How To Get Stitches… From Running

*Warning, if you can’t handle the sight of blood or extreme close ups of my face (equally terrifying), maybe skip this post – or at least a few of the pictures. Just close your eyes and scroll.*

Yesterday I set out to run 12 miles. My longest distance since having Evan and my last training run before my first half marathon of the season next Sunday. Paula also needed to run so we decided to run together.

We were also testing out new gear. I was trying out this Nathan Endurance Vest that a few runners (including this lady, who is about to run a 50 mile race!) recommended to me (so far, I’m loving it), and Paula was testing out a vest she received from CamelBak.


My vest is cooler.

Paula made the mistake of commenting that because of the pocket in my vest, I could bring my phone in case I needed to have Dan pick us up. Here’s the thing – I ALWAYS bring my phone. I just don’t plan on him picking us up. She totally jinxed it! (<–it’s all her fault. No, just kidding)

As far as run goes, this one started on the later side, but it still in the high 50s when Paula arrived, so I wasn’t overly worried that it was going to heat up too fast. I can’t even explain to you have THRILLED I am that the weather is starting to cool down. It was SUCH a beautiful day yesterday.


This run started off pretty amazing. We were talking, but still maintaining a 9:30 pace (usually it’s more of a 10-10:30 pace). We commented that we might be going too fast, but it didn’t FEEL fast, so we were going with it. A mile 1.9 my Garmin beeped that it had a low battery (SERIOUS GARMIN???), and soon after that we passed a walker and scared the crap out of her.

And then it happened. I hit my left foot on small bump in the sidewalk and I went down. HARD.

I am a gifted and special person. And I’m  also pretty clumsy (did I ever tell you about the time I fell down an entire set of bleachers during the middle of a high school basketball game?), so falling is like second nature to me. But owwwwwwww. This one hurt.

I really have no idea how it happened, but I definitely went down in slow motion. And concrete is not soft like a bed. I think I took a few stumbling steps trying to regain my balance, but I just couldn’t catch myself and I ended up going down on my left side. And then I smacked my head and broke my sunglasses.

Paula was all like “WOAH NELLY” (she might have even said that, it’s all a blur) when she turned around and saw me laid out on the concrete. She helped me sit up and that’s when I realized I was bleeding.


Truthfully, my ribs hurt more than anything. I didn’t have any other pain (head, shoulder, elbow, knees, hands) until minutes later (I guess when the antihistamines kicked in). I just kept thinking “I really hope I didn’t break a rib.” But when you start to see blood, you tend to freak out a little.

I checked my injury out via my phone…


Blood, Sweat… no tears, surprisingly

It didn’t really seem that bad. But my head hurt like a bitch, so I called Dan to come get me. At that point, I was adamant about NOT going to get stitches because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Paula kept telling me I should go. I kept thinking about how much of a pain in the ass that would be. Until I got home and cleaned it – and realized that my sunglasses (R.I.P.) stabbed me so that there was a big chunk of skin missing.


So, off to the Dr. I went.

Thankfully, there are at least five urgent cares in the area and they are all (surprisingly) open early on Sundays. They are also surprisingly busy on Sundays. So I waited for a bit (luckily, my wound wasn’t spewing blood – it was just a big gaping hole) and had the opportunity to take a lot of selfies of my injuries.



Not shown… the bruise on my hip, the bruise on my elbow and hands, and the road rash on my left shoulder. And yes, I stayed in my running clothes.

You’re welcome.

I went home with four stitches in my head and I have to go back in 5-7 days to get them removed.


Like a crazy person, I figured I could try to get a few more miles in when I got home. The stitches didn’t hurt at all and my headache was gone. But oh, the rib pain. Yeah, that run didn’t happen.

Today, I’m doing better. You can barely see the stitches (in fact, most of my coworkers haven’t noticed) and I’m not as sore.


I *really* need a haircut and some under-eye cream stat!

The rib pain is not horrible when I’m inactive (or even walking), but bending,  running, and rolling over in bed are PAINFUL. I’m not really sure what these means for Sunday’s race – but I’m hopeful I can run. Everything I’ve read about rib bruising is that it’s fine carry on like normal (and the Dr. I saw yesterday said “eh, that’s normal when you fall like you did), so I’m still going to attempt to race.

Everything is FINE

My injuries make me seriously think cyclists who don’t wear bike helmets are insane (same with motorcyclists). I was traveling at a speed of less than 6mph  when I tumbled and I feel like I was hit by a bus.


On a sidenote: can you imagine the damage I would do to myself if I decided to take up trail running?

When the last time you fell? Every get stitches from running? ON THE SIDEWALK? If you ever need any advice, let me know.


  1. says

    Oh man. I seriously fall ALL the damn time. There’s a reason my family calls me Grace. And Missy can tell you about a particularly memorable incident in college involving me falling off a wall in front of our dorm RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR CRUSHES, then proceeding to pee in my orange mesh shorts from laughing so hard. Yeah, I was a keeper!

    I’ve fallen at least six or seven times in the past couple years of running and one particularly bad fall on my bike. But thankfully I’ve been stitch-free (other than that whole C-section thing) since about jr. high. I somehow usually end up bracing myself with my wrists (lots of experience?) but then feel like I’ve sprained a wrist for a few days. Jim fell a couple years ago and hurt his rib and it was the same thing. He just had to rest and day by day it felt better. Hope you can recover for the Baldwin half!! You with bruised ribs and stitches still > me running my first half in Feb. I can guarantee that! :)
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..The Treasure of Time Away

    • says

      We have such parallels stories about falling. I’ll have to share some of my favorites with you sometime. They are not safe for my blog!

      I usually brace myself with my wrists too – but for some reason I turned to the left this time.

