The daily running streak ended on Thursday, January 10, 2013. My body held up for 381 days before this minor glute-muscle injury forced me to stop. The truth is, I should have ended the streak the week prior when my hamstring/glute problem first flared up, but instead I stubbornly clung to the streak by shuffling 30 minutes per day on the treadmill. This indoor jogging was not the purposeful, fitness-producing training that I’ve been engaging in since Thanksgiving, so I decided to stop running until I can actually ‘run with purpose’ again. Clearly, this was not the way I had envisioned the streak coming to an end. I guess I thought that I’d just wake up one morning and decide not to run that day – on my own terms. Not the case. Regardless, as I went to bed last Thursday night, I drifted off to sleep without guilt, anxiety, or shame. I was absolutely at peace with the decision. Still am. Now – if I could just get over this damn injury – then I’d be psyched. A mix of cross-training, stretching, rolling, and time-off seems to be helping, but I’m still not ‘running-for-real’ yet. Check out the details:
Monday – 1/7/13
PM: Indoor workout at the EFC. Feeling positive about cross-training today. Spent 30 solid minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes shuffling on the treadmill. I cover about 4+ miles on the elliptical and 3 miles on the treadmill. Tight, but pain-free while on the elliptical. Having some pain on the treadmill. Sit-ups and Pull-ups. Spent 20 minutes stretching and rolling too. 1 hour training .5 hours running. 3 miles running. SU/Pull-ups.
Tuesday – 1/8/13
PM: Cardio cross-training at the EFC today. Sweating a lot while on the elliptical. Same deal – 30 hard minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the treadmill. Feels good to be working out, but I can’t help by look out the window and think that I’m missing out on winter. Sit-ups and Pull-ups. 15 minutes of stretching and rolling. 1 hour training. .5 hours running. 3 miles running. SU/Pull-ups.
Wednesday – 1/9/13
PM: Same indoor workout at the EFC. Feels like my injury is regressing a little bit because I now have more pain while on the treadmill. Also, that hip feels very fatigued now. 30 minutes on the elliptical. 30 minutes on the treadmill. Sit-ups and Pull-ups. 15 minutes of stretching and rolling. 1 hour training. .5 hours running. 3 miles running. SU/Pull-ups.
Thursday – 1/10/13
AM: TOOK THE DAY OFF FROM RUNNING – which ended my streak at 381 consecutive days of running. Went to bed not feeling guilty or bad about this at all – mostly relieved. Hopefully I can get rested and healthy and come back stronger than ever – that is the plan anyway. 0 and 0 on the training side of things today. 1st day off in a very long time.
Friday – 1/11/13
PM: Took today off as well. Was fortunate to be able to see Tim Poppe of Physiotherapy Associates in the afternoon. After poking around for a bit, we came to the conclusion that this injury is likely one of the glute muscles. Due to severe tightness, this is causing pain and hindering my range of motion. The prescription is simple – rolling and stretching.
Saturday – 1/12/13
AM: 1 hour of dedicated stretching and rolling. The rolling is mostly done with a 4-inch hard-rubber spiky ball. The focus of the rolling is just next to my sit-bone on my right side, my upper-hamstring, and on the outside of my hip area as well. Really trying to loosen this up. The stretching focus so far is on the piriformis. We’ll see how this works.
AM: Immediately following this stretching/rolling session, I did the a modified version of Coach Jay Johnson’s Lunge Matrix, followed by a series of standard running drills – skips, high-knees, butt-kicks, etc. After concluding this, I felt fine and ready to run, so I headed out for a 30-minute jaunt on the Van Tuyl Loop. My butt/hamstring/hip area was a bit tight, and slightly fatigued, but I ran without pain for 25 minutes – until it totally locked up on me and I had to shuffle home. Bummer. 30 minutes of running. 3.5 miles running.
Sunday – 1/13/13
PM: Took the day off again today. My leg was in pain and was very tight most of the day. The stretching routine was limited due to this pain. Took it easy. Anxious for a new week. Onward. No training again today.
Week totals –
4 hours training. 2 hours running. 12 miles running. Having to deal with an injury – not ideal.
How does this injury factor into my ‘unwavering belief that I can remake my body, stride, and mind in 2013’? Good question. The answer? I’m focusing more time and energy on the other important components to being a runner. For starters, since I’ve been sidelined with this problem, I’ve been able to really dial in my nutrition, control my appetite, and manage some lingering adrenal fatigue. Bottom line? I’m sleeping better, eating better, and ‘resting’ a bit more. With all this, my weight is dropping, and I’m finally back down into the realm of light-and-efficient (for me). Also, the range-of-motion in my legs is better than it has been in a long time. Despite the injury, which is causing pain and fatigue throughout my hip and butt, I feel more freedom-of-movement in my daily life. Many more things I could type on-and-on about, and maybe I will soon, but for now – that’s it. Here’s to moving forward, healing, and simply getting better. Thanks for reading. Live well. Stretch well. DC