Saturday, June 13, 2009


The good news is that the back/hip is continuing to improve - so much so that I don't even remember that it's not 100% except for a couple time per day when I stretch or loosen up.  I don't feel any discomfort during normal activities or running.

After an easy run in the trails on Sunday, I headed over to the track on Monday for a light workout:  in and out 200s at a moderate pace just to get the legs used to moving quickly again.  I did take the watch, but didn't look at the times until the session was over so as not to influence the wo at all.  The first couple of 200s went fine, but on #3 the top part of the calf and bottom of the hamstring on the inside of the left leg didn't feel that great around the turn - the straightaway was fine, but the act of turning at a halfway decent speed was not comfortable.  Same thing on #4.  I was reduced to running the turns easy and hitting the straights a little harder.  

Clearly I had some tightness in the hamstring and calf, essentially along one consistent line (starting mid hamstring down to mid calf)  I could run as hard as I wanted as long as I wasn't in the act of turning - but the curve caused discomfort.

Checking the watch later I found that the first two 200s were at 32, and the next two were at 29.  I then just ran some curves starting at a slow pace, and ramping up the pace on each one until I started to feel the discomfort just to see where the tripping point was.  

Later that evening I poked around and determined that I had some serious tightness along one line on the hamstring and the top of the calf.  This was confirmed on Tuesday by the massage therapist.  The tightness was way beyond the standard tightness I get normally from training, so I had her really dig into it to get the muscles to release.  

What caused it, I don't know.  I obviously don't feel any discomfort on my normal runs, and I haven't tried to run a decent curve since the hip flare up - and being that it's on the same leg - perhaps when the hip went, these muscles locked up to protect themselves.  I just don't know.  

The good news is that this can be worked out in a couple of massage sessions - it's already feeling better.  However, the bad news is that the clock is ticking and I'm still not able to run actual workouts.  

I took a couple days off after the massage as the soreness that followed was pretty intense.  (I hobbled around for 2 days - but when the tightness is that bad, it's the only way to get those guys to release)  

Yesterday I hit the trails for a short run.  Physically everything was good, but my HR was up some.  I'll have to keep a close eye on that over the next few days.


Sun, 6/7:  30-minutes @ 6:44 pace

Mon, 6/8:  lifting (upper-B, abs) rolling
PM - short track session, 4 x 200 (32, 32, 29, 29)  tightness in left calf/hamstring

Tues, 6/9:  appt w/ CMT

Wed/Thurs, 6/10 - 6/11:  Off (massage soreness)

Fri, 6/12:  25-minutes @ 6:48 pace


Ewen said...

At least you're headed in the right direction Mike.

What about trying an outer lane for those 200s? The gentler curve may be easier on the leg.


That pain down your ham and calf could be sciatica.
one of the problems I guess from training on the track a lot is your always turning in one direction, not good for good muscle balance, even some of the greatest track runners do a lot of there fast stuff on dirt trails or grassm do you really need to be on the track so much, with a g.p.s. you can do intervals pretty much anywhere!

Mike said...

Thanks guys - it's coming around, but not as quickly as I'd like

Rick - the tightness in the muscles could have been triggered by that nerve I guess, but the issue there now is clearly muscular. (those guys were very tight)

There isn't any pain down the leg (I was thinking it might be sciatica initially as well) The nerve pain I experienced on the first day was just local to the hip/back area.

bricey said...


Good to see that things are coming along. Bad timing though - just at the start of the season - you seem a bit jinxed in that regard!! The 'joy' of being a masters runner!! :)