The first two weeks of the fall marathon training had a total mileage of zero. That’s right, there was no mileage because of a “tweeked” hamstring. August 1st is the day that I used for my mid November marathons. I have found that 14 weeks is the optimal training period for me. Anything longer than 14 weeks and I tend to get bored and stray from my plan. Anything less and I end up packing in too much speedwork and not enough long runs.
So, there I was, the last weekend in July. On Saturday I participated in a regional Taekwondo tournament, placing 1st in my pattern and 4th in my sparring. On Sunday, our church had a end of summer party for our MERGE program at Tata’s, a local gymnastics training place. I ran and climbed and jumped and swung on the ropes, dropping into the foam pit. All was just peachy and I went to play ultimate frisbee with some of the guys from church.
I’ve only played ultimate a couple of times, my frisbee throws has room for much (very much) improvement. However, I can run, and run and run… Sometimes even fast. And I can catch two, although my vertical jump is hampered by gravity.
After warming up and playing for about 20 minutes, on a rather mundane play, I started off toward a wide position. Nothing too fast, it wasn’t a quick turnover but whatever I did,my hamstring was not happy. I instantly felt a pain in my right hamstring and I knew in 0.759 seconds that I was done for the day. Thankfully, I could still walk on it but I limped off the field.
I immediately started first aid on it, compressing the sore area, light-light stretching, and even getting some ice on it. Thankfully, it was not tender to the touch and did not see any bruising. But now what was I to do? I was clearly injured but had to train.
At least the injury came early in the training. I wasn’t deep into training, so for me to miss runs, now was the time. I decided to play it day by day with Wednesday being the first day that I thought about running. When Wednesday came, it was a little better but not enough for me to try it out. All during the week, I had it wrapped, iced it when I got home from work and tried not to be too strenuous.
I used walking up stairs as a barometer of how it was healing. For at least 8 days, it ached walking up the stairs. Since I have a desk job, I used a tennis ball as a make shift roller that I used work the hamstring.
If my memory serves me correctly, I was contemplating trying to run on it that Tuesday, 8 days since the injury. However, the upcoming Friday was belt testing for Taekwondo and I still needed one more class. I used Rock Tape on my hamstring for the practice and again on testing itself. Not only did the testing go well, but the legs were fine afterwards. I did take the precaution of skipping running over the weekend.
My marathon training for the first two weeks summed to the grand total of 0 miles. In other words, my fall training was reduced to a 12 week training period, something I’d rather do when I had more of a base but what can you do?