After all of Saturday’s agonizing about whether to attempt walk/jogging the Swiss Days Race or just watch from the sidelines, I put my injured hamstring to the test on Sunday when I burned my thumb in a backyard fire. I dashed across the yard to the house without a thought as to what effect that might have on my leg.
At this point, it looks like I came out pretty well on both counts: A smallish blister and renewed confidence that my hamstring is healing pretty well after taking just a few days off.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve rested the leg when I felt that first twinge a couple of weeks ago while doing intervals with my sister. But I didn’t, and after a couple of hill sessions coupled with the most intense cycling I’ve done all summer concentrated in a span of just 3-4 days had me wincing even during low-key jog/walk sessions with Colleen.
I had a sense of foreboding when Traci and I attempted a 5K time trial a few days before the Swiss Days Race, feeling the hamstring tighten up as we increased our pace. Then it cramped up into a screaming knot around the 2-mile mark, and I was done.
From what I’ve read on various websites since then, this injury could’ve been a lot worse. Tear your hamstring up too badly, and you can’t even walk without crutches. Even right after whatever it was that happened – maybe a slight tear but more likely just some inflammation – I was at least able to walk without too much discomfort. Ice and a compression wrap helped quite a bit. I hope to test the leg out in a day or two with some light jogging.
As for the Swiss Days Race, it was initially disappointing to watch from the sidelines – especially because Ben also sat this one out with leg issues of his own. (For the first time in several years, our extended family was represented by a lone runner: Colleen, in her last year of competing in the kids’ 1-mile race.)
I kept thinking I should’ve just walk/jogged the race. There were more walkers this year than at any point in the race’s 41-year history. But it remains a runner’s race, always has been, and it was hard to picture being content with holding down the pace when I’ve always associated this race — my sentimental favorite — with going as hard as you possibly can.
Once the race started, though, I got caught up in the spectacle of watching some of the area’s top runners go at it. As my cousin Jeff noted – his boys are grown and off pursuing their goals, running and otherwise, elsewhere — it’s just fun to come out and watch the race and see familiar faces in the running community.
To which I must add: How about that Doug Bauman, still running just over 25 minutes in his 41st Swiss Days Race?