run for fun

I’ve been dealing with some mild hamstring pain since the marathon. I’m not sure if it was the marathon in particular, or possibly falling down the stairs later that month, or just years of neglecting my strength and flexibility. I have been able to run 30 miles per week without issue, if I keep the pace easy. Add some speed? Hamstring pain the next day. It is very frustrating. I’m trying to fix this annoyance by stretching and strengthening my hips/glutes by doing this routine after every run and foam rolling too.

I made it through easy 12 miles on Saturday without any issues but on Sunday I was very aware of my hamstring. It was just bad enough that I decided to take a rest day instead of a recovery run. I mentioned to my husband that I was going to defer my half marathon entry to next year which he thought was ridiculous: “Who cares what your finish time is? Every race does not need to be a PR attempt, some of them can just be for fun.”

And honestly, I could use some fun in my life right now. School is the absolute worst. I’m so tired of being constantly stressed out. Worrying that I am letting people down. Feeling like I have no time for the things I want to do. So I’ll be running just for fun in two weeks. I’ll add another awesome shirt to my collection and eat delicious homemade cookies at the finish line. And try to forget that I’ll still have one more month of school do deal with later.

I think treating this race like a normal long run is a much smarter long term plan than trashing my hammy in March and spending April and May trying to repair the damage. Instead I’ll be focusing on recovery and strengthening now and hopefully starting April feeling healthy and strong.

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8 thoughts on “run for fun

  1. I feel your pain. Literally. I have been dealing with hamstring issues for almost a year. Your plan sounds like a good one. Just be sure that the issue is your muscle, not your tendon. Mine is the tendon, so stretching actually aggravates it, rather than making it better. Strengthening is good. Your husband’s idea is a great one. Run for fun! Have a wonderful race!

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    1. Thanks for the stretching warning! I am actually not quite sure what is wrong but I’ll be sure to focus my stretching on my hips and calves (also tight) and not on the hamstring until I know for sure what is wrong.

      Sorry you’ve been dealing with hamstring pain for a year; that sucks.

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  2. Ditto on the stretching comment above. Stretching is bad for my issues, but all good on the strengthening! I hope you are catching your issue early because mine has been going on forever!
    I’m with you on the racing and just for fun. Isn’t it funny that we feel like we need to let people know we are not in top shape or going all out? I do it too. And yes, my upcoming half is just for fun too 😉 Hope your workload eases up soon!

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    1. Well I had just posted my goal for the race to beat last year’s time…but yeah. It is hard for me to switch of the competitive mode and just take it easy during a race. Posting that I am going to take it easy during the race is my way of keeping myself accountable and not making the last minute decision to just go for it on race day.

      I do think I caught the issue early, so I really want to be sure I am giving it a chance to heal and not making it worse.

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  3. I think you should do what brings you joy in the race and not worry so much about time or pace. I have been running a lot so my endurance is good, but can’t do speedwork right now due to my injury issues. I have a race I signed up for a LONG time ago on Thursday night, and I’m just gonna go enjoy it. Even if I don’t push the pace. One of my friends is running it with his disabled daughter in a wheelchair so if I get there and am really NOT feeling it, I will just run with them because that might bring me more joy than PRing the thing (not that I could PR anything right now, but you get what I’m saying).

    That is an awesome shirt. I remember you running this race last year and I thought about how awesome the shirt was. So freaking cool!

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  4. I’m glad you decided to run the race anyway, with all the stress of school an easy/long run with a crowd cheering you on will probably give you a nice mental boost!

    I’m sorry you’re having those hamstring issues though. I hope April is your month for feeling healthy and strong!

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