Monday, March 8, 2010

Reality check from the IT Band

This quote I found in a runner's world article pretty much sums up my personality with the way I feel:

"Dr. Pagliano describes most runners with ITB pain as "Type A's." "They run high mileage," he says. "They're not willing to back off, and they are willing to run through pain."

Yesterday, I thought I could run through the pain until my knee blew out around mile 11 and I faceplanted in the street. Yeah... I tried to do a walk-run sort of movement after that because I didn't want to stop. Every few steps it would trip me up again until I saw the coach not far ahead of me. He either saw me fall or just realized I was in alot of pain and told me to get in the car and ice my knee. Of course I'm stubborn and started crying and tried to convince him to let me keep running. I didn't win that one. He had me ice it for 15 minutes and drove me up the road a few miles so I wouldn't have as far to run. He was so encouraging, but I was just completely frustrated with myself and this reoccuring condition.

We were running the last leg of the Boston Marathon course equipped with lime green vest so we would stand out on the road. We started downtown by Copley, ran through where I live in Brookline, and then up past Newton. At nine miles there was a turn-around point where we headed back to Copley. At the turn-around I was in alot of pain. When we stopped for gaterade it didn't feel as bad and I convinced myself to keep up with my running partners and finish. As soon as we started running again I knew I would have to keep my mind of something...anything else. I fell behind, soon realizing I was going to have to run slow to prevent my leg from bending very much.

The IT Band is the Illiotibia Band that is a ligament that runs down the outside of the hip to the shin. My pain comes from the outside of the knee where the band becomes narrow and causes rubbing to occur between the band and the bone. This causes inflammation which I'm trying to control with IB Profen and ice. At about mile 11 it went from being an annoying child tapping me on the knee with a hammer, to an annoying child just being outright mean and whacking me with the hammer causing me to fall.

Don had me ice my knee and drove me into Brookline so I would have only three more miles to run to finish...this made my run only 14 miles instead of the 18 mile run I was hoping to do. It was painful to finish, but the ice helped immensely. I could feel the pain, but it was nowhere near what it was before. I finished back at Copley where over a hundred runners from Tufts and the John Hancock running team were finishing up what were for many, their longest runs yet. I was too disappointed to join in the excitement, but I was happy for our team members who had done so well. The team members I usually run with, completed 17 and 18 mile runs.

Since yesterday, I've realized that I need to take more preventative actions to keep this thing in check. More ice, medicine, stretching, and weekly therapy appointments. Last week, I had my first one where they performed was called the Graston tecnique. They warmed the IT Band and put some kind of solution on my leg. Then, they took what looked like the back of a knife and graded at my leg which is supposed to loosen the IT Band. It is very awkward and uncomfortable feeling but I think it helped.

The trainers that work with us are wonderful and even the coach came to my appointment to support me. They are used to runner's injuries and have great advice and knowledge to share. I refused to let this keep me from finishing, so I am going to do everything I can to get it under control.

This blog really has been therapeutic in helping me organize my thoughts and stay positive through my training. Thank you for reading this and keeping up with my journey. I am not used to being so far from home when I go through a challenge of this nature, and I really appreciate all the support. We are 41 days out from April 19th. I have a semi-long run next week and my longest on the 28th (18-20 miles). From there, I will taper off and rest until Marathon day. Next week I am going to try to run at a slower pace and see if that helps the pain. My competitive nature and runner's high always want to kick and make me run faster. I'm going to try to remember, however, that I'm not going for time. I just want to finish the marathon successfully and without any injuries.

It was truly a gorgeous day and we actually had to shed layers on the course! You can tell which picture was taken toward the end..I have a rather painstaking look on my face. But we are fortunate to have such a great coach who helps us document our runs by taking pictures and provides us with so much support and encouragement. A huge thank you to Don Megerle:)

This picture really doesn't need a caption...but it was taken downtown in Back Bay about a half mile to the finish.


Elsa said...

Jenna, so sorry about your troubles yesterday, don't be discouraged!! Hang in there and recover soon so we can run together again!!
You'll be fine, just do what they tell you at PT and you will be back better than ever.

Best wishes,

Jenna Wilson said...

Thanks Elsa! I really appreciate it. I'm going to see Nick on Wednesday and have been icing it.

I always need your motivation during a run, so hopefully I will be ready to go again soon! Thanks for your encouragement and those gaterade jellybeans!:)