Running Update

So, to go with the stomach update, I feel like I owe a running update as well. In short, I ran a my first race of the year last weekend, and I feel good!

The long story is that I gave my right hamstring eight weeks to heal on its own then started to panic a little when it still wasn’t feeling better. I finally scheduled an appointment with my regular doctor. He tested my range of motion and concluded what I knew all along. It probably wasn’t a tear but a deep strain or sprain of some sort. I was happy for the peace of mind (although not as happy with its $175 price tag) and asked about next steps. He said the only real solution was some physical therapy and more rest. I mentioned before that I just really don’t have the time for thrice weekly PT appointment right now. I know that it would be the best thing because I’ve had such success with PT before, but I can’t commit to it right now. So, I decided to do my own.

I found some stretches for the hamstring online and committed to a month of waking up a half an hour earlier (5 instead of 5:30) to stretch this darn leg. I did mostly bridges and side leg raises along with a lot of foam rolling. I also iced and applied heat on days when it was extra bad. I’ve been trying to get up and walk around more throughout the day as (I think) my hamstring is activated when I sit, and standing after sitting for a while caused me a lot of pain.

I started reintorducing running really slowly. I did two miles once a week then two miles twice a week then three miles twice a week at a very easy pace with walking breaks. I didn’t wear a watch or run with Chris. If I felt bad after a run, I backed off for a few days. Slowly, I started feeling ok during and after my runs. I built up some distance and got up to 4.5 miles at once. It hurt, so I backed off and iced and stretched some more.

In a fear of missing out panic, I registered for the Newport 10k a while ago, and the race was last weekend.  I had been feeling a lot better, so the Saturday before the race I set out to see if 6 miles was even possible. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good! I made it through the run with two stretch breaks and decided to try and do the race promising myself I’d stretch if I needed to. It’s a flat race which I knew would be easier on my hamstring.

So, I did it! And it was ok! It was great actually! I was able to run pain free, and I even had a pretty good time! I didn’t wear a watch so I could ensure I was running by feel, and I finished in 1:01:00! It felt good to be out there again. I did miss running. Ps- this was also the first race I’ve ever run where I had zero stomach troubles before, during or after. It felt amazing not to worry about my stomach all morning.

I think the moral of this story is that maybe I don’t have the body for running and maybe that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I can’t run anymore (like I previously thought). It just means I’ll never be a 7 days a week runner, and I’ll always need to make more of an effort to stretch and repair my body. I think it also means that the older I get, the more time my body needs to heal. My colds, which used to last 3 days now take at least a week to recover from, and it took me a full 16 weeks to heal from whatever I did to my leg.

Taking that time off from running helped build my interest in biking and weight lifting, and I plan to keep those up as I return to running. The moderation has been good for my body and mind. I guess it was sort of a blessing in disguise. So, that’s my update. Right now, I’m registered to run the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (3.5 miles) with my coworkers in June, and I’d like to run the Firecracker Four Miler on July 4th. Otherwise, I’m keeping my race calendar light leading up to the wedding. I have too much else to stress about. I’d like to keep running as just a stress reliever at this point. Still, I’m glad to have it back.

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