Tag Archives: IT band issues

I Can Never Run Again

15 May

It’s been just over a week since my second marathon and this is the thought that crosses my mind several times a day: “What if I can never run again?”

Even after my first marathon, I had rejoined my running group after just one week. I was restless. And I’m terribly restless now. And did I mention that I’m scared I’ll never be able to run again??

I’m on a serious icing, rolling, stretching, and absolutely no running regiment for a month. I even made a new frenemy:

Meet my frenemy: The Stick

The Stick is coined as a “toothbrush for muscles” on its website. However, I can’t remember the last time I was screaming in pain as I brushed my teeth. I picked this bad boy up at Track Shack last week.

Almost nightly I’ll lay down and ask Donnie to roll my leg. He said he barely uses any pressure, but when he rolls around my knee I swear he’s getting me back for something. Since crying while getting one’s IT band rolled out is out of the question, I instead scream and laugh while gripping a pillow and pretending this is good for me.

And all the while I think, “What if I can never run again?”

Coincidently, when I roll my own leg in the AM’s it’s a lot less painful, though I’m pretty sure it’s less beneficial too.

Since I’m starting to get scared that it’s been a week and I still have to take the stairs one at a time, I’m going to make an appointment with a doc to confirm that this is just my IT band. I tend to heal better when my mind is at ease.

Once I hear what the good doc has to say I hope to start my yoga back up again. Until then, I’m enjoying being a couch potato. And I’m totally thankful that I’m blessed to have two good legs, with a flare for the dramatic.

Have you had an injury that kept you from running? How long did you have to take a break for?

Dance Marathon

29 Apr

Saturday morning I ran ten miles. According to my right IT band, that was about four miles too many.

I woke up at the awful hour of 4:30 AM, tossed on my running clothes and headed to the kitchen for a quick pre-run breakfast. Due to a lack of planning, here’s what I ended up with:

The Real Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast pretty much went like this: one bite of banana followed with a lick of peanut butter from a spoon and repeat. I learned this nasty (yet delicious) habit from my gluten-sensitive boyfriend, who gave up bread late last year. The fortune cookie was not a part of my breakfast, rather it was remnants of my pre-run dinner, chicken lo mein.

Our group was extra small this week (there were only three of us). We took off on a 10-mile loop.

Less than five miles into the run, I started to feel that familiar IT band nagging me. Around mile six I tightened the straps on my knee (I had two IT straps on one leg). That surprisingly relieved the pain for a mile or two. I managed to make it the entire 10 miles, but not without wondering how in the world I could do another 16.2 miles like that.

Here are the stats from our run:

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Time: 02:10:13
  • Avg Pace: 13:01/mile

I’m going to stick to strength training and yoga for taper this week and rest my leg. I’m also going to ice my leg three times a day, and foam roll my legs and hips twice a day. In fact, I’m icing as I type. My leg is mighty chilly.

Healing feels like a full-time job sometimes. Let’s hope this does the trick, or I may have to reconsider switching to the half marathon, which I really don’t want to do.

Last week a friend sent me a link to the video below. Not long afterwards, I tried to dance walk across 17-92 on our way to get coffee. However, I stopped when my co-workers shunned me. I’m now considering dance walking (or running) all 26.2 miles of the Flying Pig Marathon.

A Letter to My IT Band

29 Apr

Dear IT Band,

I ask you to please quit playing games with my heart. One day (Thursday) we’re all buddy buddy and I think we’re getting along just fine and we might just have a beautiful friendship after all and then two days later (Saturday) you’re being a bitch again.

I prefer the good ol’ days when we used to run the streets in glee. When together we would conquer our mileage, one step at a time. The days when we would skip off into the sunset laughing. Where did those days go? How do we go back to that?

I hope that we can work out whatever it is that is causing this tension between us. I miss us.

Best Regards,

Hemarie

Making Decisions

14 Apr

When training for a marathon (or half) you come across a lot of decisions you have to make. Sometimes there’s the small decisions like “What should I eat for dinner the night before a long training run?” or “Which flavor energy gel should I buy?” Then there’s the bigger decisions … the ones that can make or break your race day run.

Currently I’m dealing with the latter.

After last week’s failed 20-mile run, I knew I might be in trouble. Usually when my IT band starts hurting towards the end of a long run, I’m okay after some ice and a few hours. But this was “I just ran a marathon” pain, yet I had only run 12 miles. It hurt to walk on the beach the next day. It hurt to roll and stretch my right leg. It just hurt.

Tuesday morning I woke up for a 4-mile run in the morning. The first thing I did was stretch and immediately knew I wasn’t ready. I texted my group and went back to bed.

Wednesday night I went to yoga for a Hatha class. It felt like my instructor knew what I needed, and every muscle in my legs and hips were stretched. I felt amazing!

Thursday I woke up for a morning run and again stretched. I thought I was ready, and met my group for a 5-mile run. Three miles in, I felt that old familiar twinge and as we were nearing our ending point (a conveniently chosen Starbucks), I started to feel sharp pain. If you’re wondering why I didn’t walk it in as soon as I felt any pain, it’s because I was on a schedule. Not only did I have to go into work early that day, but I also had to pick up bagels for a friend’s birthday. If I walked it in, I would be late.

As that run was ending, I knew a second attempt at running 20 miles wasn’t going to happen today. I made the hard decision of skipping this morning’s training run.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the advice “It’s better to run undertrained and injury-free on race day than trained and injured,” and how many more times I’ve actually told fellow runners that.   Oh, how that’s easier said than done.

Not unfamiliar to IT band issues (I’ve blogged about my pains here and here and here and here and here), I know two things:

  1. The irritation might not go away before my marathon. It’s only three weeks away.
  2. But if I’m diligent with my icing, Advil-taking, stretching, rolling and strength training, I may delay the IT band irritation and limit how many miles I run in pain.

So I’ve made two decisions:

  1. No running for one week. That means I didn’t run this morning, and Tuesday and Thursday are out as well. I will do yoga, stretch, roll and strength train in it’s place.  On Saturday I may join my group for a short run.
  2. I am still running the Flying Pig Marathon!

Mind over matter. Who cares if I can’t run today? Who cares that my longest run this training season was just over 18 miles and it will have been over a month before race day?

I can let myself (easily) go down a road of self doubt or I can focus on the positive. I choose the latter. Before my right IT band acted up I had two great runs!

And I hope it makes all the difference on race day. Weeeeeeeeeeee!

Have you gone into a race undertrained and healthy and/or trained and injured? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

I could stand to be reassured that I’m not alone. 😉