Thursday of this week I was in the middle of a great tempo run when I started to feel a little twinge my left hamstring just proximal to my knee. I initially thought "you're just pushing hard and things are just fine". Well as I continued so did the discomfort, actually it turned into pain, I promptly cut the run short and walked/jogged back to the car. I iced it as soon as I got home and started to deal with all of the mental distress I had accumulated while walking back to the car. Given that I am a little less than two weeks away from my first 50 mile race (The Pocatello 50) and what I consider one of my most important races of the year, this was a major blow. I was a little more than half-way through my last big week before tapering and really wanted the 30 mile run I had planned for Saturday.
When I woke up on Friday my leg was stiff with point tenderness and I started to panic. I called in a round of favors, that afternoon I had an evaluation to make sure no tearing had occurred, E-stim ice massage session, Saturday morning I had another E-stim, ultrasound, ice massage session, followed by a massage for 35 minutes that focused entirely on my left hammy later in the afternoon. Sunday was the 3rd day in a row that I did not run, and I did more ice massage. I came to grips that my fitness is not going to suffer too much with the lay off and I could start the taper a little early.
Today (Monday), my leg is feeling much better, no stiffness and very little tenderness with palpation. I am planning on an easy run today just to loosen up the leg and feel it out, cross your fingers for me. This relatively minor injury has shown me that taking time off is one of the hardest things to deal with mentally, but I am certain now it is what probably saved my race. I guess only time will tell, but I am taking the optimist's route and think that I will emerge stronger (and more rested) than before!