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Race Week & Piriformis Syndrome!

May 19, 2011

Thanks everyone for the congrats comments after Saturday’s Healthy Kidney 10K. In retrospect, I am mostly happy about this race effort and now know I can aim to break 40 at the Mini 10K in June! Also, Brightroom posted photos of the race. Oh, how flattering the camera is during a race…gets all my good angles.

Anyways, let’s recap this week!

On Monday, I didn’t really sleep well so I decided to skip the morning run and take a rest day. Since the booming thunder woke me up even before my alarm to sleep in, I decided this was a smart choice. I really want my legs to be fresh for the Brooklyn Half, and what better way to kick off the week than with glorious rest? Exactly.

On Tuesday, I decided I wanted to try to make it to the track to get in some light speed work before Saturday’s Half, just to get the blood flowing again. I talked with Megan who invited me to meet up with her and Jacqui in Central Park instead to do some 1000-meter repeats. Clearly Central Park > track, so I gladly met them at 6:45 and headed out for some intervals! I did 4x~1000 meters, though we found it was a tad short…it’s the effort that counts, right? In between, we had about 2 minutes rest which definitely helped.

  • 3:50? I was not thinking and hit the stop/start button instead of lap, so I didn’t get the split. Whoops!
  • 3:47
  • 3:44
  • 3:40

I actually felt really good during these! I was happy each one got a tad faster, and I wasn’t totally dying. If I didn’t have a race on Saturday, I probably would have done 1-2 more for a real solid workout, as we did 6x1000m workouts all the time in college, with 200m recovery. But I want my legs to be fresh and ready to go this weekend, so we just finished off the night with some lower loops and I ran back to my apartment for 10.75 miles for the day. Again, THANK YOU Megan and Jacqui for getting me out there, I’m so happy to start running with people again as part of a team and always enjoy talking all things running & racing.

Yesterday (Wednesday), was not so good. I had planned 6 miles, but had to cut it short after just 3 miles because my hip/piriformis really started hurting. Usually, it’s just an annoying dull pain but I found it was really altering my stride so I cut the route short and headed home. I am a stickler for sticking to my schedule but in these cases it’s so important to listen to your body to avoid injury. I am happy I used the extra morning time to foam roll and massage deep into breaking up the knots with my BFF, baseball.
This is the perfect at-home tool if you need to get in deep into any points that can’t really be reached via foam roller or stretching, like your piriformis:
I’ve always had weird right leg issues due to a leg length discrepancy which has been helped by custom orthotics, but I think my periodic flare ups are caused by running on hard surfaces and sitting at work all day which shortens/tightens the muscle. I also don’t do nearly enough flexibility and strengthening exercises as I should. Stretching and massaging with the baseball are usually quick fixes for me when the pain gets too much. For me, the pain feels really deep within my glute (butt) and outer hip, and often contributes to extreme hamstring tightness.
Today, I awoke with 4 miles on the schedule and I was a bit nervous I’d still be in pain. Luckily, all the digging/massaging I did with the baseball helped since I felt great. It was a tad humid this morning but happy it wasn’t raining. Fingers crossed for no rain and little humidity on race morning!
Speaking of which, I finally picked up my CPTC uniform last night and Saturday will mark my first official race for Central Park Track Club! I am excited as the Brooklyn Half is a team points race and there is a chance I’ll be able to score for the team. I am certainly not in top PR shape like I was in March, but still hope for a decent result and a fun race.
Still undecided which singlet I’ll wear. What do you think?
Tomorrow I’ll do my usual 20 minute pre-race shakeout run, and then I still need to figure out how I am going to get all the way to Prospect Park for a 7 am race start. WHY does it need to start so early?! I’ll also be checking a bag and will need porta potty time, so I will probably want to arrive by 6:30. Of course, they are doing subway construction so the train I’d take will be running local instead of express, meaning I will probably bite the bullet and take a cab that will probably end up being like $40. Awesome.
Any tips for easing stress before an early morning race start? What do you do when you feel a potential  injury coming on… take time off or push through it?
12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2011 12:34 pm

    A couple years ago I did a half that started at 6:30. Eat dinner REALLY EARLY and get your coffee in right away. ;p As far as the piformis issue, that’s a rough one since you’ve got to be diligent that it doesn’t become anything else. The second that becomes a hamstring issue, you’re at a bigger risk for a bunch of stuff…gotta hate the chain reaction side to injuries. 😦

    Good luck!

