I wrote last week about a running injury that I’ve been nursing for the past couple of weeks – nothing too bad, just a sore hamstring. I took last week off from running after only making it about a tenth of a mile before the hamstring started hurting again. Instead I went for a seven mile walk. That seemed to help quite a bit and I was feeling quite good after my spin on Monday. Tuesday was an easy zone 2 effort for an hour. On Wednesday I had some afternoon traveling to do so I put in a rather hard half hour effort (zone 3 warmup, zone 4 20 minutes, zone 3 cooldown) and my hamstring was just a little tight afterward. Yesterday I settled in for a zone 2/zone 3 hourlong spin and about 30 minutes into it my hamstring started barking at me. Ten minutes later I was a little more than uncomfortable and intensely curious as to what was going on…
I ended up narrowing it down to saddle height which seemed “outside of the box’ because my knees weren’t hurting at all (front of the knee hurts, lower the saddle – back of the knee hurts, raise the saddle). I thought about looking it up on Livestrong while I was still on the bike, but the more I pedaled, the more it made sense so didn’t bother trying to look it up. I unclipped and grabbed my multi-tool off of my desk. I lowered the saddle 1 – 2 millimeters and hopped back on… The difference in feel actually had me laughing, I just wished I’d known earlier. Really though, that’s just how these things work when you’re talking about a millimeter or two. I’ve got no way of knowing that I’m off until something starts hurting.
I was overextending my hamstrings trying to get down to the bottom of the pedal stroke…and the funny thing was that I was favoring my left leg a little too. I was just ever so slightly listing to the left.
After lowering the saddle that millimeter or two and finishing my spin, the pain stopped. Lesson learned. I would complain about wishing it had come a little easier (my saddle has been in that same spot for months) but it really doesn’t matter all that much. I only missed one run – all things considered, that’s nothing. It is funny though, just how much a millimeter or two matters on a bicycle.