Mar 19, 2015

Not another injury, the ITBS edition

Yesterday was to be my longest run yet--20 miles.  But, at about mile 12 I started experiencing sharp pain in my hip and on the outside of my knee, so I stopped and stretched.  The pain persisted whenever I tried to go back to running and I was forced to make the call to cut my run short and walk awkwardly back the 3.5 miles to my car. 

I was thinking I would just finish the last 4.5 miles later that day.  I figured after refueling and a couple hours of rest that I'd be fine.  And later that day I did finish that 4.5 miles, but by the end my knee pain was excruciating!  It felt like a knife was digging into my hip and that my kneecap was about to burst off.  It was poor judgement on my part to continue running in spite of the pain.

When I got home, I stretched thoroughly, took a hot Epson salt soak in the tub, and applied KT tape to my knee and hip.  I then proceeded to ice the areas for the duration of an entire movie.  Although there was no swelling, the pain persisted.  I was hobbling around the house trying to keep my knee as straight as I could since bending it made me want to cry.  After talking to my best friend, who also is an experienced personal trainer, I figured I did something nefarious to my IT band.  I consulted with Doctor Google and my pain and symptoms match IT band syndrome.  I was to rest completely from running and keep my physical activity to the cross training variety--mainly cycling, rowing, swimming, and pool running.

Of course, the thoughts that were running through my head sounded similar to, "Rest from running?!?!?!  But I have two big races coming up!  One race is next weekend with the other my first marathon, Big Sur, at the end of April.  I need to keep training so that I can finish that race before the course cut off!  What am I to do?"

Then I thought, maybe I need to slow down with my training.  I know I haven't been taking enough quality rest days and that I've been pushing myself pretty hard lately.  Maybe I'm supposed to take just a few days off for some quality rest and recovery.  I prayed about my recovery, mostly that if the Lord willed it, that I would be recovered to complete my half-marathon next weekend and then be recovered enough to run my marathon in April well.  While I was praying, I felt--and I still feel--the Spirit testify to me that this will be so.  What a comforting feeling, and what a wonderful gift to have!  I'm so thankful for the gospel in my life and for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  This is such a small situation that I'm going through, but the Lord knows my that running is my passion and He is providing me a way to continue doing so. 

I know I'm still going to have to do those things that will help my IT band recover: rest, stretching, strength training, icing, and cross training (note: consult with a physician before you start any treatment methods).  Already after just a day of rest, I feel better.  The KT Tape is helping tremendously (here is the knee application, hip application for ITBS) as is the icing, but I'm still going to keep resting to ensure I won't aggravate any injuries.  I also know that as long as I'm doing all I can do to get better, the Lord will take care of the rest.  I look forward to my upcoming races, and as I run I will look to God with gratitude of the strength, endurance, and recuperation He has blessed me with.

IT Band Home Treatment Methods

IT Band Foam Rolling Technique

KT Tape IT Band Applications

ITBS Stretches

ITBS Strengthening Exercises

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