I am…rebounding from a bummed left IT.
On Saturday after my half marathon, I could feel slight tightness and pain on my left IT. This is the opposite leg of my previous IT injury. I iced, rolled, and repeated all Saturday and took off Sunday. When I ran on Monday, the legs felt fine and I repeated the cycle to be extra cautious. I went out on Tuesday for a 5 mile easy run and some circuit training. About 3.75 miles into my run, I could feel the oh so familiar pressure and uncomfortable pain that the IT band causes when tight. The pain slowly increased until the end of my 5 miler I stopped and realized I should have stopped when I first felt the pain.
After declaring my return to higher mileage, I made the most bomb schedule for the next few weeks. I am still so excited to execute it – more excited than any running plan I’ve set up for myself. My love for running returned when I took away this huge weight and stress of having to hit those paces on the scheduled days when you feel like crap. Running is my stress relief and should not be a cause of stress. I have so many goals for myself, but I just need to set myself up for them and be at a comfortable place with running.
With the twinge in my left IT, I have to realize that it has been 2 months since I’ve had a 40+ week and have to work to get to that point. Going from 3-4 days a week to 5-6 days a week cannot happen overnight and I think my IT being tight is a blessing in disguise not to jump right back up there and put possible other strains on my body that cannot be eased by a rolling and icing routine. Through a gradual re-introduction into running, I’ll feel more prepared for a summer full of those handful of good runs (scattered among less than stellar ones haha). I keep repeating “Be patient.”
I had another nice easy 5 miler on schedule, but after yesterday, it was a smart move to be okay with not letting that happen and to hope that by using this day to continue the recovery routine, that tomorrow I’ll feel even better out there. I thought I’d look back and present some lessons I’ve known when faced with a hiccup in one’s plan.
- Planning to succeed. When planning to build back up, introduce slowly. Don’t plan to be ready to do runs 5 days a week at higher mileage when you’ve been doing 3 days a week at lower mileage. It will lead to injury.
- Listen to your body. If it is telling you to stop, then stop. Running to “make it go away” won’t solve the problem.
- Be proactive. For a month I sat on my behind and complained about not being able to do something. Instead, I should have started looking up options for recovery and what works.
- Compliments. Find something that can compliment that activity, and even help you recover. Yoga and circuit training are what I have been turning to in the meantime while I build back up. Increasing strength and flexibility can help in recovery and prevention of injury, especially to the hips 🙂
- Know where you are running. (Specific to IT) Areas of slanted roads or continual up and down of driveways can put stress on one hip and cause pain to return. If I know I am running on a road that may be slanted, I try to run where it is even and that is usually in the middle of the path, or I hop onto the street to avoid the driveways or uneven sidewalk. Every little bit helps and yesterday I forgot about that as I was in residential area.
For those who had faced an injury that set them back, what advice can you offer?
Cue: Inhale. Patience. Exhale…(Repeat.)