Discussions with my hamstring

What started out as an irritating hamstring ‘niggle’ in August became sore and eventually stopped me from running just after the Andrew Greyling half marathon at the end of September. I did some foam rolling (with no idea if I was doing it properly), I watched a few YouTube videos on how to stretch my hamstring (random videos by mainly crossfit buffs) and then resorted to popping a few cataflams in the hope that the pain would go away. But it didn’t and I started to panic.

So I went back to basics & consulted the experts:

  • Lyno therapy: It worked for my plantar fasciitis two years ago and after the bankie test with Sports Injury Clinic’s Jacqui Young, I could see just how weak I was. For those who know lyno, you must know what a desperate state I was in to opt for the therapy. I cried like a baby during that first session but post session, I finally bought my own bankie. bankie
  • Jacqui also gave me a few simple stretches to build up the strength in my glutes, quads and hammies. You can’t believe how 20 minutes of leg raises, bridges, squats and lunges can work up a sweat and make you feel the burn in areas you’re weakest in.
  • I bought new shoes. The theory is that you only get between 500 and 800kms in a pair of running shoes. I border on the 500 – 600kms. My feet immediately felt the difference in new shoes! (And yes, I chose blue & not pink again as a sign that colours should not define a gender.)New running shoes
  • Rest and review. When I look back, I suspect that maybe it was too much too soon? I was disciplined enough to run shorter distances through winter but as soon as the races started up again in Jozi, I ran one half marathon after the other every weekend. I’m kidding myself thinking they are Sunday LSD’s because let’s face it, every runner pushes themselves during a race and I know I did.

The lessons I’ve taken out of this are that there are areas in my running that I am possibly neglecting, such as core fitness. I can’t just run. I need to ensure I have the strength in my legs and back too. I need to be clear about my goals. What is important? To run a 21km every weekend or work towards one that I will enjoy?

I’ve also realized that I can’t rush the healing process. Don’t laugh but it felt as if I needed to apologize to my body, and to my hamstring.

I’ve since had long conversations with my hamstring and the negotiation process has started. I have agreed to show my body a bit more respect and my gammie hammie has agreed to start healing.

Please feel free to share your own thoughts, I love it when you do!

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