Alternative Title: The Case of DOMS from Hell.
Short Version: I broke my quad in spin class. Tried to run anyway. It got worse before it got better. Learned a lot of stuff (which you can read if you skip to the bottom)
Long Version: (progression of events from 2 weeks ago…
Wednesday: I went to spin class. I’m trying this new thing where I actually do cross training instead of talk about how much I need to. Anyway, it was only my second spin class ever. The instructor is a tri-athlete and that should have been my first sign to get out because the class was probably too advanced for me. Of course I didn’t though. My ego said “surely you are fit enough to handle a measly spin class.” Well. This was the hardest spin class I’ve ever attended (you know, all 2…). There was a lot of “stand up”, “5 turns to the right”, “stand up and turn to the right again”, “sprint for 3 minutes”, “stand up and sprint again”, etc… When the class ended, I felt tired, but not bad. I stretched with the class, and went along my merry way.
Thursday: I woke up so sore! Not just my legs, but my upper body too (because my core is weak, and by the end of class I was holding myself up with my arms during the standing portions). Thursday was also Tempo Run day. Of course I did the assigned run at the assigned paces. I was “just sore” after all. I finished the tempo portion and jogged a slow cool down back to my car. Again, nothing unusual here…maybe a little quad tightness, but whatever.
Friday: OH. MY. GOD. THE. PAIN. Everything single movement I made with my right leg hurt. Every. Single. One. Naturally, I handled this like a champ and spent the day being a big, whiny baby about it. Walking hurt. Flexing my knee hurt. Adjusting my position on the couch hurt. Sitting down to pee hurt. Everything. Hurt. This was DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) on an entirely new level. I lamented on the couch all day about whether or not to attempt my long run the following morning. In the end, I decided I would see how I felt when I woke up and go from there (which really means I as long as I could walk without a limp I was going to run).
Saturday: When I got out of bed and didn’t immediately wince with pain, I got dressed and drove to post for the Wear Blue meet up. The plan was 8 miles. The first mile was a struggle as I tried to coax my legs into working. After that I settled into a nice sort of shuffle. We got to mile 4 and turned around to head back. That’s when things started going downhill. There is this bridge, and its’ usually not a big deal, but on this run I started feeling some aching in my left hip. My right quad was so tight, it was messing up my gait and causing problems other places. Because I’m stubborn (and maybe stupid), I didn’t say anything and kept going. A mile or so later, my quad decided it didn’t want to play any more. What was aching pain, was now sharp, stabbing pain. I tried to stretch it out (because that made sense at the time?) and keep going. My pace was falling behind the others, and I was getting annoyed. At mile 7.3 I stopped to stretch again and told the others to go on. I attempted running one more time (because why would I learn?), but called it quits at 7.65 and walked it in. I pouted for a while, but then Matt and I went to a friend’s house for dinner where my quad was fine. Yes, fine.
Sunday/Monday: In an attempt to act smarter, I took both of these days COMPLETELY OFF. I didn’t do circuits with Matt or anything. I was a bum for two whole days.
Tuesday: No noticeable soreness. I have a Tempo Run on the schedule, but I ran it easy instead. The run went fine. However, I did notice later in the day that I still couldn’t flex my knee past 90* without pain and tightness. Naturally, I ignore this and pretend it’s not happening.
Wednesday: I text back and forth with another athletic training friend debating on if it was smart to go to yoga. I really wanted to go to yoga, but I wanted someone else to tell me it was okay. I spent the past 7 days being incredibly stupid about my “injury” so I needed assurance from a third part. She said the stretching would help. So I went. It was after yoga that I finally admitted I probably should have been smarter about this whole thing. Yoga didn’t feel great. It didn’t hurt, but now I noticed my quad with every step. Ugh.
Thursday/Friday: Back to taking days completely off. I did nothing but eat. I also talked to a different athletic trainer friend who scolded me (Yes. Scolded. I felt like a 5-year-old) because “you know better.” She was right though. I did know better.
Saturday: Another long run day. This time it’s 9 miles. I meet up with Amy and the other Wear Blue runners. And, I ran 9 miles. No problems. So maybe my range of motion is not quite all the way back yet…oh well. I think missing this run would have done terrible things for my confidence, so I risked it. I’m glad I did. The run went great.
Things I learned:
- Spin class is harder than it looks.
- You don’t have to increase the resistance in spin class. No one will know.
- Tempo run on super sore legs is probably a bad idea.
- Running at all when my quad is so tight I can’t even flex my knee to 90* is a bad idea.
- Rest days are useless if you try running again too soon.
- Really good long runs make everything better.
Also, give yourself a gold star if you made it all the way to the end. 🙂