After taking three weeks off post 50 miler, I tried to ease back into running, hoping the knee pain I experienced during the race would be gone…it wasn’t. That first run I made it about 1/2 a mile. I had just started physical therapy, so the next session I discussed this with the therapist, and was diagnosed with IT band syndrome, along with the previous weak hip flexors and tight hamstrings.
I’ve since been a stretching fool. I’ve noticed quite a bit of progress on the hamstrings, at least with leg raises and touching my toes. I’ve tried running a few more times. First, I made it almost a mile before noticing it, then at the 1.5 mile mark, I decided to stop. It’s better than the 1/2 mile before, but far from recovered. Next, I got KT taped at physical therapy, and was able to go 2 miles before it started bothering me, stopping at 2.25 miles. More progress, but I was hoping the taping would give me far more relief. I did notice the tape seemed to be too high up though.
Today, the physical therapist said my it band is slowly loosening up. Yay! We tried some new exercises which I’ll be incorporating into my routine. Balancing is something I really need to work on as well, so that’s also on the agenda. I don’t intend to keep going to PT forever, but I’m thinking these stretches will become part of my routine exercises.
I've been giving the Disney World Marathon a lot of thought lately. As it stands, I'm doubting I'll be able to run the entire thing, unless my it band shows some great improvement over the next couple of weeks. That being said, I've not run much since mid November. Will I be able to handle that great of a distance with two months of little-to-no running, after coming off of a 50 miler? Who knows. Therefore, I've made a command decision.
The race time limit is a 16 minute per mile pace. If I speed walked it, I should be able to still finish the race even without running. I’m hoping for the IT band to be better, but I can’t count on that, and without getting in much training, I wouldn’t want to push running too much on it. Therefore, I’ve decided to kick into gear with speed walking. My it band doesn’t bother me with walking, so I think I can get some decent speed walk distances in over the next few weeks, and come race day, does as much running as possible, with speed walking when/if the pain hits. This certainly isn’t my ideal, but I’ll take it. After that, I’ve got four months to prep for the Blue Ridge Marathon. That should be plenty of time for my IT band to fully heal, and train back up to run it strong.
Time to get my speed walking on!