If you’ve been following my blog, you’re aware that I’ve been having some knee issues for awhile. It started with minor irritation just inside of my left knee cap, which only surfaces after running for several miles, then subsides after a mile or two. Then, during the Stone Mill 50 Miler, I experienced some fairly string pain directly on the outside of the same knee. Then, after a few weeks of relaxing, it immediately came back after a few minutes of running, the diagnosis, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for a few weeks ago, and have been doing twice daily stretches, with little improvement in running, that is, until today.
I am two weeks out from the Disney World Marathon, and haven’t been able to really run in 6 weeks (SM50). I was determined to get in a good distance, no matter if it was mostly walking or not. I elected to stay around the house, just in case my knee acted up, and to go out very cautiously and just see what happened. I told Jen I had no idea how long I was going for, I might be back quickly, or a few hours. Thankfully, it ended up being the latter.
Typically, when I do a run/walk, I prefer to do a longer run interval, but with the nature of ITBS, I thought a short interval might be better, so I went with 1:00/1:00. Also, I found my knee compression sleeve, that I haven’t run with since SM50. I don’t know which did the trick, but I made it eight miles with my ITBS acting up only during the last quarter mile, and that was because I dropped the run/walk for straight running. It only slightly acted up, at that.
The one drawback, the original minor irritation did surface about mile 4, but only lasted about half a mile before going away. Other than that, and the fact it was FREEZING out, the run went quite well. I went out at a conservative speed, and picked it up some the last half. I ended up just shy of 13 minute miles. Yeah, nowhere near what I’d like, but definitely good enough to finish Disney where I must maintain at least a 16 minute pace.
Today was an encouraging run after nearly a month of disappointment. I’m anxious to tell my physical therapist and see what she thinks it was, the stretches, the knee support, or the shorter intervals, probably a combination of all three. I’ll take it either way.
Tonight, I picked up “The Stick” to give a try at loosening up my it band even more. I have a foam roller, but it’s cumbersome to use. I’ve heard good things about “The Stick” so we’ll see!
Lastly, to get an idea of how I was able to stay within half a mile of our house, while running eight miles, here’s my Runkeeper track of today’s run. Just look at all those twists and turns! A good run to end the year, as I highly doubt I’ll be getting in another run tomorrow!