A Close Call…


Running injuries SUCK. I feel like i’ve been talking about ITBS syndrome since last spring, but I wanted to give a detailed report on what happened to me recently and how I’m handling it this time around. I just hope this might help someone who is dealing with an injury. Just remember, you are NOT alone.

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I asked her to try and look sad with me…

A couple weeks ago on December 5th, i felt an all-too-familiar pain on the outside of my knees. I didn’t want to believe it, but the IT band pain was hinting at a return. Because I’ve already had ITBS, I know what that specific pain feels like and it was easy to make the decision to stop mid-run, go home, address the issue and try to sidestep a repeat injury.

Yes, I did stop 2.5 miles into a long run and turned around even though i wanted, craved and needed a long run. Deciding to do the smart thing and walk home was actually easy. The hard part was trudging that long distance home feeling defeated, frustrated and concerned about what I could have possibly done wrong.

Here are my tips and what I did this time around. I feel like I came really close to an injury again, and playing it smart paid off. Just 10 days after the initial IT band pain and i’m already on the comeback and ran pain free three times this week!

  1.  Stop running & start strengthening I’ve read from multiple sources that you cannot beat IT band pain by just taking time off of running. You have to strength train and get your glutes, hips, hamstrings, and lateral (side to side) movement in gear! (check out these exercises)
  2. Cross train if no pain Rowing & the stairmill have become my best friends for cardio when I can’t run. And they offer little to no impact on the joints which is crucial for ITBS. Try and stay away from machines that closely imitate running, i.e. the elliptical. And of course, stop if you feel pain!
  3. Stretch & Foam Roll Check out this video: IT Band Hell This gave me a TON of new ways to stretch and an interesting insight about NOT foam rolling directly on the IT Band.
  4. Avoid hills and downhill running when you begin your “test runs” Start on the treadmill. Boring yes, but you will thank yourself if you need to bail on a run and don’t have to cry in defeat on your walk back. Plus, on the treadmill you can go with little to no incline and no downhill running which aggravates this injury.
  5. Be grateful Your body is extremely good at giving signals when something is wrong. Don’t ignore it. Enjoy the time off, sleep in, and change up your exercise routine so you will be 100% happy and healthy for your comeback.

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Last Week 

Monday: 5 Rounds: 250m row, 20 thrusters 30#, 45 sec side plank each side + 2.2m walk

Tuesday: 20 min stairmill, 1 mile easy 9:15/pace (no pain!), 1 mile walk

Wednesday: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 10 walkout pushups, 12 hot salsa lunges, 15 hip hikes/each leg + 1 mile walk

Thursday: 3m easy 9:22/pace (no pain)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5m easy 8:50/pace, 10min abs (no pain)

Total Miles: 9

I hope this is helpful–feel free to comment with any advice on how to handle injuries or what to do when you’re down for the count.

Author: She's Going the Distance


11 thoughts on “A Close Call…

  1. This is really a great reminder. I think repeat injuries can be one of the most frustrating things because you feel like you did everything you were supposed to do to get healthy and you don’t want to stop running again. But if anything we need to learn from our mistakes the first time around. I have luckily (knock on wood) never had IT band issues. But there was a run a few years ago when I started to feel calf pain and walked 2 miles home (I was 2 miles into a 10 mile run). Not a fun feeling, but definitely the smarter thing to do. The better option would have been finding someone to give me a ride home:)

    • this is the first time in almost 9 years of consistent running that’s ive dealt with it and it’s awful! my least favorite running injury. (although knock on wood–i’ve never had plantar fascitis and i hear that’s bad).

  2. You did the smart thing! Actually, just this week, I felt a weird bit of pain in my leg that reminded me of my stress fracture 10-ish years ago. It happened so long ago, I’m not sure if the pain is the same, but I’ve been watching it really carefully/borderline obsessively since then. The pain has gone away completely, so I’m going to try my speed workout on Tuesday and see how it feels afterwards.

  3. WHEW! So glad you listened to your body and didn’t get hurt! AND that you took all you have learned and put it into practice!

    It is funny how we worry over and care about our blog-friends … I celebrate victories (like your marriage this year) and cringe over injuries and sickness (I have another blog friend who has been sick and injured slightly and basically hasn’t run in 3 weeks after dropping out of a marathon mid-way!). So I hope you stay healthy! 🙂

    Also, love the pictures with LE … she’s a much better poser than our little terriers 🙂

  4. I have been struggling with ITBS since October. I think it’s getting better and I have been able to run short amounts pain free but I’m supposed to start marathon training like NOW and I’m nervous to but also getting excited that I might be able to.

  5. Very smart to call it quits on the run and let yourself heal. We can all learn a lesson from this!

  6. Very helpful! Thanks!

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