Thursday, July 15, 2010

Iliotibial what??

Over the weekend I was out running and "tweaked" my knee.  It was sore but I pushed through it for the All-Star Charity 5K on Sunday.  On Monday I wanted to get in an easy run, but I could only run for about 3 minutes before the pain was excruciating.  With the San Francsico 1/2 less than 2 weeks away, I want to keep training but I didn't want to injure it further, so I rested Tuesday.

Yesterday I was stretching at work and i got a super sharp pain and decided it was time to see my Doc.  Good thing I did because it turns out I have Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or IT Band Syndrome.  IT what?  Well the IT band is a thick fibrous band of tissue that runs down the leg from the pelvic bone to below the knee joint and provides stability.  When inflamed, the band does not glide easily and there is pain.  Here is a site that provides a good overview and here is one that goes in to more detail including stretches to help reduce inflammation.  Or just Google it!

So basically here is the conversation with my Doc yesterday:
Doc:  "When is your half marathon, less than two weeks away?  Well you really should not be running it, you should cancel it now.  Let me ask you, is not running it an option?"
Me:  "Honestly?  Absolutely not an option."
Doc:  "Thought so.  You're addicted to training.  You'd try and run it even if I said no wouldn't you."  (He's laughing)
Me:  "Yep!"
Side note:  My Doc is a big runner himself so he understands.
Doc:  "Then here's what we're gunna do...I'm going to get you into Physical Therapy and I want you to go this week and two times next week before the race.  No running for the next week.  Next Wednesday see if you can run 3 miles.  Then Friday see if you can run 6.  If you can do that you can run the race that Sunday.  If not, you should not run.  (Me: grrrr).  I want you to take Motrin or Advil to reduce inflammation for the next two weeks.  And stretch.  Google ITB stretches, you'll find a ton."

I heard from a lot of people, including my Doc, that foam rollers work wonders.  I had it on my Wish List that I posted last week, so I went out and bought a 30" pink foam roller to do some IT Band stretching on.  I love this one, but it hurt like hell at first because I was so tender.
At this point all I'm thinking is 'there is no way I am not going to run San Fran.'  I'm running it with my best friend, my brother and my cousin.  I was the one who convinced my brother after lots of pleading to run it with me, so there is no way he is going to run that bad boy without me ;)
But for now I will listen to my Doc, and this next week will be a LOT of resting, stretching, and physical therapy.  I WILL be ready for San Fran in 10 days.
Dear Running Gods, help me heal quickly and be ready!  Thank you!



  1. The foam roller will do wonders. Also try to do lots of stretching like he recommended. I had this issue when I trained for my first marathon and I was terrified I wouldn't make it to the finish line, but I did.

    Good luck, girl! I'm sending you as much positive IT band healing energy as I can muster!

  2. Oh no! I hope it all goes as planned. You should check out my the last two posts I'm talking about the same thing as you. Looks like we're in the same boat. We'll get through this and you will run SF! Good luck!

  3. Take it easy Mags! Every now and then I'll have a little IT band pain and have to take it easy for a few days. Hope everything resolves in time to make it to SF.

  4. I think with all the PT you'll be ok for San Fran. Especially being so pumped on race day! Like when I had the stomach flu...under normal circumstances, no one could possibly run 13.1 miles with like 1000 total calories over a week floating in their system PLUS being dehydrated?? But because I was so determined, I let 'er rip!!! You will too, I have no doubt in my mind!!! Just keep up the TLC and you may even be BETTER than you normally would!