Though it hurt like a mother, I thought it was superficial at first and tried to pull it out but it broke off. I thought only a small piece of wood maybe a centimeter deep was left in the palm of my hand, so I went to the nurse's office to see if they could help me dig it out. While there, I noticed my thumb was getting tingly and numb. As I looked at it, I noticed something poking through the skin like a tentpole on the backside of my hand between the forefinger and thumb. Oops. That's when I realized what was really happening.
Another teacher who had her planning block at that time graciously drove me to the emergency room. Several doses of morphine and a local anesthetic on my left hand later, they cut open into the palm of my hand and removed the wooden shard, then stitched me back up.
Bandage and stitches will be on my hand until Tuesday. I'm under strict orders not to run until then, which I think I'll be obeying. It makes sense that it'd easily get sweaty under all these bandages, and that could hurt and also risk infection. It's good timing, actually. I'm recovering from last weekend's 50-miler, so taking a few extra days off from running isn't that big of a deal.
Kind of a damper though, as I looked forward to celebrating my one year of freedom from running injuries with a run. But it's still reason to celebrate nonetheless. Changing my gait to be more efficient (specifically, addressing the heel striking) has no doubt helped in running healthier, but also running faster. In fact, it's been my best year of running yet, with two PRs in the marathon distance and another in the 50-mile distance, and I'm not done yet. But first things first, and that means being smart with my hand the next few days. I anticipate returning to training by Tuesday or Wednesday.