  2. May 19, 2011 12:35 pm

    Ugh, I’m taking a cab to the start, too. I’d rather shell out the money than get stuck underground! Good luck on Saturday!

    Also, love that in your HK photos you’re flying by all the dudes. You’re a rock star. I want to be like you.

  3. May 19, 2011 12:37 pm

    Apparently we are supposed to be in the corrals by 6:40 for Brooklyn fyi! Is there a friend you can maybe slit a cab/car service with? Good luck!

  4. May 19, 2011 12:45 pm

    So glad you came to meet us on Tuesday (and congrats on becoming an official CPTC member!) I think most of us will be wearing the orange and black singlet on Saturday – I find that the blue one is made of heavier fabric – definitely not what I want during a warm 1/2 marathon!

    I’ve been having piriformis pain too – booooo to sitting at a desk all day. I think that makes it worse. BUT I do keep a tennis ball on hand to roll things out (sometimes the co-workers give me funny looks, heh).

  5. Jacqui permalink
    May 19, 2011 1:49 pm

    I’ve already been tweeting at you all day, but for some added inspiration/motivation to go sub-40 at the Mini 10K, I will direct you to our friend AND TEAMMATE (yay!) Sarah’s blog (which you probably already read). She ran a 40:33 10K ( and then ran 39:xx 10 days later at the Mini (!

  6. Meggie permalink
    May 19, 2011 2:11 pm

    With a 7 am start, I would take a cab, too! sleep = $40 to me. I always lay out everything the night before so I don’t have to think in the morning and just have to get dressed and go.

    I’m really bad about taking time off. Right now, I’m really sick and am forcing myself to take a few days off which is adding to my post-marathon time off (I took 2 weeks completely off ). When those 2 weeks were up, of course I get a horrible virus. I ran on tuesday and then felt even worse on Wed (prob not helped by the fact that I spend my days in a freezing OR standing all day and eating/drinking not a lot). I’m trying to tell myself that I’m going to wait until I feel better so I don’t stay sick and then start back running to start building back a base for NYC Marathon. I mean, its not til Nov, right? Plenty of time?

    GOOD LUCK SATURDAY! Hope its good weather.

  7. May 19, 2011 2:47 pm

    I just want to say I’m super jealous of the uniform and being an official member of CPTC! I really need to get to a couple more workouts so I can submit my application!

    Good luck on Saturday!!

  8. May 19, 2011 4:39 pm

    oy – 7 a.m. start! When I ran that race a few years ago I braved the subway from the UES and barely made it. If a cab eases anxiety, i say it’s worth it! sorry about your piriformis, but it’s definitely a good sign that it felt better after some time with the baseball, right?

    I say definitely go for the bright orange singlet 🙂 GOOD LUCK!

  9. May 19, 2011 5:06 pm

    It’s so tough to know how to deal with injuries like that, especially the ones that reoccur. I try to listen to my body as much as possible and back off at the first sign of injury, before it gets worse. But honestly if I had a big race coming up that I really cared about, I would probably just push through it and risk it.
    I had a half marathon and a 20 mile race start at 7 am before – I actually really enjoyed it! I would say definitely take the time to wake up as early as you need to in order to really wake up your body and eat breakfast with enough time. And the night before, really lay low and try to get in bed as early as possible. Good luck!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  10. May 20, 2011 6:50 am

    You’re the only one I know who actually looks good in race photos! I always look angry in mine lol. Congrats on joining CPTC, everyone I’ve met from that team has been super nice.

  11. May 20, 2011 9:33 am

    Keep up the massaging and you’ll be fine for Saturday! So jealous you got your uniform! I can’t wait to sport one! Have an awesome race.

  12. May 20, 2011 11:24 am

    Good luck tomorrow! I vote for the blue singlet. 🙂 I need to get more singlet tops…so much more comfortable than sports bra tanks.

    I never understood why the borough halves start so early. I ran the Queens Half in 2009, and even though I already lived in Queens it was still a trek to get to Flushing by 7 am.

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