I am excited because I finally get to go for a run tomorrow. The last time I ran, or did any type of cardio for that matter, was on August 7. I have had an ongoing issue since April or May with what I thought was my knee, but turned out to be my IT band. I was told my only approved cardio was biking or swimming. I decided to not do any cardio and let my body rest. I was also given a protocol for what I needed to do to get better. I was supposed to be doing this stuff everyday. In all honesty, I have not done the work everyday. So I am nervous that I am going to go for a run, and nothing will have changed. I guess I will only have myself to blame.
Two weeks ago I couldn’t even rest on the foam roller, it literally would take my breath away and nearly bring me to tears. I know my IT band has loosened up some as the foam roller doesn’t hurt as much, but I think it still has a long way to go. I have also been using a rolling pin which has come in handy. The good news is I am no longer limping when I walk.
It’s hard to believe that I finished my first half on July 4th pain free, and haven’t really been able to run since. The doctor said it was probably the adrenaline that got me through without pain, but I wasn’t even in pain afterwards. Since then I have only run about 10 times, the farthest being 3.9 miles, and I was in pain nearly every one of those runs.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a test run to see how far I can make it before any pain sets in. I could usually run about 1.5-2.5 miles before the pain would kick in. Being as stubborn as I am I would try to run through the pain, only making things worse. So I am anxious for tomorrow, but excited. I have a 5k on Thursday night, and depending on how things go tomorrow I may just be walking the 5k. I also have the Twin Cities 10 miles on October 2, which I really want to be able to run. At this point I don’t care how slow I am, I just want to be able to run without pain.
These past two weeks have been a challenge, especially on the nice days that I saw others out running. So I really hope the rest and stretching will have made a difference. I have definitely learned the importance of foam rolling, stretching, and having strong glutes. It’s just so much easier to go run, and not have to worry about doing anything else. I’ve learned that those “other” things are no longer optional, unless I want to be on the sidelines for weeks or months at a time. My philosophy was always “if I can still run then it must not be that bad.” Lucky for me, it was only an IT band issue. Others aren’t so lucky.
I know a few runners who are like me…they will take a day or two off and go right back to running with an injury. It’s hard to stop, but sometimes it is the only thing that is going to help. I feel like I have lost all of the momentum I had before and after finishing the half. The good news is that I pinpointed the problem, figured out what was causing it, and what I need to do to correct it. So if you are running with a potential injury, listen to your body. It would be really sad to see all of your hard work and training go to waste because you are too injured to run on race day. Like my barefoot running friend told me, “there is nothing heroic about running a race injured.” It’s going to catch up with you. The only question is do you deal with it now or do you deal with it later? I can almost guarantee that the longer you wait to deal with it, the longer your running will have to be put on hold.
Here’s to happy, safe, and injury free running!