Monday, September 20, 2010

The Good News and the Not-as-Good News

Good News:  My IT is feeling much, much better.  My pigeons are getting deeper and I can hold them longer.  I no longer curse at the foam roller (well, not out loud, but sometimes still a little in my head).  In fact, over the weekend, I was feeling so good I thought I’d go for a short run Sunday morning and test things out.  I set out for a two-miler with the hope that maybe I could stretch it out to four miles.

Not-as-Good News:  I only made it two miles.  The first mile felt great and I had to concentrate on not running too fast.  By mile 1.5 I started feeling my knee a little bit, then a little bit more.  By the 2-mile mark, it was clear I shouldn’t go further.  The biggest bummer was that it hurt a little for the rest of the day.  I wasn’t surprised by this outcome so much as I was disappointed by it.  In fact, I think the mental setback hurt as much as the physical one.  In my mind, all I can hear is the tick-tock of the marathon countdown clock and the “what-ifs” are killing me.  What if I can’t get in another long run?  What if I hurt myself worse by trying to run too soon?  What if I can’t run the marathon at all??

Good News:  When I got up this morning, I felt great again!  No lingering soreness, no phantom pains.

More Good News:  I went for a little bike ride this morning and still felt great.  I kept it at an easy spin speed (aka, effin’ slow!) and my hip/leg/knee felt strong the whole time.

Conflicting News:  The research I’ve been doing (I’m not a doctor, I just play one on the internet…) has turned up the conflicting advice that I should rest and avoid any activity that irritates my IT (such as running, cycling, soccer and bowling), but also that I can take my intensity down a notch and continue to run reduced mileage.  The problem here is that my mileage is already really, really low.  I spend more training hours in cross-training than running.  And even my cross-training hours have been lower lately.  In spite of the Cool Running website’s assertion to the contrary, I just don’t believe this is an overuse injury.  So, how the heck did I strain my IT??  I’ve been driving myself nuts with this question all week.  So many things have changed in my training over the last few months.  Is it being on my feet all day at my job?  Is it the strength training I’ve added to my routine?  Am I somehow straining my hips by riding in aero position more and more?  Could it be something simple, like my shoes need to be replaced?  Well, like I always say - when in doubt, go shopping!

Conclusions:  I don’t actually have any.  I’m not quite willing to give up the marathon, so I’m going to play the wait-and-see game for a little bit longer.  Tick-tock.

18 comments:

The Green Girl said...

::hugs:: I hope your IT band heals quickly and you will be able to run pain-free very, very soon.

Megan said...

Good idea - I'd do the same thing. Play it by ear and see how you feel. But that is positive progress!

Lauren said...

Are you going to physical therapy? I messed around for a long time with IT band pain -- I got so that I could get it back to good in no time with the roller, icing and stretches. Then one time I couldn't get rid of it, started thinking maybe I had bursitis. Finally (out of desperation of upcoming race) I went to PT -- and it wasn't the IT or bursitis afterall!. I had strained three muscles in the general area. PT fixed me up in no time & taught me a lot of exercises so it wouldn't happen again (& it hasn't)

Alma F. said...

Can you get a running gait analysis and/or see a PT? Maybe your cross-training activities are not providing balanced structure to support your running/biomechanics? Do those hip adductn/abductn exercises! Those help me every time...so far so good.

Char said...

I'd totally give up bowling if that was going to get that IT better.

ajh said...

I want a crystal ball that tells me exactly what to do and how long not to run to make things better. I will loan it to you when I get it! Good luck. I know how you feel!

Caratunk Girl said...

Is there an Active Release Therapy (ART) person near you? Seriously, it hurts, but really helps...at least helped me with a calf injury. I went from hobbling to walk to running in one session...That would be the first place I would go..here is a website where you can search for one near you: http://www.activerelease.com/

I would wait and see too. Good luck!

Teamarcia said...

You are wise to shut it down at the first twinge of pain. I wish I knew why exactly this stuff happens...weakness, tightness, imbalance...so many possibilities. Hoping/praying all works out for your marathon!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Ugh...I hate knee pain! I'm so sorry you're feeling pain, but I think you did the right thing by stopping your run. Running through the pain is definitely not a good idea! I've been dealing with some knee pain too and I just got a sports massage last night and it was awesome! It seemed to really help, but the true test will be on my long run tomorrow!

Amy W said...

I hurt my IT band during my first half marathon last year. I had already signed up for another one, so I didn't want to lose out on any training.

What worked for me? I got a weekly deep tissue massage from a massage therapist that was an athlete and he focused on that IT band for an hour each session. I was up and running back at my normal (yet slow) speed within 2 weeks.

Heather said...

Seems like easing back on the activity is a good idea - hope it feels better soon!

Whitney said...

I'm sorry your struggling with this...it's been several years since I had IT band issues. I remember stretching a ton (every hour some days) and I toned down the intensity and was able to train through it. I ran my first 10 mile race as I was coming out of the injury and had one of my fastest last miles in a race ever so don't give up on that marathon yet!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

my two cents..go get it professionally looked at by an MD or specialist. really. I am SOOO glad I didn't wait to get my heel injury looked at and resolved. It was the best ~$300 co-pay/orthotics spent.

;-)

DRog said...

Good luck I hope this works out for you. Injury the worst thing we have to handle...by far. Feel you on the ITB injury and the knee, had both last fall...
-Derek

Patrick Mahoney said...

I'm sorry you have to go through this, I hope it all works out sooner than later.

Gotta love the Internet. Too much info sometimes. You should go see someone....

And stop bowling immediately.

Julie said...

Hey Lady,
I totally think that you are doing the right thing by easing up and not making any final conclusions about the upcoming marathon. I agree with so many of the comments that were left for you too. Hopefully everything will be okay and the body will cooperate! Good luck to you!

shannon said...

I have also had IT issues. I'm not certain mine was caused by over-training either. Instead, I think mine was the result of speed training. The week prior to pulling my IT band, I had significantly decreased the pace on my runs. It took roughly a month before it was fully healed and I was back to my normal paces. Good luck! :)

The Green Girl said...

I second the ART suggestion - I've had two sessions now and it's made a significant difference in how I feel in terms of pain and muscle tightness.