Saturday, May 8, 2010

I can do it...but should I

Last night was a beautiful night in North Vancouver and I had been looking forward to my workout all day. My knee felt semi-cool so I figured it would be fine and hey, what does my body know anyway? Those little tightness messages my hamstrings are sending to my brain are nothing. Or are they?

Of course I tell myself, "I can do it!", and off I go. I pick up Coo and explain the workout: 5 x 2km. I had the route all picked out with an 800 meter climb, 400 meter decent, and about 800 meters of flat. We rolled off the first three in the 8 minute neighbourhood and at the beginning of number 4 I pulled out, letting Coo take off. He came back around after I'd been stretching, and I finished the last one with him in 7:30. I felt terrific. On the cool down my knee tightened up again and I stretched and ran some more.
This morning during our 5 Peaks Clinic, a spectacularly gorgeous morning, I ran for the first 20 minutes and made the tough decision: just because " I can do it", it doesn't mean I should. Right there, at the entrance way to Rice Lake, I decided on three days off running, starting immediately, as well as Sunday, and Monday. I have to kick this thing and each time I run I feel it again.

To a runner, a couple days off are a real challenge. This is how we identify ourselves. We are runners and not being out there because of a silly little injury is going to ruin my fitness. I can't possibly allow some stupid ailment to beat me. I will thus be weak. But what takes more strength, to run through an injury or take some days off? I know I'm going to be thinking I should be out running, especially this weekend with the sun in the sky and the trails in amazing shape.

So what is this injury anyway? Or is it an injury at all? My mileage has been climbing over the past few weeks and with that too is my speed and hill work. Both of which lead to a large load on the hamstrings, among other things. My feeling is that some time off to stretch and relax will allow a nice rest for the hammies. I had a massage on Wednesday and Lesley White made me feel the pain for sure. She agreed that my hamstrings were the root of my pains. From here I rest, relax and try to convince myself that just because I can do it, it doesn't mean I should.
In the mean time, I'll consider my problem no worse than the cartoon above and bank on rest as the cure-all. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this pain. Have you experienced it? What did you do? Any insight into what it is?


  1. Looks like a serious case of Blizzarditis. Probably picked it up during the 25th anniversary of DQ. Early reports indicate record numbers of weak minded individuals were affected. Some are calling it a pandemic. The prognosis is unclear but experts are saying it's potentially fatal. The evidence is anecdotal but the only thing that seems to work are taquitos from 7-eleven, one every 4-6 hours or as needed. Sounds like an eat wave!

  2. Where did you get your "anecdotal evidence"? Personal experience? Has anyone else experienced the blizzarditis in the hamstrings area or postero-medial side of the knee? Come to think of it, it does smell a bit like ice cream and cookie dough when I massage it.

    Thanks, Dr. Anonymous. Are you a naturopath by any chance?