What happened- I was ramping up my mileage (too much too soon) for a few 5k races in the early winter during September and strained my left hamstring. I was running a 5k every Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus another one on Wednesday. One day there were people in front of me on the path and would not move so I had to jump off to get around them and when I cut back onto the path I felt a sting in my left hamstring. I stopped running and walked for a few steps then continued to run ignoring the pain. I continued on another mile and a half completing my 5k. As usual I stretched and could feel something was amiss but wrote it off and thought it would go away. The next morning I was really stiff when I woke up but after a few minutes of walking the pain went away and I only felt discomfort when I would intentionally stretch the hamstring. Four days after the injury I was running again with no pain, I decided to take it easy and only ran 1.3 miles. Two days after that I ran again but experienced pain at the end of my 5k around mile 3 so I stretched a bit, felt good and completed the run. I waited four days until running again and this time felt pain at .75 miles. Now I was a little concerned so I waited another three or four days before running again but this time I felt pain at .5 miles. Now I knew I was in trouble. I started using ice and ibuprofen five times a day and only walked around as much as I had to. Once I could walk pain free I decided to hold off on the running and walk starting with a mile and working up to four miles. During this time I was researching what other runners have done to recover and I decided to wait a full two weeks before running again and when I did resume running I only ran one minute then walked one minute. I did this “set” five times then stretched. I also stopped stretching before running. I slowly worked my way up to my current set of running eight minutes walking one minute-three times. Tomorrow I am going to run nine minutes-walk one minute for the entire 5k and see how it goes as I intend to run on November 28 in the “I run for Jack” 5k in honor of Allentown Central Catholic cross country couch Jack Pressman who tragically passed away earlier this year. Jack was my sons cross country, track and wrestling couch and was a great guy. One other thing I would like to mention about my hamstring rehab was the foam roller exercise. I read about using a foam roller to massage your muscles so I ran up to Dick’s and picked one up for about 25 dollars and I have been using it before and after runs. I can say that it does feel good when I use it and I am at the point where I feel good about my recovery to the point where I am optimistic I can complete my 5k next week-wish me luck!
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I am a 62 year old father of two grown children living with my wife. We try to live a healthy low stress lifestyle. I practice daily Tai Chi, run, bicycle commute and hike in my effort to stay healthy.