Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taking A Short Break

Hi runners! Have anyone missed me, yet? I know it’s only been a few days, but I’ve already built up enough running drama to last me for the next several weeks. I’ve been trying to avoid posting and discussing the situation as if by discussing it, I’m legitimizing the whole thing which I’m not yet willing to do, but since I’ve already missed a run and might miss more because of it, I guess it’s about time I faced the music…

A couple of days ago, fresh from having just completed my highest mileage week ever, I was out at the park, planning to attack the ten miler (with seven at tempo pace) I had scheduled for that day. I could tell that something was a little off even as I warmed up with an easy loop around the reservoir (1.5 mile). Although mentally I was feeling good, physically, I was missing the spring in my step that I’ve grown used to at the beginning of my speedwork sessions. I couldn’t really understand why but went ahead with my run anyway, figuring it’d come back to me eventually. Well, it never really did. Goal tempo pace for the seven miles was only 6:30, but I started out super hard, with the first mile at 6:08, thinking I’d “jump start” the system. It didn’t work. I slowed down a bit to a more comfortable and tempo-like pace of 6:25, 6:29 for the next two miles to see whether I could settle down. Nope. I then tried to speed it up again and ran 6:23, 6:22 and 6:27 for the next three miles. But still there was no response from my legs. Although I was keeping a good pace that was well below my goal, I was getting quite frustrated with how much effort I was exerting just to keep my times there. Eventually, on the last mile, I gave up, got frustrated and tried to outrun myself. Although there was no obvious need to, I attacked the last hill hard, ending the tempo run with an 6:11 final mile.

It was during this last half mile dead sprint that I first felt it, a slight pull in the back of the right leg. I didn’t think much of it at first. I ran 2 miles for recovery and promptly forgot about the whole incident. The next day however, from the first steps of an 8 mile slow recovery run, I could feel a shooting pain from my right butt down to my right knee. Although I ran slowly, maintained form and tried not to care as best I could, the tightness became more noticeable and painful as the miles built up. It was especially hard going up and down hills as the elevation changes elicited more and more pain from the right leg. I was still able to finish the run albeit with a slightly altered form and a pace that was not natural, but I knew even before I finished that I’ll be on hiatus for a while.

So late last night, after RICE’ing and still feeling pain, I surrendered myself to the inevitable and added my name to the injury list with the diagnosis of a strained right hamstring a status of day-to-day, and a prognosis that I categorized as “cautiously optimistic (3-5 days)”.

There are no happy words to describe how I’m feeling right now, so I’ll spare you all the ranting. I hope to be back on the road again soon.

24 comments:

matpedw said...

I don't follow a lot of blogs but this is the second time I'm reading about a hamstring injury this year. I know comparing injuries is riddled with flaws but it might help out a little mentally to check how this story ended. Check out 1/15/09 to 2/9/09

http://teamfasteddy-fasted.blogspot.com/

Count of Monte Christo said...

Hi Laminator. Sorry to read about the injury. I hope that it doesn't affect your plan too much.

Take care

Carlee said...

no fun but stay optimistic it does sound like you are on top of it and doing the right things.

Jess said...

Sorry :(. Hope you have your spring back soon!

D10 said...

Rest up and take things slow. You'll be feeling better soon.

Irish Cream said...

Oh, Lam . . . I'm so sorry to hear that. And for the record, I was indeed wondering where you'd disappeared to! Take care of that leg, and take it easy for the next few days. I bet you'll be back at it in no time at all ;) Keep your chin up!

The Happy Runner said...

I did wonder where you were! That's awful about the hamstring. I hope it is something that a few days of RICE will cure.

aron said...

this just sucks :( hang in there... i hope a few days of RICE will be the cure!!

Jamie said...

Hang in there, RICE, and stay positive. Hopefully this is just a slight detour.

Michelle said...

I am sorry Lam!!! Just rest it you know what to do!!!

You will be at the starting line in Boston for sure!!!

Take care my friend!!

Running and living said...

