After three months of no running at all, I am finally back on the trails again. I went to the Speed Clinic at UVA in August where they hooked me up to a 3-D infra-red computer and had me run on a treadmill. The computer spit out a lot of info and after they analyzed everything, I'm surprised I had ever been able to finish a race at all, never mind doing well at some of them. Anyway, I apparently ask way too much of my hamstrings and I put a lot of torque on them, which over time resulted in my injury. They sent me a DVD of my running, with a narrative explaining what I do wrong and what I need to do to fix my problems. The DVD included video of exercises and stretches to do to help me heal and prevent future injury. I wish I had gone there sooner.
So, after following the program for a couple of months, I am back running full time, although much slower. The main training intervention is that I have to take 180 steps a minute, which is a LOT shorter and faster stride than I usually do. My uphills are about the same, but my downhills are SO much slower. I am registered for the Masochist next month and for the first time since my first year of ultras, I am worried about cutoffs. (Maybe my girls cross country team will make it to state, which is held on the same day as the Masochist and then I won't have anything to worry about.) I ran my longest run so far yesterday, 20 miles, on the Appalachian Trail. It was beautiful and despite my slowness, I am just grateful that I am able to run again at this, my favorite time of year. Overall I felt good, although my injury to the ligaments in my ankle and hip, which contributed to the hamstring problem, still are not healed yet. Those are just a little stiff and sore, unlike the pain that I did have with the hamstrings. It was nice to just run mindlessly (except for counting those darn steps now and then) and enjoy the woods.