Tag Archives: running with injury

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

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IT Band Update

27 Apr

Yesterday I slept in and skipped my regularly scheduled run with the group. Instead, I woke up late, threw on some running clothes and my new shoes, grabbed my borrowed Garmin, saw the battery was dead, put it back down, grabbed my iPod shuffle and was out the door for a quick run on my own.

I ran 3-ish miles in less than 35 minutes. And guess what? I felt no pain in IT band. Granted it was a short run, but it was sans the intervals I’ve become accustomed to and at a quicker pace. Afterwards I did some squats while I waiting for my breakfast smoothie to blend.

Let’s see how it fares during tomorrow’s run, my last long-ish run before Flying Pig Marathon.

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. 😉