So sorry to hear about this. I completely understand how you feel. I had my own bout with tenosynovities a week ago, which resolved for the time being, and it completely terrified me. Any kind of injury during marathon training just sucks. Hopefully RICE will take care of it, and one week off will not interfere with your overall training. Hang in there, and stay positive, if you can!
Glad you wrote about this. I have the same tendency not to bring up injuries and other such issues as to not make them "real" - working on changing that:) Ana-Maria

Xenia said...

Hope your hamstring heals up soon!

Spike said...

take care and rest up, a week off won't hurt your speed or training a bit, but trying to 'tough out' an injury will. wishing you a quick recovery.

M*J*C said...

Hey Lam- So sorry to hear about your injury...I'll be sending positive vibes your way. I'm hoping that this will just be a very short break for you and you'll be back out there soon!! Keep us posted!

J said...

I am so sorry to hear about your hamstring. I am sure that it will heal quickly. Keep the positive thoughts. Thanks for the words of advice on my hip flexor. It really helped alot and made me feel better!

Run For Life said...

Well, that's no good! Sorry to hear about the hamstring. I hope to the running gods it heals quickly - try not to get discouraged. Take care!

X-Country2 said...

RICE RICE RICE. Good luck with a speedy recovery.

pigtailsflying said...

I had a painful hamstring injury (primary sprain was where it met my glute) that sidelined me for months. Sounds like you caught yours in time to have a shorter recovery. Running drama sucks!

Joe Garland said...

Voice of doom here. Hamstring strains are not to be trifled with. Give yourself enough time to get over it. Otherwise it'll become chronic.

That, of course, puts you in a dilemma about Boston. You were already soft going into it and missing time now is a major set-back.

I would seriously consider a back-up marathon. New Jersey is on May 3, and that's a flat, two-lap course. Delaware on May 17. You'll have plenty of chances to run Boston; it's not going anywhere and your objective has long since gone past a BQ but to shoot for a time well below 3 flat.

And I think that's something to look for in NY. Whatever you do now, the work to date will be of great use in November. (And I don't know if you're a member of a club, but if you are there's a secret benefit for someone with your speed for getting a preferred starting spot.)

Frayed Laces said...

Ooooooo-kay, I've been kind of sitting back and not commenting for some time now, but I feel it is time for me to give my two cents.

Although the whole point of the running/blogging community is to get valuable advice from others, the most important thing is that what works for one person may not be best for another.

Lam, perhaps if you ran more miles in a week you could be a 2:45 marathoner, but seriously, YOU HAVE A LIFE! Not only are you an amazing athlete, you are also a world class doctor, a fantastic son/brother, the world's best coach, and one heck of a friend. If you had to run more miles in a week other parts of your life would slip. Yes, you are an amazing runner, but you are also so much more than that.

So although I do think that maybe you could be faster if you ran more, I like you just the way you are. And taking three days off with a minor injury? Pish posh. No biggie. You are NOT "soft" going into Boston and you certainly do not need to think of a "backup" marathon. I missed three weeks of training due to travel and illness. Yeah, I most definitely am not going to PR in Boston, but I am still going to go! What kind of runner would I be if I just gave up because of a minor setback?

But why listen to me? I'm just another blogger ranting in your comments section. You decide for yourself.

Mike G said...

I agree with frayed laces. Let the numbers games go for a while and remember why you love running - for the sheer animal thrill of being fast, of being out there and moving. Just have a fast hard race at boston without pushing the legs beyond their limits. It will work out.

Cowboy Hazel said...

Your post certainly drew a bunch of well thought out comments. I love seeing everyone's different reaction. As for me, I'll just say that I hope you have a speedy recovery. I know the smart thing would be to take some serious time off, but I also know how hard it can be to do the smart thing (especially this close to your marathon date.) Best of luck in whatever you choose to do.

bill carter said...

Hi Lam

I wasn't really sure what to say so I kept my comments to myself and thought I would just see what happens. Just can't help myself. I love what FL said as I think you are more than ready. I still think you are going to have an amazing Boston and there is NO WAY I am letting you off the hook. I only ask that when you run some amazing time, that you wait for me at the finish. BTW, think of this as a great way to kick off the taper as you have put in plenty of miles.

Best of luck, my friend!

sRod said...

No words for this, just keep on RICEing.

 
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