Trail Running ~ First Face Plant

Yeah, I had my first face plant on the trail yesterday.

So, after work on Wednesday I decided to get in a quick 5k with Carmacks, our retired sled dog. This boy loves to run and run on trails. I figured why not! So, I got on my running gear and told him we were going running….he starts his happy prance around the house and off we went.

I have him in his harness attached to me on a bungee leash that goes around my waste. We’ve used it many times before with him and our previous dog Maclean. Though Carmacks is retired, he still wants to run like he’s not retired – which can be a hard balancing act when me, the runner can’t keep up with his fast feet!

Carmacks turned 9 on Tuesday!


The trail is about a 30 second run from our house and as soon as we turn left on George Street, Carmacks knows exactly where we are going and he starts pulling me and working hard. As we enter the path down a rocky hill, I always remind myself to take small quick steps and slow him down to a trot if I can.

As we make our way down the rocky hill to the base of the trail we both settle into a rhythm after he has a quick pee stop…for him…not me. There is a little mud and water along the trail but we run through it. There is gravel, pine needles, rocks, stumps and roots – lots of them. We cross one bridge and he decides it’s time to poop on a small tree, poor tree! I clean it up in one of the poop bags I have stuffed into my little key pocket in my running pants and then carry it in my right hand. We carry on to the second bridge that is a little sketchy but we make it across without falling in the water or through the misplaced boards.

Carmacks pulls me up the hill with roots exposed everywhere. He runs up and I plot where I’ll take my next step, in and among the roots. We made it to the top successfully and I slow down my pace as that hill just took the good out of me. We carry on up another hill, dodging dried up horse poop (sorry, lots of poop talk today) along the trail and I say “Gee” which means turn right and he does as quickly as it came out of my mouth.

Another slight incline up and I’m really trying hard to pay attention to my footing. The forest floor is soft from all the pine needles and then WHAM! I’m on the ground. FRIG! F! Did I break anything? Nope, okay. I’m okay. Should I cry? No one will hear me. I’m okay. I don’t cry…but whelp a little in embarrassment and slight shock!

I felt my right foot hit a root and I tried hard to keep myself from falling. However, being attached to your retired sled dog who doesn’t know what just happened and is still running kept my body in motion a little too fast to compensate and stay up right. I felt myself flying through the air, knowing I was going to land on pine needles, roots and leaves; no horse poop in this section thank gawd! Down I went on my left knee and hand first, then my right knee scraping both in the process. All I could think of was being careful as I was falling. Don’t get hurt!

I totally forgot about the poop bag in my hand but was SO thankful that it did NOT explode on my fall. It was still in my hand (well, wrapped around my fingers) but had fallen off to the side of my hand not under it. I’m pretty sure I would have cried after a few swear words if the bag had exploded. You can’t just leave a bag of your dog poop on a trail…right? I’m against that shit…literally! Leave no trace folks!

I dusted myself off after looking at my knees and hands, felt sorry for myself for 5 seconds and decided to keep running. And yes, I had stopped my Garmin when I fell – HA…who does that…me, I do!

I turned my Garmin back on, took two steps and beep beep – hit the 1 km mark in my run. As I shake my head…you are only 1 km from your house, 1 km into your run…just keep going. I ran along the soft trail and up onto a dusty gravel/dirt road and ran until I hit 2.5 km and said “Gee” to Carmacks who was trekking right along. He turns right and then another right to get us onto the other side of the road. It was like we were a well oiled machine finally turning back around together with no confusion from him. Or he just felt bad for me and listened really well.

Post face plant happy runner photo (off trail).



It was slow running. I was in very little pain and still had to run down the same trail with the same roots, dried up horse poop and full poop bag in my hand to get home. We made it down the trail and then back up the last big hill together. Carmacks was spent! It was a little warm for him but we did it.

We survived our first face plant attached together…though I’m very confident he has no clue what happened other then that I stop abruptly and ruined a nice trot he had settled into. As I write this he is passed out on the floor sleeping like a little baby and I am icing my knee after I picked out a big splinter from my hand.

Oh the joys of trail running. Guess what? I’ll do it again!

How’s your running going?

Ever face plant during a run?

What’s your favourite part about a trail run?

17 thoughts on “Trail Running ~ First Face Plant

  1. Great story! I face planted once. In a 25k race. The terrain was flat with no exceptional rocks or roots. One second I was running along fine, the next, I was on my face in the leaves. I got up, shook myself off, and finished the race (only had about a mile to go, thank heavens!). I have no idea what caused me to fall!

  2. Glad you’re ok! Falling is one of the most hilarious parts of trail running.

    I had a good one a few years ago. I came around a turn on the trail, saw a log across the trail, and said to myself “I’m so tired I bet I’m going to trip over that log”. Then still, did, actually, trip over that log. Landed on rocks, bloody knees, scraped my arms & face. And I saw the thing sitting there in time to not trip over it. geez.

  3. Although I don’t have much access to trails, I do enjoy running on them. I definitely would not be doing them with a dog in tow (or on HIS tow LOL). My coordination is already pretty sketchy, and my reaction time is even worse. I’d be face planting more than once LOL Glad you’re alright!

  4. I’m glad you’re okay, I felt like I was on that run with you! I’ve never run with a dog but I would love to, especially on a trail! That bag of poop in your hand made me so nervous! XD

  5. Oh man! That’s rough. Glad you’re okay!

    Funny you mention gee. I’m training my non-sled dog with mushers terms. I don’t know if she quite gets it yet but I think with some additional practice she will!

  6. Pingback: April Runfessions 2018 | Piper's Run

  7. Oh man… you are tough! I have yet to have a face plant, but I’ve had my share of skinned knees. The joys of trail running 🙂

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