Monday, December 5, 2011

John Mellencamp said it best, it hurts so good

I've been spending a lot of quality time with my foam roller the past few days. And I can definitely say it's one of those love-hate relationships: I love the results, but oh boy do I hate that red piece of foam when I'm actually using it.
Let me back up.

Ever since I managed to fall off a 12-foot high wall and bang my knee at Tough Mudder - who am I kidding, running up and down a ski hill repeatedly probably didn't help either - I've been having issues with my IT band. Up through the Fox Cities Half Marathon in late September it would mostly bother me on long runs, usually once I hit Mile 8. It was never painful. It just got super tight. And of course then I'd start alter my stride. And it was just a bit cranky. But not so cranky that I couldn't keep running.

After setting that monster PR, I backed off on running in October and November. I still ran, but my "schedule" was one of those, eh, I'll run when I feel like it. And most of the runs were in the 3-5 mile range. On average I'd get 2 or 3 in a week. Nothing like the 30 mile weeks I was logging when I was running 5-days per week.

Well I've started back up with a training plan. And I don't know if it was the crazy downhill with the Santa Scamper, the longer Turkey Trot, the increase in mileage or a combination of all of them, but the last two weeks my IT band has been ANGRY.

And I got worried. Let's just say it hurt and bothered me so much during Thursday's 3-mile treadmill run that I was thisclose to just hitting stop sometime around 2 miles and quitting. And of course it wasn't just the IT band, but also a spot in my lower inside calf. And it hurt to walk out of the YMCA. I was almost in tears on the way home and of course in my mind I'm thinking stress fracture and boot was in my future.

But a rest day and a long, slow run with my friend Myriah on Saturday helped. She's battling a knee injury herself, so I was able to pick her brain about IT bands and what to do. But perhaps the best part is that neither of us was opposed to sprinkling walk breaks throughout our run. It definitely wasn't the fastest 5-miles I've run, but it felt good considering the circumstances.

And Myriah's advice (which was what I was expecting): Foam Roll. A lot. And schedule a massage with the sports massage therapist that we both see.

So that's what I've been doing. And tonight's run wasn't awful. It actually felt pretty good. And the IT band is a tiny bit cranky tonight post-run, but more of a grumble, not a full fledged temper tantrum like last Thursday.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a date with my foam roller for a torture session.


Chris @ Heavy Steps said...

I guess I am lucky that I have not had to have a date with the foam roller yet. I have heard it does wonders! Get healed up quick!

Myriah said...

I just love reading your posts. I always have to read a few weeks at a time, but they are so much fun to keep up on! Glad you are foam rolling! :)