It was bound to happen sooner or later and with all the training I’ve been doing sooner was more like IT. IT is as you may have guessed, some minor and irregular discomfort on the outside corner of my knee cap. It’s been bothering me for a few days but infrequently. Since my 10 mile race on Sunday following a dose of Ibuprofen, I thought it felt better at least I had no pain. When I say pain I really mean uncomfortable and sudden twinges that are painful for a moment…stairs or if I put pressure on the knee leaning or getting up from sitting mainly. When I’m at work or walking or just not running I’m fine. Yesterday I went for a run and not 50 feet out of the gate what felt like a sudden shard of glass poking my knee caused me to hop and interrupt my motion for a moment. It didn’t happen again but it did make me think to look it up to see what it could be even though I had a pretty good idea already. Sure enough I didn’t have to look far before I found the obvious, IT Band Syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka IT Band Syndrome, shows up when the outside ligament running down the thigh (hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. The IT band is attached to the knee and assists in stabilizing the joint. When it isn’t working properly, running and sometimes knee movement becomes uncomfortable and even painful. If it isn’t monitored a happy runner can be taken off the road for quite a while. Funny thing is that when you look it up on Google the first thing it says is to stop running. LOL it’s almost like getting yelled at by the doctor.
So I’ll do some adjustments like taking today off from running and making it a Tabata strength training day which in order since I try to do it every other day if possible. Riding my bike is a great and recommended alternative in addition to swimming which I just haven’t found the time to add into my jam packed fitness schedule. Hopefully a day off is all it needs. I’m also proactively taking Ibuprofen for inflammation despite the fact that at the moment my legs don’t feel swollen nor does my knee feel tight. Better safe than sorry. I have so much going on this year in terms of races that I have to monitor regularly and modify whenever I can if I need to so I can make it to the end of the running season. Yes, I take the winter off from racing. I just don’t like winter races much but 8 – 9 months of the year I go at it hard so I need to be careful. I
Since it just showed up all of a sudden and since my running shoes are just about ready to be changed out, I’m going to try that to see if maybe it was caused by end of life gear. This time I’m going to try a pair of New Balance to see if I like them. I have been a devoted Saucony disciple nearly exclusively give or take a few Reeboks and Asics here and there. My friend runs in New Balance and loves them so we’re going to head over and see if we can find a pair we like. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was indeed caused from needing to change the guards so to speak. We’ll see and advise. Till then…
For more information about causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment of IT Band Syndrome you can read this article from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome
You know what you know but sometimes you have to take what you know and apply it outside where you know it. I for example, know that a Gatorade – water mix is great for my races but I don’t usually apply Gatorade to my everyday runs. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of where we think things belong and don’t take a minute to think about where else they might be good. This summer feels so hard running for me. My everything swells up now especially my legs. It happens when I sit on a stool and when I’m out running in the heat. This weekend I decided to run with straight Gatorade. I wasn’t sure about doing that …what if I needed water instead? I don’t like to carry anything with me on my runs but will in the heat or a run longer than say 6 miles. Forget running with two things, one for each hand…that’s like running in shackles for me. Not happening. I decided to risk it and go Gatorade only. What happened? I had a much better run that’s what happened! I learned that I need straight Gatorade in the heat. I felt better, still stopped at every mile to take a sip but not for long and I didn’t feel totally wiped out when I was done. Gatorade isn’t for everyone but it is for me! I love running lessons because they make me stronger and a better runner overall. so now it’s on to how do I make my chubby little legs feel lighter and move with more ease. I don’t think that one is as easy for a short stubby Ukranian but it can’t hurt to try!
Today it is cold…YEP 24 freezing degrees out and colder with nasty Mr. Wind factor! When i left the house for work it was 13 degrees. I packed my running bag with mid day run stuff (lots of layers) as well as my outfit for my tentative evening class at the gym. It was scheduled to warm up to a tolerable temperature (24) and in all fairness I have run in 19 degrees so 24 is no problem with the right layering strategy. So lunchtime rolls around and I head up to change into my multi-layered all to ridiculous, pom pom hat bearing, tight donning, double underarm wearing outfit. After all it’s a regular off season mid week run that I have set at 3 miles. I’ve decided that I’m not straying from this number. It is OFF season and there is no reason to stray from the number I was putting up mid week even during training. So I finally finish layering up and feel a little like Ralphie from A Christmas Story:
Maybe not quite this “fluffy” but nonetheless a bit more rotund than I was before I went up to change! So lets see: tights (no not fancy running tights but plain old fashioned old lady who doesn’t want to get cold in the winter tights), socks, running pants, bra top, under armour #1, under armour #2, lined wind breaker, gloves, neck muffler, bandanna all topped off with a silly looking but ever so effective goofy pom pom hat with long sides and ties! Whew that took way too long to pull on. I’m now re-evaluating my thought of ever buying compression socks because not only do I think they look STUPID now thanks to Brooke Kreder I know they take entirely too long to put on! LOL
So I’m all garbed up with my music cascading out of my ear buds that are jammed into my phone which is stuck down with the girls. I stretch and out from one of the sales cubes pops the head of my friend and colleague Nicole. Now Nicole has the greatest hair in the world. It is this awesome red Ombre hair. I call it liquid sunset and it’s just perfect. I of course could never pull that off so I have to secretly be in love with hers. She knows it and laughs at me but it’s so awesome to look at! See for yourself! Sorry I digress!
Ok, so Nicole pops her head out of her cube and she looks something like this as she exclaims ” You are NOT going out today right? You are CRAZY!”
To which another person parrots the same Crazy statement to which I just simply say “You gotta do it ya know.” I now feel a little like William Wallace heading out into battle with my peeps thinking “you’re crazy”! but OK. I smile because now I feel that although heading out into 24 degrees just to say I did my stupid 3 miles that could have been done on the dreadmill (only if I HAVE TO) may be a little insane, it is something others won’t do, didn’t do and some can’t do. I feel a little special. I might just get my own autograph…ok no I won’t but it’s kinda like that.
The run wasn’t bad at all because I was properly dressed and didn’t go overly fast. Garmin says my first mile was 8:05 but that would be a lie, I just can’t prove it right now. I do NOT run 8:05 not yet anyway. I don’t care if it were 9:05 or 9:35 because today was just about sticking to my plan and getting it done.
I will say that I scrapped my evening class but I’m ok with that because I already went on a run today and I have an incredible sense of accomplishment for not having quit just because it wasn’t perfect..what run is? not many.