Three-ish weeks of pain free running — I’ll take it!
Let’s back up a few weeks, and I can explain why this is big. The original plan was to race the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Jan 14. Unfortunately, a little over a week out from the race, a random pain started in my lower right hamstring. Pain really isn’t the correct word, more of a soreness — could feel it while running fast, but not on slower runs or any other time. The decision was made to not run Houston, go have fun at Frozen Gnome 10k, then take a week to swim.
Interestingly enough, I was able to swim almost the same times as when I was swimming 20k yards/week as a triathlete. Turns out it was a good decision…no soreness or discomfort after 2-3 days and totally fine 7 days later.
My first two runs back were 6 miles each at a very easy pace. Coach made me promise to be careful the first couple days…luckily muddy trails made that an easy task. And hey, muddy trails are fun.
The first full week back seemed odd and uncomfortable, but no pain. It has been a while since I have taken a full week off of running. You can’t force fitness, but you can do a proper warm up and cool down each day.
The second week back felt normal, almost as if I had not taken time off. Runs were feeling easier and I was even able to get on some trail…before the snow hit. From there, I was basically forced to the treadmill — including a 20 & 14 mile run.
Week 3 started out well. Temps rose, snow melted, and I finally got to do my first real workout again. Everything felt smooth and ready to focus on American River 50 in April. On Thursday, I went out for an easy trail run, and ended up taking another hard fall on ice.
Everything seemed fine. Friday rolled around and I found a random soreness in my knee. We decided to cut the weekend long run and just get in two easy days, before my usual off day (Monday). Once again, good decision. Discomfort is gone.
A few takeaways from the last couple weeks:
- Don’t skip a proper warmup/cool down
- If it hurts, don’t be afraid to take a day or two off — KT Tape is not “fixing it”
- The Black Panther movie was awesome — go see it
What’s next? I will be heading to Kentucky for the Land Between the Lakes 23k on March 10. Steve Durbin is a great race director, and this seems like a fun start to the spring. I have never raced a 23k, so this will be a new/fun distance on trail.
Have a great week, y’all.