Since reaching my 40s, it seems my training has regularly been a routine of two steps forward, three steps back. I've had a few good performances and enjoy running when I'm injury-free, but find oh so often find my body disagreeing with me. Sunday was one of those moments.
Having run a solid half marathon 3 weeks prior, a 20 miler the weekend after that, and a slow 22 miler the weekend before (3 weeks out from the Los Angeles Marathon), I decided to run one final half marathon, but not as a race. My goal was to run about a 6:45 per mile pace, just slightly faster than the pace I'm looking to do at the marathon to break 3 hours.
Yes, I paid some serious cash (about $65) to run this race that I wasn't racing, but to me that was a small price to pay to practice for race day, with mile markers, water stops and other runners there to simulate race conditions.
The Seaside Half Marathon in Ventura was this past Sunday. A nicely organized, fairly small, out and back race starting at Promenade Park in Ventura, going up the bike path up the coast, turning around near the Faria Beach area. Plenty of sun with constant ocean views. And decently supported.
Within the first 5 minutes of the race, I felt my right hamstring become a little tight. I considered stopping for a second, but thought perhaps it would loosen up. It didn't. It was a bit of a nagging stiffness that impeded my stride. But I figured, well, I'm not running "all out," so let's just grin and bear it. Bad move.
Yes, two weeks out from the LA Marathon and my right hammie is hamstrung. I visited my chiropractor a few days ago and plan to visit him again. He says it is a nerve issue, which I believe to be the same issue I faced nearly a year ago at a 5K race. It took over 3 months to eliminate the problem. I'm hoping this time I can be pain free by March 9th. Kind of a longshot. I definitely will not run LA if my hamstring continues to feel the way it still feels today.
So perhaps next time I will learn...DROP OUT if something feels awry. Don't run through pain that feels like an injury. It ain't worth it. I slowed up quite a bit after the 10 mile mark, stopped and stretched at mile 12, and completed the half in 1:31.
So let me finish this so I can roll my hamstring on my roller and sit on some ice. Hoping for the best but mentally prepared if I have to bail out. But I won't be at the starting line if I feel any pain as it ain't worth it!