Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hard times on the short track

Sounds about right
Today's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

My current level of fitness is probably at its lowest since early 2010. Back then I was recovering from a bout of pneumonia that had me in the hospital for a week. My time away from running (after our treadmill failed) had an effect on my conditioning. More concerning is an injury that surfaced in early December. Things improved a lot in January but I made the mistake of pushing hard on a run one day and that re-aggravated the problem. Three weeks working out exclusively on the elliptical got me back in the game.

Things started going downhill after we got our new treadmill. I had three decent runs and concluded that I was back on track. I was having a great run last Friday and decided to step up my speed. That was a big mistake. I suddenly felt searing pain in the area between my glute and hamstring, Even though I stopped right away, the damage was done. The closest thing that I've found online that describes it is something called hamstring tendinopathy.

I was back to the treadmill on Saturday but I struggled to the point where I had to stop. I completed my workout on the elliptical and didn't even attempt to run on Sunday (elliptical again). I hoped that a three day layoff since Sunday would allow sufficient time to recover. I felt okay at the start, even though the modest speed I'd set felt as fast as race pace.

Despite the challenge, I was determined to see this run all the way through. The pain started increasing after ten minutes and I decided I'd deal with it for as long as I could stand it. I hoped I wasn't doing any damage and felt okay when I finally finished, but I've been very sore all day. I'll give it another try tomorrow but I won't be a hero. Reducing speed seems to keep the pain in check so I'll see how it goes.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Indeed. Will an MRI show a muscle or tendon tear?

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    2. Most soft tissue, muscle and tendon, ligament

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  2. That's got to be frustrating. Sorry to hear this. The sooner you get this checked, the sooner we can group run. Have you tried done stretching?

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    1. You are the voice of my guilty conscience. I haven't stretched and I know I should. I was using the massage stick and will start to use it again. I really do need to get this resolved because I want to do Wantagh with you guys when the snow clears.

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  3. I had a high hamstring injury in the fall if 2013 which I tried to run thru for a month or so before shutting it down and switching to the elliptical. I trained on the elliptical for about six weeks before running again. The elliptical is easy on the hammy. If you keep trying to run, you're never going to get better. Good luck.

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    1. I am sure you're right. Did your six weeks on elliptical and off running resolve your hamstring issue? I did make progress after a three week elliptical cycle, but perhaps I came back too quickly. Thanks for the perspective. I am fortunate to be participating soon in a test of zero impact running equipment. That might be a good replacement for running during my time away from the treadmill.

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    2. Almost. I had a half on my schedule that I wanted to run, so after six weeks of elliptical I did six weeks of elliptical and running, with 3 quality runs per week. It was still a little tight and sore at that time, but manageable. I'd always do a real slow warmup mile or two and ice after I was done. After the race, I took about 10 days off from all exercise, and I was 100% after that.

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    3. Thanks - that's encouraging. I'm going to try for a balance of 70% elliptical (or otherwise non-impact) and 30% slow running until I start seeing improvement. If the running is slowing progress I'll drop back on that. :-P

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    4. Just remembered, I started running again when it no longer hurt to sit on the LIRR. The high hammy hurt on that long ride to and from Huntington.

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    5. Commuting on the LIRR is usually a painful experience, injury or not. I drive about three hours a day, back and forth to my office, and occasionally feel soreness. It sounds weird but positioning my sunglass case where my glute meets my hamstring cuts off the pain. I read some articles this week that really reinforce a break from running for this type of injury I'm starting to believe that..

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