I Love Running, But Sometimes…


…It’s just a pain in the right hamstring.

Srsly.

I have been running for about 9 years now. It was around May of 2002 that I first got the running bug, from nowhere. I had stopped drinking a few months prior, and wanted something to do with all the time not being drunk had freed up.

I was still smoking, but that would soon stop as well.

So what I did was I went out one day in May. Wearing dungaree shorts, with my wallet, keys, other stuff I normally had on me, for a walk, not dressed for running, dressed for hanging out.  And for no reason that I can come up with, broke into a trot. Didn’t think walking out the door “I want to run” or anything like that. Hell, that first time I may have actually had cigarettes on me. I ran around this place called Snug Harbor in the old neighborhood, ran when no one was looking.

I didn’t want people asking why I was running or what I was running from. Srsly. I didn’t want other people asking me questions I couldn’t adequately answer myself.

After the first time I went out, I wanted to run, wanted to test myself, see what I could do. It also had the most excellent side effect of helping me quit smoking, I think I’ve written of that once or 3 times here.

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9 years later, I am 30+ pounds lighter, with more muscle, more energy, I’m happier and have a better attitude than I had back before I started running.

But I also have to tell you that sometimes it can be a bit frustrating. Mostly because of when I want to run, but my body simply says “NO.” I have had weeks and even entire months when I wanted to run, but couldn’t because of a variety of injuries, from sprained ankles to what I thought was compartment syndrome. Never did go to a doctor for that, may just have been an extreme case of shin splints. I’ve pulled at one point in time just about every muscle there is to pull.

I have because of this(and my basic inquisitive nature,) learned the medical names of just about every muscle group in the lower body. Other people strain their hamstrings, I get strains near the ischial tuberosity of the long head of my right biceps femoris.

OK, maybe i’m not always like that, not always Mr. “$5 word” guy, but that particular muscle strain is curiously, what I have wrong with me now.

And it’s driving me nuts.

I did it on a training run on Monday, a 5.7 mile run, nothing long, at least not for me. About ½ a mile to go, and I feel something twinge in my right hammy. I decide it’s nothing major, and I’m close to being done, so I don’t even break stride. Doesn’t bother me at first, but by the time I’m about 50 strides from finishing, it is beginning to affect my stride, I’m running with a limp.

“Dammit, just finish.” is what I tell myself.  No worries.  I get it done. Decent enough time, not great, not bad, wasn’t going all out. I go to walk up the hill to go home, and I am limping.

Doesn’t hurt too much, but my gait is clearly affected. About a minute later it starts to hurt seriously, and I am walking like I just got shot in the ass. Or how I would imagine someone who just caught a bullet in the ass would walk, never been shot in the ass.

Lucky me. 🙂

ANYWAY…

I am antsy about this, because I have a race coming up on Memorial day. I take a few days off. I hate taking days off. Days off SUCK. Sitting on my ass is not something I do well, and I try to avoid it whenever possible. I stop my exercise regimen, hoping that a complete shutdown will help me heal quickly, and I’ve always been a fast healer.

I try to run on Thursday. 4 minutes in, the thing goes from being so-so, sore but not too bad, to feeling like I got shot again, and this time the pain is both immediate and severe. Almost puts me on my ass.  Almost.

Limp home, cursing the whole way.

I’ve had the thing wrapped up, iced, taken warm epsom salt baths for 2 days. Rest. Lots of rest. Went out today, and found I have a limited range of motion when I run, and there is a stabbing pain. Curiously, I can walk just fine, but once I attempt to run, the damn thing becomes a hairy mess. I can walk, do lunges, single leg deep knee bends on the bad leg, but I just can’t run.  I can’t even break into a trot without pain.

Dammit, I’m not going to be able to run the race on Memorial day.

I may show up. I may give it a try, but I don’t see this getting significantly better in the next 48 hours since it hasn’t gotten better in the previous 72. If it does get better I will consider it a miracle, but I am not seeing a miracle on the horizon.

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That’s it for the moment, America.  Politics later, methinks.

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