Here's how it all went down over the last 5 months or so. After some rest to try to heal the pull I suffered playing tennis I didn't think I really had an injury. I started to increase my mileage in January, doing 12-, 13-, 14- and a 17-mile runs. After another 17-miler the first weekend in Feb and experiencing pain, I took a week off and just did spin class and elliptical. Then I ran every other day for the next week and did spin or ellipical on the off days. The week after I tried running on consecutive days. The pain still wasn't going away.
I had to make a decision. I ran a little over 12 miles on Feb. 23 and decided that I needed to just completely stop running. The run was ok, but I was labored. I went to the doctor and requested physical therapy. I ended up just taking a month off completely and did not start the therapy. I did spin class and elliptical. On March 25 I ran again, did about 2.5 miles. Then I did about 3.5 miles two days later on March 27. It wasn't too painful during the run, but I got severe soreness in the same spot in the middle of my hamstring.
I made an apppointment to see an orthopedic doctor during the first week in April. He basically told me that it was not tendonitis (like I had originally thought), but a hamstring "muscle belly" strain/tear. It just needed to heal. He said to go to physical therapy and continue to do the spinning and elliptical. I had good range of motion and no lower back pain. He was checking to see if it was nerve-related.
I went to see the physical therapist the last April 23. We could not reproduce the pain. So he told me to go for a run a few days before going back to see him. I did a 4-mile run on May 3. I felt great, but after my hamstring was really sore. I iced like crazy. So I went back to PT on May 5. He said that I need to do stretching exercises 3 times a day to cause stress on the healing tissue. He also said to do hamstring extensions 3 times as week at the gym. So far so good. My hamstring hurt at first, but now I feel it is getting stronger. He also allowed me to run 1 mile once a week as a baseline to see how my leg reacts. So the first week it was fine. I wanted to run more. Then last Sunday (May 18) I did 1.5 miles. The next day I was a little sore, but not bad. So this weekend I will do 2.5 and see how it goes. I think I will be fine.
It's been two weeks of these rehab exercises and I am seeing progress. The tissue is healing. I wish I had done this PT back in Feb. I would be healed by now. I just didn't want to spend $40 per session. I will see the PT again on June 2.