Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ow!

So, after racing 140.6 miles (if you really want to call what I do "racing"), I have destroyed myself with the following:

1. One 5k race in 23:47.

2. One "speed" workout three days later consisting of 8x400 in about 1:40 ea.

3. One 5 mile fartlek run yesterday (7 days after the "speed") when I thought I was feeling better.

I know. Not terribly impressive. Lots of people can go way faster. But it was fun, and felt good . . . mostly. . . .

Now, my biceps femoris, (aka the my hamstring) is in complete rebellion. I groan when I bend over or need help getting up from a chair. I even woke in my sleep because it hurt last night.

In short, I am now 82 years old and have somehow skipped the 41 years between my post-Ironman birthday and the rest home.

"I'VE FALLEN . . . AND I CAN'T GET UP!"

I really had been enjoying running, my first love, and I REALLY wanted to try to run fast. I had signed up for a February marathon and I was going to give my all to achieve a PR. Now? All is in doubt. If I'm going to run fast in February, I need to be putting in time on my feet now.

Anybody have any magical cures for the bad hamstring that don't involve giving up speed work?

Maybe this is my body's way of telling me it's time to do that swim block or get on the bike trainer.

Rats.

21 comments:

Team Brazo said...

I find that my 42 yr old body is just not made to go fast. A few weeks back I ran a 5k and it took a few weeks to get my hamstring back in order.

I stayed on the bike for about a week and that helped, but mine wasn't injuried -- just stressed/sore.

Robyn & Rachel said...

Yoga! Our coach (and yoga teacher) offers free podcasts at sageyogatrainng.com. Lots of great one for hammies. You can download them and practice immediately following your runs.

Spokane Al said...

I wince everytime I hear of or see someone with a hamstring issue. After months of recovery my advice is to take it easy - the hamstring is very deceptive in that it feels like it is healed when it is not.

In addition to extensive stretching/yoga (which needs to be a permanent part of your training going forward) I would add some hamstring strength training exercises with weights and/or that big air ball that we use for crunches etc.

As my hamstring recovers I have also been getting positive results from Active Release Techniques (ART) work from a local practionioner.

Good luck and remember that from this point forward after your injury your hamstring will continue to be suceptable to additional injury.

I do disagree with the commenter about older people doing speedwork. I am 57 and continue to do speedwork. It makes me faster and should also aid in the strengthening of my hamstring. Just be careful and keep it to no more than once a week or so.

Good luck buddy.

21stCenturyMom said...

I'm with Spokane Al - these injuries are not an indication of an age related or permanent problem. Hammies need a lot more stretching than we give them or they tighten up and then tear when you try to extend too fast.

Get some acupuncture and ART and lay low for a bit. Do your yoga and Pilate's (lots of good viewing in those classes *wink wink*) and when you are all better start running at an easy pace and if that works get back to the track.

You survived a broken neck - you can get past this, too. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! And you are Greyhound. You'll be fine!

Dave Fleet said...

ART all the way. I've used it for injuries all the way from calf spasms to IT band syndrome, and it's cleared them all up.

Jane said...

For what my opinion is worth as a newbie and all, I ditto the yoga. Keeps you very flexible and strong too. I think my pretty fast progress without injury has been because I've doing yoga on and off for 10 years.

Andra Sue said...

Having had a nasty hamstring injury myself (a small tear that just didn't want to heal)...I second everything that Spokane Al said. Just beware--it took me over a year for it to feel normal again, and still every once in a while I tweak it somehow.

It will also helpful to your massage therapist or PT if you can figure out if the pain you're experiencing is nerve related or muscle related. If you want specifics, feel free to email me...

TriBoomer said...

Sounds like a weekend of debauchery in Dallas is in order.

I'm just sayin'.

Stay tuned...

Bill said...

You too, huh?

For the past three+ weeks I've been suffering like that. No injury, just tightness.

I've been stretching like a mad dog too.

IronJenny said...

No magical cure, friend. Just time and gentle rolling.
You'll be back.

Allez said...

Yoga & find a chiro to hook you up on e-stim. Shock the crap out of those bad boys & they might loosen up.

Allez said...

And one more thing... go eat a tasty Sonic chili cheese dog. They work miracles! :-)

Bigun said...

perfect cure: no running. Works all year for me.

Jane said...

Is Superpounce racing this weekend?

Taconite Boy said...

Hey Mr. I never rest! Do what Tac is doing. FULL month to 6 WEEKS off from all running. Best thing I ever did last year!

Trust your Tac Boy

1HappyAthlete said...

Ughhh...I'm with everyone above...take your time and let it heal...you'll get back much more quickly....

Tri-Dummy said...

The guy in the pic has great buns.

I'm w/Bigun. Avoid running.

For A.While.

Have a nice relaxing break.

No Wetsuit Girl said...

My hamstrings are notoriously tight and I always chalked it up to the fact that I hate to stretch. But then a friend, much wiser and more experienced in endurance sports pointed out to me that they're probably just weak (she wasn't very tactful about the way she told me, which leads me to think that she's right). This makes sense since we spend so much (quad) time on the bike and the poor hamstrings, the opposing muscle, group tends to fall by the wayside. So yeah, hit the gym between those speed sessions and maybe you'll see a difference?

Lemme know how it works!

HOKIEX said...

Bummer. Sorry to hear that.

I swear by Strength Training and Yoga to keep the legs loose and stretched. I'm in the gym twice a week Strength Training. It does make a huge difference.

Like others have said, Hammy's can nag for a while. Take it easy and rest it.

ace said...

I think the last comment is pretty close to getting to the cause of the injury/issue. Training and racing actually tend to take away from muscle function over time. Checking to see if your quads and hamstrings are balanced in terms of their relative strength would be the first place to start after therapeutic treatments like Acupuncture, ART, or even Rolfing. Once the therapy and relative strength assessment is out of the way, bringing balance and flexibility to the leg through Yoga and/or Pilates might be an option.

On another note, speed is really about economy so time on your feet may not be as valuable as what you can figure out to do with your time off them. Again, by addressing things like balanced leg strength and flexibility and integrating core strength into your training, a faster marathon in Feb may still be possible. At any rate, I enjoyed reading your blog.

Train well.

Becky said...

What is ART? That's one I've never heard of and am dealing with my own hamstring issues while getting ready for an October marathon... can't wait for it to be over so I can let my legs rest for awhile!