On November 2nd, the day I was supposed to run the New York Marathon, I decided to take my first run after a four-month break.
I stopped running on July 4th, after a MRI showed I had a partially torn hamstring (the tendon attaching the hamstring to the ischium) and a case of severe tendonitis. The doctor explained to me that because I had run on the injury for a long time (including a couple marathons), the healing process would be relatively long.
So, I decided to stop running altogether and let my body heal.
I did some physical therapy and some exercises to strengthen my legs, but mostly I just did nothing.
At first, my blood sugar levels went crazy. I spent days and weeks with high blood sugar. But after a few weeks (like a month-and-a-half) I got myself on a better diet, eating less. My last A1c (6.3%) was actually better than any result since Oct. 2010.
But sleeping late (7:00 a.m.) and getting a grip on my blood sugar, didn’t make me stop wanting (needing) to run.
After three months of rest I scheduled an appointment to get an ultrasound with a doctor, recommended by my doctor, who specializes in these kinds of injuries. The doctor told me he did no see a tear, but that I still had a serious case of high hamstring tendinopathy (this is a very good link if you suffer from this runner’s injury). My doctor, (orthopedic surgeon), told me that I could start running again, but that I should return slowly, very slowly, and that if it hurts I should stop and take it slower.
So, on November 2nd, instead of heading out to run 26.2 miles in NYC, I set out to run a very slow and short run. I ran two kilometers walking half a kilometer before, in-between and after. I was very slow, and my legs felt like they had never run before. But I was happy to be running again.
It has been a month since I started running and I am still only run-walking. I have gotten a little faster, and can run three 2-kilometer intervals with half a kilometer of walking in between.
A year ago I could not have imagined being in such bad shape, but now I can say that I am truly grateful to be out and running.
Don’t worry I have not stopped wanting to run marathons but, I know that it is going to be a very long process, with ups and painful downs.
My hope is that maybe I’ll be able to run the next NYC marathon (if I can get in again).
After 4 weeks of running I have worked my way up to a weekly total of 23 km of run-walking (that’s about 14 miles).
Thanks for the inspiration, Michael. Good luck as you continue to recover your stride.