Persistence vs. Patience

Persistence has always been my strong point. In work, in my career, and in a lot of points in life it’s done me really well. The quality has also had the negative impact of coming off as extremely annoying at time to friends/family. In fitness, though, it’s always been my perfect flaw. Perfect in the sense that I’ll keep going and I will achieve goals; but it’s also my major flaw of knowing when to stop.

Patience on the other hand is probably a very positive quality, but I would not know. It is not one I have ever possessed and, honestly, I probably never will.

This past week I’ve been struggling a lot between persistence and patience. Last weekend I was on an extreme high from running 20miles for the first time! As I mentioned in my recap, the last 5miles of the run were tough and I was experiencing some pain. However, after I foam rolled an stretched I felt fine. I even felt wonderful Monday, the next day, when I woke up! Not even really that sore! It was a momentary miracle. Monday morning I did not exercise, but I embarked on my usual 2mile walk to work. Well, by the time I got to the office I was practically limping and my knee had that same pulling pain. This was not good, especially after only walking. I was scared and part of me wanted to try, but worrying about things never help. Worrying is a reaction, not an action. What I needed was to take action. So here’s what I’ve been doing this past week:

– Resting (kinda)

– Icing

– Compression (wrapping a brace tightly around my IT Band)

– Elevation (when I can, like on my couch watching TV)

– Lots of foam rolling and self massage with The Stick

– Massage

– Made an appointment with the best orthopedist (for next Thursday)

Tuesday I was still in pain and I knew I could not run. I also felt like any type of cardio would have a negative effect, so I opted for yoga. I knew stretching out my muscle’s could only help and if any position was painful, I’m smart enough to know to stop :-). Yoga went well and felt good.

I had bought a voucher for a Sports Massage on RueLaLa a few months back, so I figured this was the perfect time to cash in. Sometimes I feel extremely lucky, like when I find out that the massage place I had brought the voucher at had recently moved to 1 block away from my office (yey!). I frantically emailed the masseuse asking if there was ANY time she could fit me in this week. Luckily I was able to squeeze in an appointment Tuesday afternoon (thank you work for being flexible/understanding). I went to Body Balance, where Nicole (the owner and masseuse) kindly greeted me. She asked me what kind of massage I’d like and I spilled my whole history of running/injury on her. I explained that my IT band/knee were extremely tight and I needed her help so I could run again. Nicole was awesome. She knew the exact pain I was talking about and knew where to work it out. I’m not going to lie and say it was a relaxing massage. It actually felt a little bit closer to physical torture. If the CIA is looking for an undercover agent who can undergo sever pain, I think I may have what it takes. I left in cold sweats. Nicole massages and worked out ever tiny muscle along my IT band/knee/glutes, etc. Despite the pain, I thought she was a wonderful masseuse and I’m definitely going to go back to her. She asked me what hurt and what felt OK; she really listened to my responses and did what I had asked. I had a little bit of bruising from the massage and my legs felt really sore, but they also felt looser and in less pain.

The next day (Wed) I was a bit scared to attempt a run, but I needed to run. So I went for an easy 3 mile run with my running buddy. Towards the end I started to feel the tightness and pain come on, but I did make it through the 3 miles!

Wed morning I got some bad news about my grandpa so I headed up to MA to see him and be with my family for a few days. It was really nice to be with my family, despite the circumstances and it was the perfect time to rest. Thursday/Friday I did not exercise besides some light PT hip exercises.

That brings me to today, Saturday. I obviously have not kept up with my Marathon training plan this week and I’m OK with that. However, the longest run I had on my plan for this week was 7 miles so I figured I should at least try….ehhh again my persistence doesn’t really allow “trying”…so yeah, I complete 7 miles. I ran from Murray Hill along the East River to the BK Bridge and back. The first 2 miles were tough — I felt so out of shape. By mile 3 I was feeling good, but my IT band started to get really tight. The tightness only continued to build up until I literally felt like my whole leg was a solid medal rod. It was very strange and not real comfortable. The knee pain came on last. Since I spoiled the ending I guess it’s needless to say that I pushed through. I tried focusing on my core and my stride and the pain/tightness did get a bit better as I went on. When I got home I was good girl and I stretched, rolled and iced/elevated.

As a side note, I discovered a perfect way to ice my IT band! I tried the wet, frozen towel thing, but it didn’t really work for me. I had trouble molding the towel after it was frozen.  However, in a moment of genius I put water in my Sip N’ Go bottle and froze it. I then aligned the bottle vertically along my IT band and fastened it tightly with my brace wrap. Compression and icing all in one!

Later this afternoon I went to the gym in my basement to do some of my old PT exercises to strengthen my quads/hips/IT/thighs. The funny thing is, when I’m working out I don’t feel like my muscles are weak at all. I can lift and lung and do a lot of exercises that probably would have been harder to do a couple of months ago. Weak muscle’s is the only    cause of my injury I can think of though — I don’t over pronate a lot (I went back to Jack Rabbit to make sure!), I’m extremely flexible and stretch A LOT….

Any who, until this pain is gone (sorry, I refuse to call it an injury) my plan is to continue to self massage A LOT, ice, stretch, take more rest days and do strengthening exercises EVERY DAY. I will not let this “thing” win.

Here’s to my temporary best friend:

…and here’s to being patient AND persistent!

QUESTION: Any advice for overcoming a tight IT Band??? Are you more patient or persistent? 

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6 Responses to Persistence vs. Patience

  1. bearrunner says:

    My body is tight all over… I dont stretch. I am waiting for the day something snaps (sarcastic) I cannot help cause i don’t get injured

    Hope you heal soon


  2. PorcelinaTweets says:

    Is there such a thing as a patient runner? Let me know when you find one! Ha!

    Your plan for recovery sounds great and I am sure you will be healed soon, especially with the healing hands of your masseuse on your side! I am intrgued though, what is The Stick!?

    You have such a good attitude not letting this Thing beat you though, so many people would have given up but your fighting it tooth and nail. Well done!

    Hope your Grandpa is doing ok. 🙂

    • I don’t think I’ve ever met a patient runner either haha

      The Stick is a self-massage stick. It’s kind of like a flexible rolling pin haha. I like it better than rolling because it’s harder and you’re able to focus on specific areas more easily… Check it out: — one not though, you need to be able to inflict physical abuse on yourself to use it properly, sometimes I make my bf roll me out with it (haha he doesn’t like doing it because I look like I’m in severe pain)

      Thanks for your support! I figure worrying about this won’t do anything, I’m better off taking action to make it better. Plus, I will be running the Paris Marathon so it’s important I focus my attention towards the positive haha

  3. marathon winer says:

    bah! ive been so MIA, but SO sorry about your IT band pain!!! that blows! luckily, you’re well ahead in your training. take some time off to let it heal and you’ll be back out there, still right on track!!

  4. Stacey Daly says:

    Hi! I have been in PT for a couple of weeks now for patellofemoral syndrome and IT band tightness. I totally understand how you are feeling! I am not very patient either, but I have been forcing myself to take it easy and try to let my knee heal. I have had massages like that before, where it hurts SO good, and almost so badly at the same time. I have had bruising, too! My physical therapist did a dry needle technique on my quad/IT band the other day, and it was really cool. It reminds me of acupuncture, but she moves the needle until it hits a trigger point and releases it. It is not bad at all. It actually kind of feels good! I have a post on my blog explaining patellofemoral syndrome and my issues I am dealing with. I hope your recovery from your pain is quick! Take care, Stacey

  5. Pingback: 5 Days Training Hiatus in Heaven | sweatpassionandtears

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