I am one of those people who typically fail to listen to my body until it basically screams at me to stop. “Oh that hurt. Ok so I will use just less weight, run slower or less distance but I can push through.” Sound familiar to my athletic friends? There have been so many times in my athletic career that had I just stepped back and evaluated what my body was telling me I would be better off. Coulda woulda shoulda.
When I was in middle school we did the Presidential Physical Fitness test. Funny enough I was HORRIBLE at this. I wasn’t fat but I wasn’t fit and I surely wasn’t in any kind of shape. I walked the mile run because it was to long of a run for me to complete. I was used to sprinting…sprinting to get away from my two assholeish older brothers who were about to probably beat me up, throw cow poop at me or simply hold me down and make me name 10 candy bars and they rapped on my sternum. I could do short distances and fast. Ironic that now I’m an endurance athlete and sprinting is not my forte.
In PE one day we did the shuttle run. In case you don’t know what that it, there are little blocks placed on the basketball court lines at various distances. You run pick one up bring it back and turn to run to get another until they are all gone. This is based on short distance speed, something I could do until it happened. Picking up my second block I felt a pain in my left leg like no other. A pain so bad I crumpled to the floor and laid there crying. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t crawl. I couldn’t stand and I surely couldn’t walk. Come to find out I had torn my hamstring. A fucking awful fate since I was in gymnastics and this basically ruined my career if I were to ever have one. Recovery was long and to be completely honest, I never fully was the same. This injury has caused so many other problems over the years from knee to foot to back pains.
Fast forward to Week 13 (I just felt like running) of my training. For the first time in a long time I haven’t had issues running with my knees, feet or hamstrings and it felt great then this week happened. It was week 1 of 2 of my recovery weeks so distances were less and workouts were “easier” (if there is such a thing when you are still biking 40 fucking miles). During my mid week run I felt it. A sharp pain that radiated through my left hamstring. The hamstring I had torn as a kid. I managed to push through (see I still do it today) to make my 6 miles though the last two were pretty awful. I had scheduled a massage for later in the week after my migraine week so I figured I would have her focus on my hamstring. To my surprise she was most concerned about how tight my feet were and focused a lot on those muscles. I felt good after my massage though I could still feel a lot of tightness in my hamstring which was causing my knee to hurt.
My legs just ached. It’s ok, I will get through it. I can just push through it. My bike ride didn’t give me hope. I felt the tightness and the ache in my knees and hamstrings the entire way. Sunday I got up and went to the gym. I knew my 8 mile run was going to be hard but hard doesn’t even describe it. I made it 1 mile, 1 FUCKING MILE before it happened. The shooting pain to the point of me almost falling off the treadmill. I stopped and said to myself, yep it isn’t worth it DON’T RUN. I went home and rowed for a bit- still dumb on my part- and thought to myself that Monday was my rest day so I will be sure to take that day off, NO PUSHING IT, and get back to it come Tuesday. So much for a recovery week.