August 28, Day 191
Weeks Workouts: See description.
I suppose it was bound to happen eventually.
Tuesday I set out to do my speed-work run, which was a 5 min Z1/5 min Z2/25 min Z3/5 min Z2/5 min Z1 run. I like to think of it as a “stair step” run. It was a warm evening but not terrible. I remember feeling thirsty as I hit the turnaround to come home, but other than that I was feeling great. No problem hitting my paces.
At 28:28, I felt my right hamstring twinge.
Uh oh. Happily I’m not as dumb as I used to be, so I shut down immediately. I tried to walk it out, but no dice. I pulled it. It’s a mild pull, but a pull nonetheless.
If you’ve never done this to your hamstring (the long muscles in the back of your upper legs) let me tell you just how much you use that muscle (hint: it’s a lot). It’s painful, and it sucks because it’s coming at a critical time.
So I stopped walking and called for a pick up to go home. It was a lighter week in terms of volume, but a lot of speed work. I did my swim on Wednesday OK, but my hamstring felt “loose” all day. On Thursday I had a bike, and I did that OK too without many issues. By Friday when I swam I knew it wasn’t right yet, but the pain was gone. I was staring at a 90 min run on Saturday and figured we would see then.
And see I did. I knew deep down it was still not right but I had to go out and test it. I was nervous going out, babbling and stalling until I finally got myself out the door. I was fine, everything felt OK.
For two miles. Then it clenched up on me, HARD. Now all my mind can say is:
I tried to stretch it out, but no go. I called for another pickup, frustrated as all get-out, meanwhile madly googling on my phone for tips on what to do. I found one that said to shorten my stride and go extremely high cadence, so I tried that and it worked OK. I mean, I could still feel it, but that was enough to shift the impact away from the muscle. When my wife came to pick me up I waved her off an told her I’d stay nearby but was going to try it.
Yeah, I know how stupid that sounds, but I had to. Mentally I had to know if I could continue if this happens on the race. The good news is, I was able to finish all 90 minutes. But it cost me and I was sore the rest of the weekend.
This time I set out to heal it properly. I stayed off it all weekend and properly iced and stretched it. I even canceled my bike and swim on Sunday to get an extra day of rest. That caused me no end of anxiety, but it was the right call. One day of missed workouts is not the difference at this point, but healing this muscle might be. So, I didn’t do my 3 hours on the bike or 2000 meters in the pool. I’m hoping discretion is the better part of valor. But still, missing a workout is not what I want to do right now.
Today I am wearing a support sleeve and iced the muscle again this morning. I’ll also do it at lunch and after work. I still feel it, but it’s mild again. I hope it will respond quickly because I get right back on it tomorrow. I can’t miss lots of days right now, and I have a huge dress rehearsal on Sunday with a simulated race of 1200m swim/4.5 hour bike/45 min run. I gotta nail that.
So, looks like lots of icing, stretching, and getting acquainted with this guy again are on the docket until it gets better:
Meanwhile, keep me in your positive thoughts if you can. This is a delicate time as you can see since I have dipped under the 50 days left mark. These next 3-4 weeks are where I build the fitness that will carry me though the race. I need to persevere or this whole adventure might end.
Wish me luck. Cheers!