Today I ran.
It was an interval workout, 100m X 100m for 2 km, but I ran. The pacing played somewhere between 8:30 and 11:15 minutes per mile. I was careful to maintain form and cadence, making corrections to insure I was centered and not favor one side over the other. Running with my Vibram ELX, I was paying close attention to foot strike. My cadence remained between 180 and 185 spm, and my vertical oscillation averaged just under 5.0 cm. Not bad form since I have been out of running since November 17, 2015.
Now the results of this acid test. I still have pain, discomfort, behind the right knee, in distal tendons of the hamstring muscle complex (HMC). It is not a debilitating pain, and it caused no change in my running mechanics or walking mechanics post-run. I stretched both legs after the workout. The discomfort is still there, so I shall see tomorrow whether or not it recovers.
I did not go from the chair to the run. I have been able to escalate my activity levels in recent days, peaking at 18,000 steps three days ago. I had a couple of lighter activities days before the run. Pain levels were "0 x 0" -- no pain before or after activities. With that in mind, I thought an easy interval run would be the next level of activity. I had no intention of doing sprints on the "run" portions of the workout, and wanted to keep it to a slow jog. I guess the beautiful morning and exuberance in the opportunity to run put me on a faster than "slow jog" pace. Nonetheless, I knew the running portions would load the hamstring area and back of the knee more than any PT I had done to date. I felt the loading during the run; I feel it after the run (three hours later).
I have to sow some grass seed today which involves a bit of walking on slopes. I will monitor the pain level to ascertain the degree of recovery which I receive during normal activities. I would love to run tomorrow, but I think the wiser thing is to use tomorrow for a PT-type of workout and evaluate before taking the next run.
Coming back will be slow, I know. The distal tendons of the HMC will need to strengthen, and that will occur through gradual increases in loading. I need to re-build my aerobic base, which will take about four months. The light running, with continuation of stretching and rolling, should get be back to full strength soon. At least that is the plan.
Thanks for coming along.