Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Keeping my chin up

So in my last post I wrote about how running was going, and how last Wednesday ago I experienced pain in my left knee while running. It felt exactly like the IT band pain I had after running the Rock-n-Roll, so I tried not to get too worried about it. Thursday it felt a little ouchy again. Friday and Saturday I rested it and Sunday I did 12 miles, my knee starting to hurt at about 6 miles and really causing me pain at about 10 miles.

I got a massage on Sunday, which definitely helped temporarily, but the pain came back later in the day. I started googling like a madwoman about IT band pain and running and what the heck I should do now. I realized that healing my sore IT band was going to take some mix of strength training, stretching, massage/foam rolling, rest, icing and a few good ol' anti-inflammatories. I also ordered one of those nifty IT band wraps because hey, why not?

My whole Project Fix My Bum IT Band started Monday morning. I didn't run at all that day and at the end of the day my knee had zero pain. It also felt fine Tuesday morning. Tuesday night is my intervals class and during that particular class we ran a long hill, twice down and up. I felt strong, no pain in my knee (maybe it was my fancy wrap?) and decided to stop running before the pain set in. I did do some one-legged lunges and my knee did NOT like those, so I stopped.

When I finished my hills my running my instructor started chatting with me and said that she doesn't think that, because of my injury, I should do the Portland Marathon. She thinks I should scale back now that I have two half marathons under my belt and rest and do a full marathon at some point later in the future. I have to say, I was extremely surprised she said this, as when I originally asked her opinion on doing the full (pre-IT band pain) she said I should go for it. I guess I didn't/don't quite feel that I am injured to the point of thinking I should throw in the towel on my marathon! I chatted after class with my two running besties and they agreed with me that it was too soon to drop out of the marathon, that I still had time to see how my IT band felt and how my training was going.

But of course, I am a relative newbie when it comes to this running stuff and my instructor has worked with a lot of runners in her day. It's just really defeating. You don't want people who you look up telling you that you shouldn't do something that you really, really want to do. Even if they feel they have a valid reason for telling you so. Is this the time in my training where I step back and remember that I am in this for the long haul and there is no reason to risk a serious injury and burnout by doing all of this too quickly? I don't really know, I guess. Everyone travels a different road, so to speak, toward their goals. And I love running. No, I loooooooooooove running. I love everything about. I love the long miles, the hills, the track, the trail, everything. I love staring at my training calendar, absolutely giddy with anticipation for the day my training runs push me further than I have ever run before. Running is my thing.

I have had a few little aches and pains ever since I started running. It was my shins on and off, and I dealt with those. Then my piriformis for a little bit, but that went away and never came back. And then my hamstring, which is still a bit of a bother but nothing big. And now my IT band. I don't know if the history of issues is a bad or good sign . . . yes, I had them, but I dealt with them and they no longer interfere with my running (or they never really did).

Now, however, the sentiment is out there, looming over me. Someone I trust thinks I am putting myself at too great a risk to continue down this marathon path right now. I want more than anything to prove her wrong, but only time will tell.


  1. Oh I am so sorry! I definitely was in your shoes 2 years ago and did all the same things you are. I took about 6 weeks off of running and then gradually built back up using minimal shoes and really correcting my form. I think my shoes were definitely part of the problem and once I adapted to minimal shoes I have had zero problems for 1.5 years. But foam rolling and strength training are also very helpful. It is possible to keep your cardio fitness by spinning and using an eliptical or swimming while you take time off of running- if you rest now you still have time to prepare for your marathon. Good luck!!

    1. Thank you, Tiffany. I hope that this all helps. Definitely will be talking to my new PT about shoes and form.

  2. Speaking of anti-inflammatories & alternative treatments. If you are interested/haven't tried already, you can take curcumin (the spice: turmeric found in Indian foods) as a natural anti-inflammatory that is not hard on your organs like Ibuprofen. You can get it at Pharmaca. I take it daily and it does seem to help. Hope the pain goes away soon.

    1. Interesting about the curcumin. I will definitely look in to that, thank you!


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