Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cranky Iliotibial Band and change of plan.

RUNS: Runs. Let me just tell you about runs. Since we last spoke a week ago. I decided to run over 26 miles on the Appalachian Trail with a couple of friends. Thought it would be a good training run since I didnt do the planned 50k the week before. Well...I ended up injuring my Ilitibial Band. For those of you who dont know, the ITB runs from basically your hip to your knee. And when the ITB gets inflamed it can cause incredible knee pain (see here for more info).
Appalachian Trail at Boiling Springs
I have been dealing with some knee tightness over the past couple of weeks. Pretty much since Labor Pains 45 mile run. I knew it was my ITB and thought I had it under control with rolling and stretching. This past week my runs were awesome and pain free. I had no reason to worry (to much anyway).

We took off on our run Saturday morning and it was below freezing out with frost on the ground. Love it! Totally my kind of running weather. We run an out & back part of the AT that is not very hilly and rocky except in a few sections. So I thought it would be perfect for a long run. Everything was going great and at mile 8 our friend turned around to head back to the car (this would be her longest run). Sheri and I continued on.

At mile 10 is Scotts Farm aka bathroom and water stop. We quickly decide to press on for a few more miles. I thought I was feeling fine at this point except for some knee tightness. We continue to head north for 3 more miles to our planned turn around. The last mile is pretty hilly and rocky but we want to get to that 13 mile mark. We do. And we stopped for a minute to snack. I decide I better take some ibuprofen because my knee is starting to feel quite tight.

As soon as we start moving again I can tell I have a problem. Going down that rocky hill was really hurting my knee. At one point I had a shooting pain that about stopped me in my tracks. I started limping forward and Sheri suggested I stop and stretch. I did. That made it worse. I panicked for a minute wondering how I was going to make it the 13 miles back to the car with this pain! But then it seemed to loosen enough that I returned to a decent pace until we got back to Scotts Farm water stop.

We stopped long enough to refill, snack and sign the AT book. Again, once I started moving I was in alot of pain and very stiff. Eventually it loosened again and I was running err...shuffling along. At this point I told Sheri not to let me stop again! Soon enough I could feel the ibuprofen doing it job and for the remainder 10 miles back to the car were a mix of running, shuffling, ouchy ouches, and walking. But I kept moving!

We managed to finish the 26.2 miles in a little over 6hrs. This, btw, was Sheri's longest run ever. Here she is finishing up the last .2 of her first ever unofficial trial marathon!

I knew my knee was in bad shape but as is typical with ITB pain...once the run was over, the knee pain was gone. My knee was still stiff but no really painful. That is until a few hours later when I finally got to sit on my couch for more then a minute. I went to get up and the pain was there. Big time.
Yeah. Thats where it hurts.
So in the 3 days since. I have been icing, rolling, stretching and ibuprofen (Saturday and Sunday only). On Tuesday I started a Medrol Dosepak (Methylprednisolone) to help with the inflammation since I was still having quite a bit of pain. And by the second dose the pain is almost entirely gone. Yay!

Now it is time to rehab this darn thing. I have a plan in the works for the rest of the year which totally changes my goals. I am about 99% sure that I will NOT be running Stone Mill 50miler.

If you have been following along you know that I am turning 40 in November and was planning to run Stone Mill the week before my birthday. I knew this may have been a stretch for me and now I am sure that I would be able to do it but at what cost?!

I am going to hold off for my first 50 miler until the spring. Its the smart thing to do.

EATS: Since I added this section of my blog when I started training for Stone Mill I will tell you that the goals here will change as well. I am going to go into weight loss mode instead of just eating to train and fuel my run mode.

The fact is, the more mileage I run...the more my weight seems to go up as well! Not good. Its probably from eating lots of this...
Cooked mixed grains. Peanut Butter. Agave.
When I need to be eating more of this...
Haha. Half kidding. You know what I mean. I will continue eating all of the delicious variety of foods that are good for me but in more reasonable portions. I am going to use the app MyFitnessPal to keep track of my calories for awhile.

I will expand on my new goals in the next post. Stay tuned!

Do you count calories?



  1. Oh gosh sorry to hear about your IT band! I've been having some hip issues recently and have been wearing Aspaeris Pivot shorts and they've helped a ton. Not sure if they would help you or not, but they are supposed to be good for that area of the body and keeping the knee in line. It sounds like you are being smart about your training and races. I had to skip my first 50 this past June and push it to this fall. You will get there eventually!

    1. Thanks Kristin! I think I remember you talking about those shorts. I may need to check them out!

  2. Stacey,
    So sorry to hear about this. I struggle constantly with the IT band issue myself. Any time I let my guard down it is likely to flare up. I have two things to suggest that might help. One is that my core issue was actually weak glutes. I now do strengthening exercises regularly for those, and it seems to be improving things. Also, while you are rehabbing I would like to suggest that you try Rock Tape. I use a strip down my IT band and another around the knee to hold things in place. It has helped me get through some long runs (including a trail marathon) during my recovery. I have posts on both of those over on my blog if you wanted to check either idea out further. Good luck with your recovery. Good luck on rehabbing and hope you can find a good replacement 50 miler!

    1. I knew this 50M would be a stretch right now but I thought I could make it through. I will be starting strength training next week!
      I already have a 50M in mind for the spring ;-)