Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ghost of Injury Past

I knew when before I declared it that 100 miles in April was a lofty goal. I even admitted it was. And considering my mileage since the beginning of the year has been low, it was not only a lofty goal, but kind of stupid….at least according to my IT Band.

Sunday marked the one-third point of the month (and after my 9 miler, I would hit 30 miles thus far for the month, or 1/3,…right on target to hitting 100). I headed out Sunday morning around 7am for a 9 mile run. It was beautiful out. Sunny and perfectly clear, but not yet hot. Miles 1, 2, and 3 ticked by and I was holding a 9:30-11 min pace! 9:30??? Yep! Go me!! Anyways, after mile 3 my knee started to ache so I slowed down and incorporated some short walking breaks to alleviate the pressure on my knee. The pain subsided and I was feeling good again…until mile 6…

All of a sudden that dull achy pain turned into a sharp burning pain. The only other time I experienced this was when I pulled my IT Band last year. Well, there it was, the ghost of injury past coming back to haunt me. I should have known better than to increase my mileage as much as I did. And why oh why did I decide to run 100 miles this month?? Again…lofty/stupid.

The last three miles of my 9 miler consisted of me hobbling down the street back to my house. The ratio was reversed now…more walking…little running. I had a sports massage scheduled for that afternoon and I was so looking forward to having my IT Band worked on. There was no way I was going to be out of running like I was last year. That was miserable.

My sports massage was great. Man oh man was my IT Band tender! My hip flexors and adductors too! Yowers! Anyways, my masseuse worked on me and it hurt like hell but felt SO good afterwards!

Monday my IT Band was feeling good. No knee pain. Around the afternoon however, my knee started to hurt. By the time I walked down to my car I was limping and screeching in pain. I couldn’t walk one foot without a blinding pain shoot through my leg. I hobbled the 200 yards to my car stopping along the way to rest my knee, and once I was home I foam rolled then iced. I literally couldn’t walk or put pressure on my left knee. I remembered when I was in physical therapy for my ITB Syndrome last year, the day after was the worst…it would take about 24 hours for the deep massaging of the muscle fibers to set in and then the soreness would sink in. Ugh.

I took Monday and Tuesday off, and today my knee is feeling much better. I have an appointment with my trainer tonight, and I’ll make sure to take it easy. As for my “100 miles in April,” that obviously will not happen. I’m not going to risk injury. Instead I’m going to cut it in half and shoot for 50. Maybe 60 next month, 70 the following, and so on and so on? I’m not sure. But for now I’m going to aim for a few 2-3 milers during the week and a 4-5 miler on the weekend and hit 50 miles for the month. Ghost of ITB Syndrome past…it’s time for you to move on now!

What do you do to prevent or nurse injury?


  1. Bummer on the injury ... my best suggestions are to listen to your body and shut it down even if you don't want. Stretch after every run — I've had knee problems as a result of tight hamstrings. Those tight hamstrings affected my gait and that caused some problems. Also, if you want to build up your miles, do it gradually. No more than a 10% increase from your previous increase in any run or week, and if you do that three weeks in a row, cut down 25% in the fourth week.

    As for now, ice and advil. That's my recipe ... get better!

  2. UGH! SO frustrating right??? I'm really sorry. And hey, don't beat yourself up about biting off too much. As runners, we often get so excited it's hard NOT to plan beyond our means!! I definitely understand. In any case, I totally agree with Sam^^ just listen to your body and remember what you've said in this post: that you'd rather keep running than reach for possibly unattainable goals!

    Some things I've changed in my own running to prevent knee/hip pain: new more minimalist shoes (Newtons) that I'm breaking in very slowly (up to 1.25mi each run so far) as well as SHORT STRIDES! I think these are the UTMOST important to keeping my legs feeling SO much better! Try for 180 steps per minute. So 60 per foot. A lot of songs are 180 beats/min so that helps :D If your feet are landing too far in front of your body, it's too much impact on the wrong parts of your legs!

    Anyway, rest up and I hope you feel better soon!!

  3. Thirding Sam's comment. Take care, girl!

  4. Oh no, stinkin' ITB!!! Grrr... I fourth Sam's comment. Ice ice ice, foam role foam role foam role. And take time off for sure. It's crazy how those things can just sneak up on you out of no where. I hope it gets better ASAP for ya! PS. I love all the fun pictures from the 5k :) especially the orange slice one!

  5. ditto here..increased from 34-50kms per week over two weeks and bingo..past ankle tendonitis returns..too much too back to the start and creep up very carefully