Yesterday, I felt, as though, I finally began the road to recovery with my bummed out hamstring on my left leg. This hammy has been problematic since November 2013. Since then, it’s been back and forth between leg feels good, leg doesn’t feel good. Initially, the problem seems to stem from my attempt at the Pinhoti 100 where after 52 miles I was pulled off the course for being too slow. I took a week off from running and with my next run I felt a tremendous pain in my mid-hamstring. After that short 5 mile run there was to be no more running until the last week of December 2013.
I brought in 2014 with a good 35 mile week and no pain. I slowly climbed back to a 45-50 mile week by the end of January and, by mid-February had to have a mileage retreat as the pain resurfaced. By mid-March, I seemed to be back in my game but it was more of learning to run with pain and ignoring the consequences. By mid-April, my running ground down to a mere 20 miles per week. By May, the pain in my left leg would get so intense between miles five and six that I was no longer running more than that.
Frustrated, finally in June, I made an appointment to see my doctor about this nagging problem that originated in my left hamstring and was now impacting my entire leg especially, my left calf. In the waiting room of Dr. Catalan’s office I mentally prepared myself for the news that was certain to be bad. “Dan, I’m afraid you have blood clots, plural!” Or, “Dan, cancer is the culprit. You have six weeks to live.” Finally, I was called in to see the good doctor. I was escorted to a small sterile room. I had my blood pressure checked and temperature taken and then left alone. I sat and waited in that little room in the back of the Memorial Hospital outreach on Whitemarsh island wondering how bad my condition would be and how long the road to recovery would be (if there was to be a road to recovery).
Dr. Catalan walked into the room and greeted me pleasantly. We caught up since the last time we saw each other, which was 2 years ago, in the same room. She then asked some questions about the problem at hand followed by an examination. After that, Dr. Catalan gave me her prognosis as I held my breath. ‘Dan, I’m afraid you may have tendinitis.’ I blinked…dramatically, about 12 times. “It’s not a blood clot nor cancer?” Dr. Catalan assured me I that my self-prognosis was indeed wrong. She made a recommendation of not aggravating the problem by refraining from running for at least six weeks and recommended that I see a physical therapist. Before she could name a PT, I blurted out “Ernie Ledesma?” She smiled and said “that’s who I was going to say.”
So, yesterday, July 8th, I had the honor and privilege of having my leg problem addressed by Mr. Ledesma, a physical therapist that I highly esteem. After a thorough examination followed by a deep tissue massage and ultra sound my left leg felt better than it has in months!
Mr. Ledesma’s assessment is that I probably had a tear in my hamstring during the Pinhoti 100. Eventually, it healed leaving scar tissue. This spring, as my mileage increased I re-ignited the problem as my mileage base began to increase weekly. The hamstring not having healed right just caused further aggravation, not to mention those 15 to 18 mile runs I was pulling off this past March and April did me no good. And, adding injury to insult, it seems that I subconsciously altered the way I run as to alleviate the stress on the hamstring and in the process shifted that stress to my left calf. That is why my left calf has been such a beesh.
Ernie is going to work through the scar tissue and reasonably thinks I should be running strong again in the next 2 to 6 weeks. In the mean time, he’s advised me to continue doing endurance training as I’ve been doing – stair stepper and Concept 2 rowing as those two exercises do not seem to aggravate the problem. Mr. Ledesma did say that I could run but to keep the running to a minimum with low mileage and slow pace. That should not be too difficult to fulfill as my running is very slow and very short-winded as of late.
For the first time in a while I feel that I may be back in my game again soon! I cannot wait to build up my mileage base again and start racing again. I’ve refrained from registering for any races until I feel strong and healthy enough to run like I was back in 2012 where a 7:00 minute per mile pace was comfortable for any distance under and including the half marathon distance. That day will come soon…I am certain of that. The question, though, will be what is going to be my first race when I’m back in my game?
Will keep you posted.
Thanks for stopping by.