Guess what happens when you decide your little hamstring injury is gone (in spite of only having been running pain free for oh, 3 days…not counting the workout where things *did* twinge just a teensy bit) and then run 12 glorious miles on it?
Oh, and throw in slacking on strength work for that hamstring since you’ve travelled back home and away from the marvelous hamstring-curl exercise ball. And a sudden cease in painful hamstring massages since your 6′ 2″, manual-labor-doing husband apparently has weaker hands than your 5′ 8″, 120 pound, noodle-armed sister [insert smirk here…].
Did you guess that the almost-gone hamstring problem is going to reemerge the day after that 12-miler as a vicious cramp, forcing you to walk the last half mile home and then essentially squashing any training for the next week and a half as you’re finally forced to be reasonable and take some time off? If so, congratulations, you are CORRECT!
I’m now at that week and a half point out, and have finally gotten back to very short, but pain-free runs. This second injury flare-up has forced me to really buckle down and I’ve been doing hamstring curls (with a theraband), straight-leg hip lifts, and the glute/core activation routine daily, and have been forcing myself to dig into the sore muscle with The Stick of dooooom every other day before going to bed.
I’ve reached the weird point where I’m simultaneously excited about getting back to workouts and dreaming about all the fun I’ll have when I get back to full running, and also being completely convinced that I have lost every shred of fitness that I ever possessed. Runner brains are weird sometimes…
On the fitness side I don’t think I’m actually *that* badly off. MountainMan and I spent last weekend hiking all over in the blazing heat of Grand Junction, CO and I did a long swim and a tough circuit workout this week to make up for the lack of running. I’m actually running a 5k on Sunday (foolish in light of everything I’ve written, but I signed up for it quite a while ago and it’s a team event so I’m kind of stuck…will jog it in if things are sore). Also, I just took a look at my excellent Excel running mileage versus month plot and even with the hamstring-induced dip I’m well within last years daily average mileage range, well above 2015’s daily average mileage maximum, and above all but two months from 2014. It’s a big drop, but not the fitness-killer that my panicked runner-brain keeps thinking it is.
Here’s to not being an idiot going forward (apart from Sunday’s 5k, which I hope to treat more as a tempo/fun-run) and keeping up the mildly unpleasant hamstring routine in order to get back out to enjoy the rapidly thawing trails!