Yesterday’s stiffness issue actually went away before lunch, and I felt good enough to try something different.
During lunch yesterday I decided to test-run a Klaas Lok easy interval in a nearby park. Doing a full 1000 meters wasn’t practical, but I had enough flat trail to give 600 meters at the assigned pace a shot. With residual fire smoke vaguely in the air, with temps at 100°F, and with others on the trail, only having part of my lunch break left, plus not wanting to test my luck with the leg too much… I only decided to do one.
I walked from lunch out to my starting spot in the park, leg swung a bit to stretch, then started the clock and ran what I thought to be the intensity. I knew I need to maintain (for me) an 8:36/mile pace.
Fast, strong, no pain, the running felt totally normal, not even like I was running particularly hard. The watch said I was going far too fast, 7:00. I slowed my pace a bit, waited a few seconds (accounting for watch lag) and checked again. Still said I was running 7:50ish. Slowed a bit more, waited a few seconds, checked again. Said I was around 8:00-8:15. This felt ridiculously comfortable for a faster pace, so I said screw it and kept going at that intensity, keeping an occasional eye on the pace.
I got to my finish point and only then had my pace drifted back towards 8:30/mile, as I finished the repeat more than fresh enough to have kept going and done more.
I was hoping to do the repeat in 3:13. The watch said 3:10. No pain! Felt completely fine! I’m absolutely thrilled.
I still plan to proceed with caution, certainly over the next couple days (including today’s day off), but after 30 days of dealing with this it looks like I’ve reached the end of the woods on this hamstring issue. Also, I didn’t feel any groin pain at all yesterday. I think that issue might have finally healed.
I’m going to hit the road this weekend one more time before the planned Milwaukee race. After having my long run plans derailed by this issue on my last two trips, I’m looking to get in some of the quality running I wasn’t able to do on those trips. I wouldn’t expect 12-16 miles or anything, but even one or two decent length runs would be a victory.