Sunday, December 16, 2018

Training Log - Week ending 12/16/2018

This week was 39 miles of running, 7 "miles" of pool-running, and 4000 yards of swimming.  Training log is here.

Second week of marathon recovery.  It's funny - I never enjoy marathon recovery as much as I should.  Post-race blues are a very real thing for me, and they hit hard this time - making me moody, a bit irritable, and prone to getting upset over relatively minor things.

Yes, I know it makes no sense to be emotionally down right now - I just had a fantastic race and hit my goal.  But...emotions don't always make sense.  

I'm pretty sure a lot of it is just feeling lousy from over-indulgence in junk food, combined with loss of my normal routine (and emotional stimulant) from not training.  Dealing with a whole bunch of work stuff that I had postponed until post- marathon didn't help either.

Of course, all of this makes it hard to stay the post-marathon recovery course - there's a real temptation to self-medicate by jumping back into training.  I'm just reminding myself that taking sufficient downtime now, even if it's hard in its own way, is an essential investment in peaking at the right time and running my fastest when it most matters in 2019.


As part of my marathon recovery, I did another round of prolotherapy on Wednesday - this time getting injections near both my ischial tuberosities (one's sit bones, and where the hamstrings and adductor magnus attach).

I did a previous round of prolotherapy just after the Richmond half to address my floppy right SI joint and a resulting bit of adductor tendonitis in my right hip.  The adductor magnus attaches to both the base of the pelvis and the ischial tuberosity.  After the injections, everything felt much better and vastly improved by the time I ran CIM, but I still had some achiness that re-emerged and worsened over the course of the race, shifting slightly to my sit bones.

Post CIM, a lot of things really hurt, but what worried me most was that familiar ache in both sit bones (right worse than left).  I keenly remember that ache as the early-to-middle stages of my previous bout with high hamstring tendonitis, which eventually became a tear necessitating multiple rounds of PRP) 

The achiness had been improving during the post-marathon recovery with some rehab exercises and careful exercise, but not as fast as I'd like.  I wanted it healed and gone for good, so I didn't have to mess around with it this spring.  

So I got both hamstrings injected with prolotherapy Wednesday morning after my run.   Normally after prolo I can return to running the next day (have to avoid the pool for 48 hours), but this time my doctor asked me to skip a day altogether - he had injected a lot into the right hamstring tendon, and was worried about the tissue being temporarily softened.

As it conveniently turned out, there was no way I was going to be able to exercise at all the day after anyway - I had a day trip to NYC for work on tap (left my house at 4:30 am, got home around 8:15 pm).  So that was good timing.  (though it would have been nice to spend a little less time sitting on the injection sites).

Friday, I ran again, and then ramped stuff up (I'm encouraged to run post-prolo and to let discomfort be my guide - activity ensures the tissue heals correctly).  Each day felt a little better, and as of Sunday night I can just barely feel an ache if I twist my right hip and stretch my hamstring in just the right way.  Prolo doesn't work for everyone, but I'm really grateful it works so well for me.


Monday: yoga and 7 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday: 6 miles very easy (9:42) and light upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: 5 miles very easy (9:40), yoga, and then another 3 miles very easy (9:02).  

Thursday: Off.  Work trip to NYC.

Friday: 6 miles easy (9:04) and 1650 yards of swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 9 miles very easy (9:29) and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 10 miles aerobic (started at 9:30 and progressed down to 7:30), leg strengthwork/injury prevention work, and 2350 yards of swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


  1. congrats on your time at CIM. post race blues suck and I also did CIM and (not surprisingly) am also in that crappy post race phase but thankfully am coming out of it after two down weeks. Also that race beat the heck out of my quads in a way I wasn't expecting. It's good your staying smart and letting the recovery happen : )

  2. I definitely am feeling my high hamstring and associated tendon. Do you mind sharing some of your rehab? I'm doing some, but honestly, what helps the most right now is running. The week off made it very stiff and painful.

    1. Sure - here's some pointers I've learned:
      1) It's a tricky area to deal with, since the sciatic nerve runs right there also. There's a real temptation to massage that high hamstring area - resist that. Dig too hard in that area, and you annoy the sciatic nerve, which then makes the hamstring tighten, and worsens the issue.

      2) I would avoid specific hamstring stretching - that's also just going to aggravate it. I do think doing some sciatic nerve flossing (google it) can be very helpful here if you have any nerve involvement, and won't hurt if you don't.

      3) While we're on the subject of things to avoid - if you do yoga you want to avoid "seated forward fold" pose. This pose is AWFUL for high hamstring issues. What that pose does is a) stretch the hamstring while b) making it bend around the edge of your pelvis and c) compressing the tissue right where it's getting that shearing stress from bending around the pelvis. I hate that pose in general, and I think anyone with high hamstring issues needs to avoid it.

      4) as for what TO DO, you need to approach from three directions: a) stretching out your hip flexors (to ensure that your pelvis is not being pulled out of alignment and placing stress on the hammies; b) making sure your glutes are engaged and firing, so the hamstrings don't have to do all the work (do this with bridges, one-legged bridges, and step-ups onto a bench); and c) rehabbing the hammie itself (which was the question you originally asked me...).

      For the rehab work, I like reverse planks on one's elbows and eccentric hamstring ball curls. For that second one, lay on your back, knees bent, with your feet on an exercise ball. Then go into a bridge pose, with your feet still on the ball, knees bent, and your butt lifted off the ground. Once you're there, extend your knees so that your legs straighten while your butt stays in the air, and then lower your butt to the ground (legs still straight). Then bend your knees to roll the ball back into where you started. That's one rep - I like to do two sets of 10 reps.

      A more advanced rehab/preventative (once the other exercises are going well) is eccentric single leg deadlifts. I'll hold a kettlebell or weight in both hands while standing straight up on both feet. Then I shift onto one foot, with the other leg behind me, and do the lowering portion of a single leg deadlift. With control, I lower the weight all the way to the ground, using the hamstring of the standing leg. Then I return the other foot to the ground and return to standing position with the weight.

      (again, you don't want to do this final exercise until you're pretty far in your recovery, and can do the reverse planks and eccentric hamstring ball curls easily and without pain)

    2. As always, please remember that I have no formal medical or physical therapy training - my main qualifications for dispensing advice are that I have a blog and I've had a lot of injuries over the years. You will almost certainly get far better advice from a professional :)