Well, I had made it a long long way w/o any legitimate injury, but today (the last workout before the race) I broke the streak. Right hamstring. I don't think it's that serious, but serious enough to keep me out of action on Saturday.
Workout: 3 x 200 @ about 31 pace, followed by 2 x 300m @ 46 pace - then 2 x 200m hard.
It started out well enough, the initial 200s came in on pace as I was imagining them as the opening 200m of the race.
The 300s provided a great confidence boost: the first 300m was used as a simulation of the last 300 of the opening 400m of the race - just trying to maintain an even and relaxed rhythm. (time was 45.8)
The second 300m (now w/ the fatigue from the first as I just had a 1-minute break between them) was used to simulate the last 100m of the opening 400m, and then the first 200m of the second lap. (i.e. keeping that nice even pace, and then upon hitting 100m (the 400m mark during the race) picking up the effort level to maintain pace through the next 200) This went very well - first 100m of 15-flat, then I increased my effort, but still very much in control for a 30.8 last 200m giving me another 45.8.
Last up - 2 x 200m hard. This is where I had the issue. Up until now, the 200s were always run quickly, but not actually cranking up the turnover to get into a "sprint mode". The idea was to hit these 200s hard, but I really hammered the first turn. I felt some sudden tightness on the outside of my right hamstring about halfway through the turn - then it disappeared. About 2-seconds later it zapped me again. At this point I decided to pull the plug about 100m in. The 100m was 12.x seconds even w/ the flare ups, so this was a drastic departure from what I had been doing on other 200s. Perhaps I just went a little too hard, but the temps here were over 65-degrees today so certainly it wasn't like I was doing this in the cold.
I stretched out some and tried to test out the damage before heading home. I don't think it's pulled and it's certainly not torn. It's just tight, almost like a cramp deep within the muscle. I can feel it when walking, but even at light pace it doesn't hurt. There's no bruising which would clearly be the case if it were torn or pulled.
I ran yesterday (usually my off day) as I had planned to push the off day out until tomorrow. I'll obviously stick w/ that plan now, and I guess I'll just ice and ibuprofen for a couple days and see how it feels Thursday morning. I also scheduled an appointment w/ my CMT for Thursday to have her go over it to see if she can figure out how bad it is. My guess at this point is that it's just tight and sore and hopefully within a few days I'll be able to get in some light running.
Kind of a drag to have this happen right before the first race. But on the bright side, today's workout leads me to believe that 62-63 pace per 400m is something that's sustainable for me for a good portion of an 800m race. I figured I was going to face some adversity at some point and I'm not going to let it get me down. It certainly could be a lot worse - now I just need to do what I can to heal up and get back out there.
Sun, 1/18: 8-miles @ 7:19 pace (148-HR)
Finally - I forced myself to slow down.
Mon, 1/19: 5-miles @ 7:03 pace
Tues, 1/20: Reps: 3 x 200m (31.4, 31.2, 31.4), 2 x 300m (45.8, 45.8) 2 x 200m (tweaked right hamstring on first rep)