|© Navigational Art By Colleen Yorke. 2015.
Runners in training can be quite stubborn. With the marathon less than a month away, many of us run in the rain, in the heat, at the crack of dawn, and even when we are hurting. We take supplements and rather deal with the pain than to stop running. I know, because I did just exactly that.
Last year, I went from running six miles a day to being sedentary for ten days. Eager to hit the road and to get my marathon training in, I ran 22 miles right after taking my last final. My body accepted it. Over the next three weeks I ran. I ran a lot. The more I ran, the more addicted I became to running. Then, pain flared up in my knees. Ignoring it, I ran onwards. I took ibuprofen and covered both knees with knee guards. Over the next days, the pain subsidized and disappeared. I was triumphant. I outran my ailments. I was an experienced runner. Or so I thought. Meanwhile, my body raised all kinds of red flags. I should have stopped running. But I didn't.
As it turned out, I had been straining my hamstrings, a collection of three muscles located in the back of the thigh responsible for bending or flexing the knee. Pounding the pavements at night and the sand in the morning, I was literally pulling on a smaller part of the hamstring muscle, consisting of several fibers and tendons spanning across the hip joint, until some fibers tore. That, let me tell you, hurts. A lot.
Instead of basking in the PR I had promised my running buddies, I am limping now. Valuable lesson learned? I am not sure. I can, after all, be very, very stubborn.