Countdown to Maui – Day 29: am I overworking my body?

Listen to your bodyA couple weeks ago, I noticed a minor, nagging pain behind my left knee. I thought maybe I had pinched a nerve or slept wrong or something. Then, last week, the pain got worse. Way worse.

It hurt badly while running and sent radiating pain down my calf and up the back of my thigh. When I did my first rep on the leg extension machine, I grimaced in pain. That night while lying in bed, the radiating pain throughout my leg continued.

Great. Just what I need—an injury to delay my progress.

Make sure to stretch!

Make sure to stretch!

Turns out, it’s hamstring tendonitis. Definitely not the worst possible ailment! I decided to modify my workout so not to further aggravate it, rather than stopping altogether and sacrificing all progress. Turns out, in my case, the two things I really needed to change up were: running and stretching. That is, running less and stretching more.

I admit, I’ve been slacking on my stretching in the past couple of months. As for running, I think I’ve been pushing too hard, too fast.

So here’s what I did:

  • Gently massaged the area (my husband helped 🙂 )
  • Used Icy Hot for temporary relief
  • Switched from the treadmill to the stair climber for the remainder of the week
  • Dedicated plenty of time to stretching after my workout, with additional stretching at home
Shameless dressing room selfie!

Shameless dressing room selfie!

The outcome? I felt ten times better within just a couple of days! I also bought a foam roller to use at home and I’ll make sure to continue changing up my cardio so I’m not using the treadmill for every session (I get shin splints, too, so I should’ve done this long time ago anyway).

To answer the question in my title: kind of. I was overworking my body in the sense that I was running more than my body was ready to and I wasn’t taking the time to properly care for it post-workout; but I wasn’t working out too often or too strenuously overall. The solution FOR ME was to change the type of cardio workouts I was doing and make sure to stretch.

Today, I feel wonderful and will definitely make sure to pay attention to nagging pains before they become a bigger problem. Listen to your body—it knows its limits. Respect those.

NOTE: I am not a doctor, nor do I know what is best for your injury or your body. I cannot diagnose your pain. I’m simply sharing my personal experience. Seek professional medical advice if you are experiencing pain or have an injury.

Are you in tune with your body? Have you ever had an injury derail your fitness progress? Do you push through pain, or do you modify your workouts and address minor issues before they become major? I’d love to hear from you!


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