Coach, I think I’m on the injured reserve…

Merry Christmas a little late everyone! I hope everyone had a good one and that you enjoyed lots of time with friends and family. I sure did. There was a lot of eating and celebrating and hanging out which was great. I also got a really special combination virus/bacterial infection that knocked me out for the better part of last week but thanks to the miracle of drugs, I’m better. And somehow I got all my Christmas shopping done without shopping online, entering a mall or a Best Buy or a Target. I win.

I wish I could say that everything was going well when it comes to my running but the truth is, and it pains me more than you know to admit this, but I think I’m on the injured reserve list for a little while. My IT band on my left side is so tight and painful that I actually had to call my mom to come and get me during my run this morning. After 4 miles. I honestly could not take the pain any longer. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a special injury- a total classic presentation of symptoms: pain at the knee after 2-3 miles that stretches the length of the IT band and feels better once you stop and much better after stretching. But wow, that hurt. I have a high pain tolerance (not exaggerating here– I broke my arm and didn’t know it) but wow this was awful.

Now, I’m kind of a jerk. I have NO sympathy for whiny runners or people who claim, “it hurts.” The fact of the matter is that we have chosen a painful sport. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re doing it wrong. However, there is a difference between hurt because your muscles are sore and tight and you are working hard and hurt because you are injured. I believe I’m an experienced enough runner to know now that this is “hurt because I’m injured.” As awful as it is, this isn’t something I can just run through. And, if I’m honest, it’s hurt since CIM. Badly.

But anyway. My friend Leigh is a physical therapist who is an angel and came into the office on a Sunday to work on me which helped. He assured me that it’s not a special injury and just needs some time. I did some yoga and that helped stretch me out, but I guess I’m appealing to all ya’ll. Have any of you had an acute IT band issue? And if so, what in the world did you do to make it better? I DO NOT like it that I can’t really run faster than a 9:00 pace without a lot of pain and I REALLY DO NOT LIKE that I can’t run more than 3-4 miles at a time. I’ve stretched, I’ve foam rolled, I’ve iced… my ART doctor is on vacation for 2 weeks so… help a sister out here, please. I want to train hard. I want to PR. I don’t really want to run a marathon, but I want the option. I want to run without pain. Help!

Okay, hopefully the next post will be something like this: all my readers are geniuses and gave me the best advice ever and I just ran 23 miles at a 6:15 pace and I’m thinking about going to the Olympics, moving to Portland to train with Kara Goucher and I’ve signed a shoe contract with Nike.

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6 responses to “Coach, I think I’m on the injured reserve…

  1. Ha! You know the answer! Foam rolling – works! Rest – works! Not runnign so much for a while – works! I’m afraid you’ve got to get it sorted if it hurts like that .. You’ve got to give yourself the time and then you will be back – definitely. I had the worst time with injuries in 2008 with PWs all over the place. 2009 was my best year in running ever. You will get through this IF you allow yourself to heal up…

  2. Oh no honey bunny! I am sooo sorry! Unfortunately, I do not have the IT issue and am of no use to you in that regard. I will say though, when I have been injured with other parts, i.e. my hip, the only real thing I could do was rest, rest, and roll and stretch. It is so hard to stay side-lined but I know you can do it!
    And I totally see a Nike shoe contract in your future 😉

  3. It seems like I’ve had all injuries in the book except ITB, though at one time it really bothered me for about a week, so I’m no expert there other than all the things you’re doing are helpful. I know a sport massage therapist is crucial for all my ailments so since your ART therapist is out of town for two weeks, look for a regular sports therapist for the time being. I’d think the sooner the better to get a massage. Just remain positive and be smart!!!

    And I’m looking forward to the shoe contract and sub 6:15’s in the VERY near future for you 🙂

  4. I had the same problem while training for my first marathon… and honestly the only thing I could do was ice, foam roll (all the time) and stretch. It still hurt when I ran the marathon but has gotten to the point where it doesn’t hurt anymore. I did run 4 miles yesterday and my knee started hurting (I hadn’t run since CIM) so I foam rolled for 20 minutes at the gym this morning. Just give it time and keep stretching. There may be nothing to do more than that. Hope you feel better! And glad Leigh could help. I wish he lived with me sometimes… he’s so handy to have around. 🙂

  5. BOOOO. i hate the ITB – its just such a pain. hopefully a little rest will help it!

    when i had my IT problems i got a lot of great info on this post: http://runnersrambles.blogspot.com/2008/09/hello-it-band.html

    might be stuff you already know but just wanted to link it incase. hope you are back and running soon!

  6. I aggravated my IT band a couple of years ago 2 months before my marathon and had to bow out of it. I couldn’t run more than 1/4 mile without bad knee pain. Everything I read said that this was one of the injuries that you can’t “run through”. You have to rest it. My solution was to run on the treadmill until I felt the pain. I immediately stopped and went to the elliptical trainer and continued working out until I had my 45 minute workout in. Slowly but surely, I was able to run a little further without pain. It took almost 8 weeks for mine to completely subside. I had never used a foam roller before the injury, but became a believer after that. I’ve moved on to the Trigger Point kit now and use the quadballer on my IT bands regularly now. I haven’t had any recurrence since.

    Good luck!

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