy! I always appreciate your thoughtful words so much. I’m just doing my best to RELAX and take it easy so I can heal quickly. :)

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm

dear Wendy – thank you so much for your kind comment and for sharing your husband’s story! his sounds very scary suffering so many serious injuries. I’m just so thankful for your sake that he made it through the coma, ICU and rehab. that’s really intense, and I can imagine it was a big lesson in your life to support him and help him find patience and understanding to deal with such a dramatic change. thanks again for your comment. I’m already feeling the effects of healing, and thankful for the perspective it brought to my life and my love for my husband!

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

thank you, Kris! it’s been a slow day around here, and while the change of pace and dealing with some mobility issues is a big adjustment, it must be exactly what I needed, right? the physical injuries are directly related to my emotions, and I’m feeling a mix of frustration, pain, and gratitude. an interesting mix! ;) I’m willing a speedy recovery for this body of mine.

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I hope you didn’t poop your pants, Linds! ;) thanks for all of your support. so glad we got to talk today. I value your friendship more than you can imagine!

dorrybird May 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

sweet Em – thank you for this beautiful comment. I have to say, it’s been an emotional day! and I appreciate the reminder that it’s ok to take care of my heart & my fears. I know my physical injuries will heal, and I need to be sure I work through it emotionally as well. it was a really scary ordeal, and certainly hit close to home thinking about Lauren. thank you again! these words brought a smile to my face, and I’m so blessed to have a friend like you!

Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats May 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I can’t even imagine how scary this all must have been! :( So glad you are still here with us! Hope you have a speedy recovery!
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Caitlin May 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Dorry! I am so glad you are okay – so sorry to hear this! Must have been so scary. Such a great reminder to be so careful! You should share this with Romina – she was hit by a cyclist last summer. Sending you love – let me know if you need anything at all. xo
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Linda May 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

What a scary accident, but I’m grateful that you’re okay. Thank you for sharing and bringing awareness to the silver linings in our lives. I wish you a fast recovery!

cathy@1970kikiproject May 19, 2012 at 5:40 am

oh, dorry, i am so sorry to hear of your accident. you really got quite the collection of cuts, scrapes and bruises. i am so glad a) that it did not have a worse outcome b) that billy was close by.
thinking of you and wishing you speedy healing~.
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nina May 19, 2012 at 9:22 am

dorry!! how horrible! i can’t believe these cyclists aren’t more responsible… drives me absolutely crazy. but i’m so glad you’re in good spirits and that you’re going to be okay. sending you wishes for a relatively pain-free healing process
xo
nina

Petra May 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Oh Dorry I am SO sorry to read of this! This is awful – you really do look very beat up? I am sure Billy is taking good care of you but still .. look after yourself. You might find yourself in a state of shock.

That cyclist didn’t stop did he / she? Unbelievable.

Clare @ Fitting It All In May 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm

OH MY GOSH BIRD! I’m so glad you’re okay. Such a tough one you are
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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More May 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

What a scary incident! I hope you feel better quickly.

I’m glad to read the cyclist stopped. I wasn’t sure until the very last paragraph.

We have several multi-purpose trails here. The paved ones don’t worry me so much. Rules are pass on left, alert when passing and 15 MPH speed limit. Everyone is pretty courteous. The trails that I am always concerned about the dirt mountain trails. Mountain bikers come zooming through them constantly. So far my experience has been positive with nice interactions/warnings from the cyclists. But the opportunity for disaster is there.
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fattyfile May 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Wow, terrifying! So glad you are OK and your husband was nearby. You have an amazing attitude about this! Great perspective.

As for running after you recover, the Manhattan Bridge has totally separate bike and pedestrian lanes and it’s so much less crowded than the Brooklyn Bridge.

Nichole May 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

My heart is absolutely crushed for you. I cannot wish you a speedy enough recovery. This was so tough to hear about. Oh, Dorry – I’m praying for you! You’re tough, hang in there. Good vibes your way!
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Yolie @ Practising Wellness May 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

Dearest Dorry, I am so so sorry you had such a horrible experience, but I am thanking all our lucky stars that you were able to walk away…thank goodness you are okay! <3 I know it will be a shock and healing physically and mentally will take time, but I am sending heaps and HEAPS of love all the way from London…thank you for sharing your story and reminding us all to be careful and conscious when we're out there sweating…life is precious. <3 All my love and big hugs (gentle ones around your bruises!) xyx
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Annie May 21, 2012 at 4:30 am

I am sorry to hear about this.. I am sure if this happens to me, I would be very wounded as well and might even break some of my bones because of the impact..LOL..Get well soon anyway..
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Michele May 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

So thankful you are ok, and recovering….. Praying for a speedy recovery.

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