Running Shenanigans (3/26/17)
The picture below accurately describes the past two weeks of my running life:
Nevertheless, I'm joining my friend Courtney (Eat Pray Run DC) in sharing a recap of my training over the past week, as well as an update on that ol' hamstring injury. As an aside, Courtney had an AMAZING race day today; head over to her blog and say congratulations, please.
Following a "mild to moderate hamstring strain" during the Germantown Half Marathon (you can read about those shenanigans here) on Sunday, March 12, I've been slowly working my way back into running. Well, in all honesty, if I'd been slowly working the entire time I likely would have made more progress by now; I did a little too much on my first running attempt (Friday, the 17th) and was forced to take a step back.
After a disastrous meltdown last Saturday morning, a la the limo ride after elimination from The Bachelor (tears, gnashing of teeth, cries of "why, why, why?", etc.), I contacted my running coach and asked for help. I'm not very good at asking for help but, thankfully, he understands and took control of the situation. After I mess up, I generally follow instruction pretty well for fear of a repeat performance.
Sunday and Monday - No running, plus various prescribed combinations of the following (remember that picture above?): epsom salt soak, heating pad, ice pack, light foam rolling, light stretching/yoga; the best part about an epsom soak is that it provides an extra twenty minutes of reading time.
Tuesday - My coach's original plan was to have me do a short test run on Tuesday morning; however, after having described my condition to him on Monday evening (hamstring was at about 80% for regular walking and daily activities), he recommended we reassess after another day of rest. Left unchecked, I'm sure I would have gone out anyway; this is one of the many reasons I'm so thankful for my running coach. Tuesday ended up exactly like Sunday and Monday!
Wednesday - My hamstring was feeling much better after Tuesday, so I received the green light to go out for a short, slow test: heat up at home; walk for 10 minutes; slow jog to start and run for 20 minutes (if feeling okay); another 10 minute cool down walk; light stretching. This felt like twenty of the most glorious minutes in recent memory; you'd have thought I'd just won the lottery.
It felt awkward, to be sure, and I was hyper aware of every tiny thing; my hamstring still felt a little tight, and there was a slight pulling/grabbing sensation toward the end, but I never experienced any pain and I took it easy. Progress!
Thursday - No running; Jasyoga Comprehensive Hip & Hamstring Reset (one of my all-time faves - works wonders!) and more heat and ice therapy.
Friday - Since I had absolutely zero problems following Wednesday's run, I was given the go ahead to add a few minutes to the next one: as before, heating pad at home; 10 minutes walking; 30 minute easy-paced run (GLORIOUS!); 10 minute walking cool down; stretching. It went really well, with the exception of some left outer glute soreness/achiness/fatigue which was not at all surprising. By the end of the running portion, I'd completely forgotten about my hamstring and was near my regular easy running pace.
Saturday - I think my coach allowed me to do another 30 minute run in order to help preserve my sanity; not running on Saturday is really tough for me, mentally!
Sunday - An important part of the rehabilitation of a muscle strain is retraining and restrengthening the muscle after it has repaired. You know what time it is! Bring out those Thera-Bands, folks! No running today, but definitely some exercising going on...ugh, I swear these exercises never seem to get any easier; maybe I should stick with them even when I'm not injured, you think (insert eye roll)?
To the average, uninjured runner, nine miles in a week may not seem very exciting but, I can assure you, it was pretty exciting for me. I'm looking forward to easing back into my regular routine this week and tacking on a few more miles.