Monday, November 23, 2015

PRP - Round 2

At the beginning of February I had a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection to heal high hamstring tendonopathy/tendonosis.  (You can read about the procedure here.)  My hamstring had gotten so bad due to overtraining and failure to listen to not only my body but also professionals who were telling me to take a break.  That overtraining and continued running through pain ultimately led to 12 weeks off running, at which point I had the PRP injection, which required another 4 weeks off.  Was all the overtraining worth it?  I think you know the answer.  

Even now, 9 months post-PRP, I am still not fully healed.  I am running stronger and faster, have greater mobility and better form, but I still have a niggling pain in the top of my hamstring.  It has always been there.  I'd say at best I was 95%.  At worst I was probably 20% (pre-PRP) so that was a huge improvement!

Because I never fully healed, there was always the chance I would have a second injection.  Many people have PRP done twice and are very successful after the second time.  The plan was to get through my training, run NYC, and then reassess.  Coach Terra was helping me to make sure I was training smartly, getting massages, activating pre-run, and stretching/foam rolling post-run.  She was keeping tabs on how my hamstring was feeling and adjusting my weekly plans as needed.  The niggling was up and down but it was all manageable.

Then I tripped on a construction sign in the dark 7 weeks pre-marathon and strained my MCL.  KT Tape kept me running without knee pain but gradually the hamstring started to feel worse.  By the time I ran the American Home Fitness 5K it had gone from niggling to painful.  

As for the marathon, I didn't do much to prep for it hill-wise, fearful that I would ruin my hamstring in the training before I even got to the race.  Whether that I was smart or not, I won't know and can't worry about it now.  That course is filled with hills so I might have been underprepared no matter how well I trained here.  What I can say is that by the time I hit the Queensborough Bridge around mile 15, my hamstring was sore.  And by the time I came off that bridge at mile 16, my hamstring was just about done.  But I still had 10 more miles and the rest of the course only got harder.  After the marathon it hurt to sit or bend down to tie my shoes.

Up until this recent marathon, things were going relatively well.  Most of my runs were pain-free or with minimal pain.  However, if there is a chance I can be healed 100% I want to go for it.  If it doesn't work then I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

My procedure is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

On the Run: American Home Fitness 5K

It's been a busy few weeks and I'm getting more behind than usual with posts.  I blame work mostly.  It's been one crazy school year - and it's only November!  

So here I am on November 11th, finally sitting down to write my recap of the American Home Fitness 5K from the Detroit Free Press weekend of races October 17-18.  Because the New York City marathon was just two weeks later, I ran the 5K instead of one of the longer races.  This was great for a few reasons.  1) I'd never run this 5K before so it was something a little different. 2) The race was on Saturday so it freed me up to cheer on Sunday for Brian and all the other racers.  3) I still got the same sweet finisher shirt and medal as everyone else and I only had to run 3.1 miles!  (Although 5Ks are my least favorite race distance so I'm not sure this is really a plus.)

Temps were on the chilly side (high 30's) but the blue sky and bright sun made a world of difference.  I couldn't have asked for a better mid-October race day.

I had a really great 5K in early September and was hoping to run faster than that.  My legs, however, had other plans.  My MCL strain still had some healing to do and my hamstring was flaring up a bit.  I got frustrated with my pace early on and wanted to give up before I hit the first mile marker.  It wasn't so much my legs that were slowing me down but my head.  

So I pulled myself together.  I still had two miles left and I certainly wasn't going to have a good race if I was down on myself the whole time.  It might not be the race I wanted but I was going to give it all I had that day.  On a downhill I passed a girl and felt stronger.  I picked up the pace as I raced down Atwater Street, happy to turn onto the Riverwalk by the Renaissance Center. The Detroit Riverwalk is one of my favorite running paths and it seemed especially beautiful today.  Just before coming off the Riverwalk I high-fived a little girl.  I had found my happy.

The final stretch of the race was back on Atwater Street with the Ren Cen in the background.  I love this shot that Brian took before I crossed the finish line outside of the Outdoor Adventure Center.  

After I finished the first person I saw was my friend Leah from Be Bold Crew.  (She works for the Freep Marathon and was there on official business.)  She came running over to hug me and congratulate me.  Brian wasn't far behind.  He and my friend Sarah were my cheering section.  I was grateful to have their support, especially on such a chilly day!  

This was a great tempo run pre-NYC.  I'm not sure what next year's fall marathon will be but if things work out to run this race I will do it again!


6:40 min/mile
The Innocent / Mayer Hawthorne
Swell Content / Speedy Ortiz
  Strangers / Langhorne Slim & The Law
 50 Ways to Say Good-Bye / Train
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Deceptacon / Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
Man / Neko Case

I placed 3rd female and will be receiving a cash prize for it.  It hasn't come yet but I've already spent it on a new pair of Saucony Zealots.  And then again on the Kinvaras. Maybe I'll also spend it on a new pair of Sketchers GoRun...