Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Hamstring Shop

So, a few weeks ago I was doing my version of speedwork.

Visualization may be the only strength I have as a runner. Maybe disassociation is a better word, as most of the thoughts swirling around in my head have not a chance of happening. I usually come up with something like this for speed:

I am dusting the course. No one expected this dude from Kansas to win here, but due to brutal conditions and a little luck a sub-18 hour performance is enough for a guy no one has ever heard of to win.
At the finish line, sponsors are actually fist-fighting to see who gets to talk to me first. My family is there, with Mom telling everyone "that's my boy!" Trust me, spend thirty seconds with my Mom and she'll launch into the story of me, starting with'd be lucky if that story lasted sub-18 hours.
Jurek is there, having dropped under the pressure of my relentless attack. The friendly wager we made pre-race has him cooking me a steak.
I pull off my shoes, shake out the toenails, and open my first beer...

Well, you get the idea. In other words, speedwork for me is fantasy time, and whatever goes on in my little head can be as true as it needs to seem to get me through the workout.

This day, though, a bit much. Eight miles at 8:00 mins per, with the last two being hills. Tweaked something, drove too hard, extended my legs way too far out in front of my hips. Here's the short math: $600 in therapy, another couple hundred in massages, THREE prescriptions for pain, muscle relaxer, and inflammation. Just to do the Squaw Valley shuffle.

Since returning, I wasn't able to get back in the groove. Not healed! So, I opened a beer (I never call the man when I'm sober) and dial up Bad Ben. Tell him the story, whine a little, might have cried.
He knew exactly what I was talking about. Knew, in fact, nearly the exact date it happened to him and what to do about it. The exact exercises in the gym to perform. Etc, etc. And I'm happy to report that it is working fabulously! SO, this is a long-winded way to say "Thanks, man".

Jurek, get back on that grill...and put that cute little apron on while you're at it!