A month and a half has passed since the Colfax Half Marathon, and to my surprise I have only run twice since then. Not because of pain in my hamstring, but simply because my focus has turned to my bike. My next event is the Triple Bypass; a 120 mile bike ride over three mountain passes with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain. I have done this event for the past five years. Each year my goal is to finish faster than the previous year. This year, my goal is to finish, and to finish without pain in my hamstring, just like the Colfax Half Marathon.
Each ride that I complete without pain now makes me gasp at what I was putting myself through before getting help from Lauren Hindrichs at Cherry Creek Wellness Center. It is easy to remember riding with a constant dull pain, and then getting up the next morning, barely able to bend over to put on shoes. Now when I ride, I know to focus on using my quadriceps and glute muscles to support my hamstring, rather than relying on my hamstring to pull the pedal around. Just being aware of this action has made all the difference in how my hamstring feels during and after a ride.
Another activity that I have been able to get back into is scrambling (ascending rocky faces and ridges without the use of ropes). Last summer I avoided it. Often when scrambling, I need to support my weight with my toes which puts a great amount of pressure on my hamstrings. I didn’t know how to avoid that pressure, so I avoided the activity all together. One of the many ways that Lauren has helped me is by teaching me to focus on different muscle groups. Utilizing my quadriceps and glute muscles, taking the load off of my hamstring. Last weekend I went scrambling for the first time in two summers. I did it without causing any irritation to my hamstring.
After the Triple Bypass, my focus will be to return to running in order to get ready for a successful triathlon season. For me this season of racing is about having fun and getting healthy again. With a good healthy season this year, I know I will be able to focus more on performance next year.