Today’s 15 miler was fast. I mean blazing fast. I ended up running it in 2 hours and 10 min, which is a much faster pace than how I usually run my long runs. Yahoooooooo!
See, I’ve been rehabbing my left knee for a little over a week. Right after the Monument 10k last weekend, I started to feel a twinge on the outside of my left knee, a symptom of Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS).
As you can see the IT band runs from the outside of the knee all the way up to the hip. A tight IT band is typically the culprit if you are having any kind of knee or hip pain (unless it’s patellofemoral pain or runners knees, something I struggle with as well). My ITBS is most likely not a result of just my running. I’ve been upping my training for the White Lake Half Ironman coming up, which has meant more biking. The continuous pedal motion has really seemed to irritate both IT bands, but the left one in particular.
So flash forward to today’s run. I’ve been itching to resume running all week but held off to give my knee some time to heal. I’ve also been icing, foam rolling, and stretching in addition to biking and swimming (I didn’t stop the biking; this may or may not have been a smart idea). After having some insomnia last night, I woke up this morning feeling a bit out of it. I was afraid I’d feel tired or lethargic in my run so I knew I needed a good, but plain, breakfast (remember to eat some plain, easily digested food before long runs!). Oatmeal with some Nutella sounded perfect
After eating and digesting for little while, I drove out to my long running route, which isn’t very far from where I’ve been housesitting. After setting up my water bottles and parking my car I was ready to rock and roll. I started out fast and stayed that way. It wasn’t until the very end, around miles 12 or 13, that my knee started to have that “twinging” feeling again. By that point, though, I was so close to finishing that I just ran through it. I made sure to stretch a lot after the run and focused most on my left IT band. One of the best and easiest stretches for the IT band is to cross one leg over the other and reach down toward floor (you can also lean to the opposite side of the leg in the back, as I demonstrate in my apt below)
I have to admit that my knee hurts a bit now even when I walk, which tells me that I probably have a bit of bursitis. I’ve had this in my hip before and it feels very similar. Basically, we have these sacs of fluid that serve as cushions between our ligaments, tendons, and joints. When a ligament rubs excessively against one of these sacs, they can get inflammed (kinda gross I know; you can see this in the picture above). I’ve had the orthopedist give me a cortisone shot in the past so that could be a possible solution if this pain doesn’t go away in the next week. URGHhhhhh I hate the fact that I LOVE to run and I am so NOT biomechanically sound. Some people just are and they are soooo lucky!
I decided not to move around much the rest of the day…and what a beautiful day it was! Sunny and high 70s 🙂 I drove over to the soccer fields to sit with Sophie and watch my team play.
Sophie couldn’t stop smiling and running around. She was the center of attention! She also met a golden retriever friend