Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hurt hamstring: 2 hours on C&O Canal/New toys

I'm thinking about running in the EX2 Adventure Off-Road Half-Marathon. Actually, I'm really interested in eventually running an Ultra. I want to see how trail racing is and a half marathon seems like a reasonable distance for me right now-- my long run is right at 12 miles. I have a list of trail races I've compiled, including a trail marathon in about three months (thankfully, right after hurricane season).

So I went out with the intention of doing 2.5 hours today. Except for one little problem: two weeks ago I strained my left hamstring. I shouldn't strain a hamstring, it's just bad form that does that. Basically I have a tendency to throw my foot way out in front of me and pull hard when I want to go fast... a mistake.

So I've been stretching it and icing it and taking ibuprofen and resting for a few weeks. And I finally started running on it again a few days ago. I've gotten good about stretching before the run as well, which I've been terrible about since, well, birth.
Vibram FiveFingers: Gloves for your tootsies
I went out on Rock Creek Parkway, ran down until it meets C&O Canal in Georgetown, and switched over to the Capital Crescent Trail. I was running five minutes and then walking one, which felt lame, but I didn't want to re-injure it.

All went well until I was right at two hours. I was coming back into Georgetown, the sun was sparkling off of the Potomac, scullers were making graceful paths in the water-- one of those moments that are so beautiful. I got carried away and started really pushing it. And then my hamstring gave me one tiny twang! I stopped dead in my tracks and walked it in. Actually, it feels fine now, but I think if I had run three more steps on it I would have to take two more weeks off.

On another note, I went out and bought a new toy today: a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. I was going to buy them online, but I'm glad I didn't-- you really need to size these in person. I know how goofy this looks, but I couldn't resist it. I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of running barefoot, but I can't imaging doing it on trail. Actually, the picture doesn't do them justice: they look way goofier than that. They look kind of like frog feet or something. Sonia just rolled her eyes when she saw them and Daniel told me that he does not want to be seen with me wearing those. So mission accomplished.

I think I'm just doing burpees tomorrow, but I'm going to try these goofy things out the day after. Just in case you didn't think I was strange enough.

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