Operation Shutdown has gone 7 days, and though my leg is doing a bit better I think I will extend it another couple days as there’s still residual soreness and stiffness. Granted, some of that may have to do with yesterday, I’m sure.
Over the weekend I obviously did not run, but I went hard both days: I went hard on resting Saturday, and I went hard on cross training on Sunday.
Saturday I had my first total rest day in quite some time, since (according to my logs) June 5. No training, no walking any extended distances, nothing. I didn’t even go to the store. I did take my car in for service that morning, but I sat waiting for an hour or two, had some coffee afterward, and then laid out at home the rest of the day afterward.
Sunday I went to the gym and, while I obviously could not run let alone run long, I got on the elliptical and went 2 hours 20 minutes. I now know that the back-row machines at my gym will let you go 98 minutes before the timer resets to zero (though I don’t believe that’s a cooldown phase), though my watch could count it as one full workout.
Though I tired a bit over time, I never felt aerobically distressed, and obviously there was no real pounding on my body through the elliptical’s fluid motion. I can now get my body comfortable into heart rate zone 1, and on this long workout I even got about 15-16 minutes in zone 2.
I periodically did release the moving handles and hold the static ones to give parts of my body a break, and did have to hop off at 40 minutes to verify I hadn’t left something in my car (I had not) before hopping right back on. But otherwise the 2:20 was a continious workout and I felt no pain. I certainly felt better after that 2:20 session than I would after a 2:20 long run. As manosphere Twitter accounts would say, there’s probably a lesson in there.
After that, I actually got on the treadmill and walked a steady 3mph for an hour. This was for a Garmin badge, honestly, but the extra time on my feet wasn’t much trouble, and probably a beneficial session for those same legs. It was a lightweight therapeutic session of rehabilitative movement, and I comfortably held the treadmill handles any time my hamstring felt even the hint of discomfort.
And finally, I did a brief swolework session, just some rapid fire seated-row sets, some facepulls and even some light seated hamstring curls to finish. The surprising thing is how relatively fresh I felt for the strength training despite 3.5 hours of extended light aerobic work. I was certainly stiff throughout my lower body after the elliptical, though the walking helped loosen that back up. But I didn’t feel so tapped out the way I often am after long runs.
After lunch, and after getting groceries, I headed home and relaxed the rest of the day. And I slept considerably well last night, as I did Saturday night.
Tempting as it is to test drive a short run this morning, I’ll probably just walk out the next two days’ work breaks to see how everything feels, and continue stretching the anterior hip and working on opening up that space more. I’ll certainly barring any setbacks train tonight, and every night through Thursday.
If everything continues to progress, I jog out at least one work break Wednesday, and gradually re-introduce regular running through the next week while continuing to hammer hour+ workouts on the elliptical, as those are working really well overall.
I think at this point my body’s message is clear: Other than a couple of key workouts a week and maybe your work breaks, take it easy on the running overall and go to the elliptical for the rest of your aerobic volume. The hamstring issue is probably a product of the volume, and while maybe someday it can gradually handle more, it was beginning to buckle under the volume I was giving it this past couple months. As for the groin (which in fact is feeling somewhat better itself), I’m thinking it strained from overcompensating for the declining hamstring, so I’m not so worried about that.
So, even though the wake-up aches and pains are annoying, as are the continued adjustments and struggles with things like putting on pants… I do see progress, and will continue with aggressive recovery and rehab.