A view from my side.
Yesterday was a nice, easy, 60 minute run. The weather was good, the temps perfect. A simple course close to home, the one I run most often. The first day back after a few forced days off are always questionable for me. I always have an open plan. Run at a comfortable pace for a comfortable amount of time. It went well and felt great.
This morning I decided to drive out a bit to a longer course I run on Sundays. This course makes it easy to run a variety of distances. It is accurately marked at each .25 mile. That also makes keeping a certain pace easier. It’s a well shaded, asphalt surfaced, creek-side jaunt that I really enjoy.
I started out with my usual routine. A few minutes to warm up the muscles followed by some light stretching. I hit the course at a pace geared for a long slow run. I was hoping to go 90 minutes at a leisurely pace and just stretch out the day. Normally, as my muscles warm up during the run, they loosen up as well. Any tightness disappears within the first quarter-mile. By then, my breathing has also had a chance to settle itself, I adjust my pace and I’m usually good to go for whatever distance/time I have planned.
Today, my hamstrings were still a little tight after the first quarter-mile. Everything else had fallen into suit, but the backs of my legs were bothering me. I kept my pace on the slow side hoping to give my hamstrings a little more time to warm up and behave. They refused and held tight. This was a new sensation for me. There was no pain really, just a heavy feeling of tightness that wasn’t loosening up and I didn’t like it, not one little bit. It was not letting me open up my stride and it made for an awkward feeling.
I decided to see if I could push through it as everything else felt fine. The 5 mile mark on this course returned me to the parking lot I had used today. Things were still not quite right and I decided to take a detour off the course and onto a side route I often take. After another quarter-mile, I decided today just wasn’t going to be the day I wanted it to be. I turned around and made it back to the parking area where I spent the next 20 minutes stretching, trying to work out the kinks in the muscles.
It took a while, but the muscles finally started to loosen up a bit. Not enough to make me start running again today, but enough to feel confident I haven’t done any damage. As the day wore on, I took a few moments to shake, stretch and work my legs several times over the next few hours. I’m have no idea what might have caused this but I was not about to push it so far that it ended up side lining me for any length of time. I’d rather cut one run short than have to days off healing after being stupid. No, today was not the day I had planned. But then, I don’t know anyone actually plans a day to have Tight Hamstrings.