Tag Archives: injuries

25 Days and Counting…

Its been 25 days since I ran the Rock n Roll Half Marathon and I haven’t run more than 3.6 milesrunningwithdrawals since that day.

I. AM. LOSING. MY. MIND. 

My house has never been so clean. My car has been vacuumed, windows shined, and cleaned from top to bottom. I cut my grass twice. I experimented with multiple new recipes. I made muffins. (I never make muffins.) I’ve checked off over 80% of the items off my to-do list… and I’m still going. I’ve also signed up for at least five more races – all of which I can’t even start training for yet!

My hamstring has kept me sidelined.  Clearly, I’ve been trying to fill my time but again, I am losing my mind!  I must admit that I never realized how much I use that muscle in every day activities!  During these four weeks that I’ve been benched from any running activity, I’ve also been unable to do the other things I enjoy.  Generally, when I’m not running, I am spinning.  It’s a great cross training activity as an alternative to running on days I am just not feeling it. But, with a pulled hamstring, I’ve been unable to take any classes. I even tried taking a boxing class (very therapeutic!) but the next morning my hamstring hurt so much that I was barely able to make it down the stairs.

So, for over two weeks now, I have literally had no form of exercise.  I’m sure there are other things that a trainer could tell me to do in order to get in some form of fitness, but I wasn’t willing to risk injuring myself even more.  To say that I am feeling lethargic and pudgy is an understatement!  Then, there’s the feelings of “losing my cardio endurance.” I am afraid that I’m losing the endurance to maintain long runs! I know muscle memory is a legitimate thing and that it will come back quickly, but its one of many irrational thoughts I’ve been having during this time.  I just miss getting out there and losing myself in my thoughts during a good run and the feeling of accomplishment after its over.

A few days ago, I met with a running coach to help me rehab it back by strengthening key surrounding muscles.  I have some very specific exercises that I’ve been doing for two days now and, today, I am going to give a very short run a try and HOPE that I make it through with no pain. I really need to get back to my own sense of normalcy. I don’t have much left to clean… or at least nothing I WANT to clean!  Fingers crossed today’s run goes OK!

Lesson Learned: Rest When Injured

Knowing when to say when isn’t always that easy – especially when you’re the classic type A person on a mission to accomplish something.

I’ve been training for months for my half marathon. I have a very specific time goal that I want to hit and I’ve been so diligent in my training to do everything I can to hit that goal. I hired a run coach to help me train. I mapped out my 12 week running plan to include hill and speed workout, short and long runs, and incorporated training paces that progressively increased for each segment. I even have my training plan color coded so it gives it more depth and life. Yes, I’m that anal about things. I’m not the fastest runner, but I am a runner who plans, trains, and generally works hard to accomplish her goals.

You can probably guess what happened… I got hurt. I pulled my left hamstring and watched all my training go out the window. Well, maybe its not that dramatic but it certainly put a damper on things.

Rest When Injured

A few weeks ago while I was training and running hills, I felt it… a slight twinge in my hamstring. Like many other stubborn runners, I chose to ignore it and assumed it would just go away. I kept running and running – for weeks. I kept doing speed work and hills. I worked my way up to 10 and 11-mile runs. My half marathon is only a few weeks away. I needed to get my runs in! But, my body just wasn’t cooperating.

The result? I have been benched from running for the last eight days. After my last 11-mile run, I could barely stand up and take a step. Since then, I’ve been foam rolling and working my hamstring back to health. I know this is something I should have done when the pain first happened, but I’m used to approaching things head on and just powering through. This time, the lesson I learned was that I needed to pull back to get ahead. I think we can all relate to that – whether personal or professional.

All that being said, after 8 days of rest, my hamstring is feeling a lot better. Its still sore and I’m going to give it another day or two before testing out a short run. I’m still planning to run my half marathon, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not hit my race pace goal. I’m actually OK with that because I recently signed up for another half marathon in early December and will continue working towards my race pace goal.

So, what am I doing to work through my slight hamstring pull? Here’s what seems to be working for me:

  1. Ice – I’ve been icing my hamstring multiple times a day. I keep it on for about 20 minutes and reapply a few times. I’ve been taking ice packs to work and doing it throughout the day while at the office.
  2. Foam Rolling – I’ve been carefully foam rolling my hamstring, but also my buttocks, quads and hip area. Because I’ve been limping around, I’m overusing other muscles that I don’t normally use. Foam rolling is helping to keep things loose all around.
  3. Lacrosse Ball Massage – In addition to foam rolling, I’ve become addicted to my lacrosse ball. (Great tip from my run coach!) It’s a little more solid than a tennis ball and larger than a golf ball. I use it as an additional massage to get in there and work my hamstring muscles. I’m very careful not to use too much pressure, but its get to places that my foam roller just can’t reach.
  4. Omega-3s – Finally, I’m taking an extra dose of omega-3s to help with the inflammation in the body.

I’m slowly feeling better and can’t wait to start running again! To be honest, I’m slowly losing my mind not being able to get out there. When I’m not running, I spin. Because this is a hamstring pull, that’s off the table too. I keep telling myself that the rest will help and I’ll be back out there in no time!