The 15K that was... but wasn't...

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This is the first of three new entries that will be published today; I figured it would be best to create three smaller, more targeted entries than to create one massive entry.

I registered to run a 15K race this weekend, but thanks to a hamstring injury that snuck up on me late last week, I decided to not run the race. I was really looking forward to it - 15K is a nice distance, and the weather was looking like it would be good, but alas, my legs had other ideas.

I've been increasing my run distances over the past few months and now regularly run 7-10 miles each day; the running is going well - no issues to report, no drama, and no trauma. I like to run first thing in the morning because I can get it over with, and it helps the 'ole metabolism stay efficient.

Well, on Thursday of last week, I missed my morning run because the weather was dreadful - pouring rain and barely 30-degrees. So I went at lunch, but thanks to some meetings that went longer than expected, I was short on time. So, I skipped my stretching and went for a run.

About 10 minutes into the run, I felt a "pop" in my hamstring (left leg), followed by an immediate sense of tightness and pain. I limped along for a bit, but had to stop running. I stretched the leg (in hindsight, not a good idea) for a bit, and tried to run again, but nope - no go. So, I walked back to the apartment, took a shower, and went back to work. The funny thing is the leg felt fine while walking, but as soon as I tried to run, it became obvious that something was amiss.

I went online and did some quick reading about hamstring injuries, and the general treatment includes RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). So, I threw some ice on it, wrapped it in a compression bandage, and took it easy. Anxious, I went for a brief run on Friday - it was still quite painful, but I managed to get 6 miles in.

Didn't run on Saturday, but did ride the bike on the trainer for a good 1.5 hours, then did some introductory Yoga, which helped loosen things up a bit. Sunday morning came around, and I didn't feel totally comfortable with doing a 15K on the leg, so I skipped out.

Upsetting, to say the least. But, the good news is that the RICE technique seems to be working - my leg feels better, and I was actually able to run a good distance today, with just a hint of pain.

So, let this be a lesson to me and to anyone else - always stretch first! I'm not 100% certain that my injury came as a result of not stretching, but it probably didn't help... :-(

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