Who’s Boss Now?

You know that little ache that just doesn’t feel right? The one you hope will just go away? And then, after a few days, you realize that it’s more than just a little ache.

You know where this is headed, right? To save you the time of reading this entire post, I’ll jump to the happy ending now: I won. But it’s not the happily ever after ending that I was hoping for.

Since returning to running at the end of August, I’ve been really careful to build mileage slowly and gradually add some speedwork. I’ve tried to follow the 10% rule – only increase distance or speed by 10% each week – so that I don’t end up re-injuring myself. I’ve been diligent about visits to the physiotherapist for follow-up and accupuncture, the latter of which has really helped improve the muscular imbalance between my hamstrings.

But last week, two days before Christmas weekend, my right ham felt tight. I was fairly certain that it wasn’t from running but from sitting at school and listening to 50 Language presentations in one day. Knowing that my right hams are my weak muscle group, I didn’t waste any time seeing my chiro.

Randy was great. He loosened my leg nicely and easily adjusted my hips, which led to a quick and noticeable improvement. But I needed more so, today, I went in for an acupuncture session.

Marcia, my physiotherapist who includes acupuncture in treatments, laughed at me when I told her that the tightness started in my right ham, moved up into the gluteus maximus and that was causing a bit of grief in my SI joint. After assessing me, she said, “You’re right. It’s all in the ham and that’s aggravating the glute max.” Marcia stretched out my leg, popped in some needles and 20 minutes later, things felt much better.

On the way home, I reminded myself of how important it is that I respect my weak spots. I haven’t been consistent with cycling. Either I’m too tired in the morning to get up early or too busy at night to spin a few miles. I’m obviously going to need to make more of a committment to riding my windtrainer through the windtrainer, though, if I want to keep my legs happy.

After all, happy legs make for a happy runner. And you know what a happy runner leads to, don’t you?

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