      Right now, I’m considering a DNS for Sunday, but I am going to play it by ear. My ribs hurt like a bitch!

  2. Carissa says

    Holy crap woman ouch! Glad you are ok, bummer on the stitches though! I recently pulled this exact move, minus smacking my face on the pavement. The sidewalk was raised just enough to catch my shoe. Luckily the only casualty was a crushed water bottle and skinned palms, somehow I managed a pretty awesome hit and roll. Seriously though glad you didn’t do anymore damage I can’t imagine a face plant on the sidewalk I’d have cried, but I’m kind of a whiny baby like that.
    Carissa recently posted..Marathon Training

  3. says

    Oh man, sweet close up pictures! That is seriously impressive. I avoid getting stitches too and I have huge scars as proof so you’re way smarter than me :)

    It actually not as bad to fall on the trails because the dirt is soft. Concrete is by the far the worst surface for a fall! I hope your rib pain feels better soon. I am very familiar with rib pain from my last pregnancy and know how it can ruin runs. I have my fingers crossed that you feel all better by your race!
    Kara recently posted..Stroller running and tapering

    • says

      Yeah, I really didn’t want to go, but I also didn’t want to tear the skin worse. I had visions of it splitting when I was sleeping or something. *shudder*

      Ahh see, maybe trail running would be for me. Concrete is obviously not my friend.

      It’s funny because I NEVER experienced rib pain while pregnant (which is weird since I have such a short torso). Apparently the universe wanted to make sure I knew what it felt like.

  4. Maryellen says

    Glad to see you are ok.. How about wrapping your ribs for half?? If things don’t get much better. You were a faller.. but not as bad your brother!! Welcome to the Club!! <3

    • says

      They actually recommend NOT wrapping ribs – it can make the pain worse. I’m just planning on icing and Adviling.

      I am very glad I am not Ben, lol — but now all 3 of us will have scars on our faces. It took 35 years.

  5. Melissa says

    Welcome to the club! I haven’t fallen in a while, but it’s really not fun. I hope you heal up and get back out there quickly!

    • says

      The last time I fell was almost 2 years ago. Crazy! Of course, I’m thrilled I did not fall when I was pregnant.

      I hope these stupid ribs heal up fast. They hurt like a bitch!

    • says

      I’m internally hoping I just strained my muscles and that it’s not really rib pain. OK, so I might be living in my own little reality.

      And thanks – I agree that it looks great! Lol. I’m trying to enjoy them while I have ‘em. In about 6-8 months they will be gone :(

  6. says

    I fell for the first time while running about two months ago. I was running on the main street in my neighborhood, because it was dark and I wanted to make sure it was well lit so I would not fall. Ha! My foot caught the sidewalk where it heaved up and down I went. It was more embarrassing than anything, but I got a killer scrap on my knee and my hands hurt bad. I hope your cut heals quickly!
    Thanks for the running motivation, too!

    • says

      Lol to running on a main street so you wouldn’t fall. Murphy’s Law, right??

      I have almost twisted my ankle on a few sidewalk shoulders. Those things are dangerous!

  7. says

    You’ve got skills for getting your noggin scraped up! I’m glad that you headache didn’t linger, but sore ribs don’t sound like any fun! I’ve gotten stitches from running before too- I tripped (over my own foot, seriously) and had to get 4 stitches in my knee. Then, a few weeks later at XC practice, I tripped over a branch (it had just stormed) and tore open the same area. Ugh. I also dislocated my jaw while skiing back in middle school. Fortunately, I haven’t fallen with the baby (or dropped the baby) yet (knocking on all of the wood).
    Holly @ The Cooper Family recently posted..Things I’m Loving- October Edition

    • says

      Oh man – stitches in the knee definitely sounds worse than where I got them!!

      High five for being klutzy just like me. We keep those urgent care places in business :)

  8. Cindy says

    You are tough, Babe. You must’ve learned it from Livie! Perhaps your co-workers thought you botched an eyebrow piercing. I’m so glad you got it stitched because you don’t need any scars on that pretty face.

  9. says

    Oh no! I have fallen a lot during runs also but have never hit my face! I usually end up walking home with blood running down my legs. I have permanent scars on both knees from falling. Hope your rib pain gets better, that hurts the most!
    Melissa @My Peach Life recently posted..In a Nutshell

  10. says

    Good lord! That’s quite the fall — and I must say, you’re lucky that you didn’t end up with a black eye too! (Unless you’re just hiding those pictures from us?) The last time I fell running was probably 3 years ago — I slipped/twisted my ankle on a goddamned rotten mango/pit because people with mango trees don’t ever pick up the ones that fall, even if they are all over the sidewalks. Anyhow, that time I walked away with just a twisted ankle and scraped up knees and palms. Actually, that’s usually all I ended up with when I fall. I do have ridiculous stitches story though — the last time I had them, it was from making an effing sandwich! I had laid a sharp knife down on the counter, apparently with the blade facing up. I then proceeded to shake a bottle of mustard with my finger on the lid & my finger came down right on that face-up blade. 6 stitches later I was all better. The people at the urgent care center thought it was the most ridiculous injury ever.
    Theresa recently posted..Counting Chickens

  11. says

    OWIES! I’m so sorry!

    I actually have a VERY similar scar on my right eye. I was in lifeguard training (for an ocean guard) and rowed a boat into a big swell. I didn’t have the bow perpendicular to the wave, so we flipped. I was hit by something and got a nasty cut just to the right of my right eye. Half an inch closer would have been in my eyeball! We went to the doc and they suggested that a plastic surgeon stitch me up- so I did, but don’t remember how many stitches I got, just that some were “inside” and some were “outside”?

    We’re almost scar twinsies! Uh, is that a thing? ;-) Feel better soon!!
    Steph@321delish recently posted..It’s Race Week!

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