Two weeks ago, the part of my right hamstring just above the knee began to bug me. After a week, it had tightened a little more. For three nights in a row I iced it. This helped. But on Saturday night it was still bugging me.
Since I hired Darren as my coach last month, Sunday has continued to be my one day of scheduled rest each week. Usually, I take a walk and do my Pilates routine. I have the energy, and I feel better doing something small than I feel doing nothing. This past week, due to the hamstring thing, I did absolutely nothing on Sunday. And on Sunday, I mentioned the hamstring for the first time in the online running log I keep for Darren.
The next morning, which was yesterday, I was reminded of why I have a coach. Darren had sent me this week's workouts before I mentioned the hamstring, but after that mention I found a note from him saying he'd modified the run scheduled for today: no strides as had been the original plan, he said; instead, I should run easy. He also gave me the name and number of a chiropractor and ART specialist, in case the problem persists.
Can I just say....it was so nice to have that decision made so quickly and firmly on my behalf. In the past, with the various aches and pains I get that all runners get, I've been pretty bad about erring on the side of "doing the workout as written anyway" rather than being careful. Sure, for something really bad, I might consult my blog readers, or my husband. And if there were a race in the picture, I might even call my doctor. But mostly I just relied on my own judgment. Which is faulty, because my own judgment fears appearing to be wimping out.
I wish I'd mentioned the hamstring to Darren sooner. From now on, when I'm sure some pain is real pain (as opposed to ephemeral and more normal soreness), I'm going to say something to him as soon as I start wondering myself.
I'm also going to consult him when certain opportunities arise. Today I got an email from an acquaintance who has a friend running the Leadville Trail 100 next month. This friend needs a pacer for 8 miles or so. Pacing someone in this epic race is definitely something on my bucket list, and saying no to these kinds of adventures is hard for me. Last year, I jumped onto a Colorado Relay team as a sub--just three weeks before my goal race at the time, the Top of Utah Marathon.
Looking back on it, I don't think I damaged the race by doing the relay, and I certainly had fun and felt good about helping out a friend (I love relays). On the other hand, would getting normal sleep and doing the scheduled long run that weekend have been better for me than driving across Colorado, spending all night in a van, breaking the run into four parts and sleeping very little? Probably.
Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is my number one goal. Getting healthy for the California International Marathon in December is the next step I need to take toward that goal. I'm still not sure my back will be up for that kind of terrain next month. Therefore, I don't know that pacing someone at Leadville this year is the best idea.
I sent Darren a note to ask what he thinks. What do you think he'll say?