Literally. Well, except I think it's more in my right groin.
I've been complaining recently of various right leg pain issues. The hamstring has been the culprit on multiple days. Sometimes the right calve. Sometimes the IT band is tender. Sometimes my glute and/or groin. Every other run leaves me with a tender area somewhere on my right leg.
I think I'm getting into mind game territory now. I've been monitoring this for the past several weeks. Here's what I've noticed. When I'm distracted (listening to music, taking in the scenery, etc.), I have very little - if any - muscular discomfort after a run. If, however, I focus on my "tender" right leg during the run, I end up with greater leg pain.
It seems like I might be changing my stride a bit, or overcompensating, to protect whatever muscle group I feel needs protection and thus irritating another muscle group. It's all in the head. I need to forget about a sore hamstring or sore glute and JUST RUN. It's changing my stride. I've noticed I start running more on the outer edge of my foot once some groin soreness starts...which exacerbates my calf, etc.
Head games. I need to focus (or, not focus maybe in this case) and get back into my easy, natural stride. I believe that will clear up some of my leg issues.
I've been slowly coming to this realization over the last few weeks but last night was the clincher. After a couple nice, pain free runs over the weekend. Last night, I went for a 5 miler and was concentrating on nearly every foot fall. About 3 miles in, I noticed I was now running on the outer edge of my feet...so I compensated the other direction...made little adjustments, etc. In the end, my right glute and groin were back to being very sore again.
Maybe I'll bring a book and read the next time I run. You really have to concentrate on Don Quixote.
I'm reading Mike and Lisa's plans for 2008 races/events and it's got my juices flowing. I'm already anxious to throw some more races on the calendar but no. No. I need to get Disney in the bag first.
I think next year I'm going to again focus on some 5k's. I've only done 1 since 2004. I think I have a sub 19 minute one in me somewhere.
All of this will be spelled out in my anxiously awaited 2008 New Year's Running Resolutions due late this year! All runners should make their own.