The Colfax Half Marathon was Sunday May 19th
. Just a year ago, this would not have been more than another race. Less than two hours out of my day. I would have had at least ten weeks of training, with speed, tempo and long distance workouts every week. I would have focused on my time, fist pumping the air with every run that got faster and faster, while shaking my head and analyzing why a run might have been two or three seconds slower.
Fast forward four months. A hamstring injury that has kept itself quiet for 14 years finally speaks up. I have the option to stop running and continue to ignore the injury, or finally get help. Fortunately I chose the latter. In August of 2012 I began seeing Lauren Hinrichs at Cherry Creek Wellness Center. Along with the treatments that she was doing at the center, one of her instructions was to stop running. A triathlete’s brain does not take this well. Fortunately, a triathlete has two other activities to focus on. Unfortunately, biking was also bothering my hamstring. Time to focus on swimming.
I took time off of running for two months. When Lauren gave me permission to run again, it was in very small increments. Thirty seconds at a time, for six minutes. I was to focus on using different muscles to run correctly, taking the work away from my hamstring. I could only run in 30 second increments because I would lose focus, and before I knew it, I was in pain again.
But, six minutes eventually increased to eight minutes, then ten, then twelve. Before the end of the year I was running 30 minutes straight. I had never run 30 minutes so slow, but I didn’t care, I was running. And I was running without pain. I continued to see Lauren and she evaluated my running on the treadmill, used different techniques such as Trigger Point Dry Needling, Guasha, Manual Manipulation (joint manipulation, myofacial release), as well as strength training.
Lauren and I were thrilled with every victory, running longer, being able to get in and out of the car without pain, being able to do yoga. One of my biggest victories has been to run a half marathon without pain. In March, I asked Lauren if I could start training for the Colfax Half Marathon. I would have ten weeks to train. My plan was to run three times a week, one short, one mid, and one long distance run. My longest run before the race would be ten miles. Each run felt stronger than the previous one. As the half marathon approached, I was excited, but still nervous.
When race day came I was excited beyond words. I couldn’t think of the last time I race I was in that I wasn’t focusing on my pace, pushing myself to go a bit faster. From the second I crossed the start line, to the moment I crossed the finish line, I enjoyed every bit of the run. I paid attention to how my hamstring felt. I noticed that on the uphill there was a bit more pressure on it, so I focused on using my glutes more to get up the hills. The downhills were a breeze, I felt like I could run like a cheetah! When I crossed the finish line I wasn’t limping. I wasn’t taking shorter strides with my left leg. I had finished the race without having to walk. I loved every bit of the race.
Thank you Lauren and Cherry Creek Wellness Center for getting me to this point. Now on to triathlon season!