Giving in, but NOT giving up

I haven’t written in this old blog for a while, because quite honestly I’ve been really bummed. Although I do enjoy complaining immensely (those of you on twitter can vouch for that), I don’t want my words to bring other people down.

So here’s what’s been happening. I started feeling severe pain in my IT Band/knee after my first (and only) 20 mile run about 6 weeks ago. With my heart set on running the Paris Marathon I’ve been trying desperately to do everything I can to get better. Unfortunately I was a little stupid from the onset — I didn’t take the advice of following complete rest once you feel pain come on and now I’m paying for it. Maybe if I did rest right after I felt pain, I’d still be in the same spot, or maybe I’d be outside right now running in this gorgeous 65 degree weather, but that I will never really know. The pain came on January 22nd and this is what my training plan has looked like since:

Sure, not a TON of running. Right away I cut my mileage back 50% — I went from running 30miles a week to 15miles. In retrospect, though, 15miles felt like barely an exercise to me, but for an average person that’s a lot of running.

Anyways, the important point: I did not give myself the chance to heal. Sure I cut back drastically on running, but even going 2 miles was just causing my IT band to tighten up more and re-injure myself. I’m sure this is often a common mistake of any athlete. Runners and athletes alike are mentally and physically programmed to push themselves. When I ran 12miles on 2/17, the last 5miles I was in excruciating pain, but instead of thinking to stop all I thought was “I need to push through this, pain is weakness leaving the body.” Ok well sure, some pain is weakness leaving the body, but the type of pain I had was pain re-entering the body. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve learned there lies a HUGE difference between pushing your limits of fitness and pushing your injury.

After 5 weeks of running on my injury, I finally came to the realization that the only thing I hadn’t tried to do to get better was actually REST. FULL COMPLETE REST. Last week, I rested. Sunday I got anxious and trotted out to attempt a run. When I felt pain come on after 2.5miles I stopped — win for getting smarter! This week I’ve continued rest.

I went back to my orthopedist last week as well for a followup from my appointment 4 weeks prior. He had prescribed PT twice a week, which I had been doing. On top of that I started to go to Dr. Levine for A.R.T and Graston. A.R.T feels good, graston leaves you looking like a monster:

The doctor was a little surprised to hear I was doing better at all, so he ordered an MRI in order to be safe and rule out any real knee damage. Today I went back to the doctor for my MRI results and the good news, there’s not rips/tears or severe damage. The MRI specialist actually told my doctor I was “exceptional.” The bad news: It still hurts to do any cardio exercise and a little bit to walk. The doctor said he saw a slight inflammation and irritation around my IT band, reconfirming that all I have it a bad case of IT band syndrom. In a final attempt, the doctor recommended a cortisone shot. I’ve read positive and negatives on getting an injection, so I asked a ton of questions to make sure it was the right choice. It was a little shot and barely any pain. It was gorgeous out today so after the cortisone shot I decided to walk the 30 blocks to work. At that point I did start to feel a weird tingle in my leg.

My plan now is to rest a couple of more days, as per doctors orders, and then try a short run outside. I’m not going to try anything heavy, just maybe 5 – 20 minutes to see how it feels, but on the onset of ANY pain I will stop.

I’m not anywhere near recovered from this IT band injury, but I have learned a lot in the process so far over the last 6 weeks. At first I freaked out. I mean literally crying, tears, depression for weeks. I’m truly not over-exaggerating, I’ve been in a terrible, awful mood. Running had become such a huge part of my life and I’d weighted so much on it.  I’m slowly starting to learn that there is a life after running. That’s not to say I’m by any means planning on giving up running, but I am planning on not pushing and rushing myself to get better. Time has to just take it’s course now and I have to accept that. I may not run again for 6 months and that’s FINE. I will run again, though. I will run and I’ll run far and I’ll run fast. Even a crappy injury like this can’t totally kill my passion. It did kill my spirit for about a month, but I’m slowly climbing back.

I’ve mentioned before that in 2012 I will run a marathon and I WILL. It’s looking like Paris will not be that marathon, but there will be one. I will not reveal until I’m fully healed what marathon I have in mind, but trust me, it will be a memorable one for more reasons than I can count 🙂

I feel like this post is all over the place, but if you taking away anything, please take away this:

  1. Training is great, it’s exhilarating and makes you feel like you can do anything. Overtraining, though, is a real thing and it will turn that “you can do anything” feeling into “I can do nothing.” Please listen to your body when it says stop. When it says sit. When it says sleep.
  2. If you’re a runner, biker, swimmer: STRENGTH train, stretch, roll. The time spent doing those functions is way less than the time spent recovering from an injury.
  3. Sure everyone has their ups and downs, but never lose faith in yourself and what you love

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Giving in, but NOT giving up

  1. Dori says:

    I am so sorry. Are you still going to Paris? I was there too, you know — when my hip started hurting I ignored it and pushed on and now I have a permanent injury. It is so hard to stop and rest. But it really does make a difference, as I learned with a more recent minor injury. I know you will complete a marathon this year and do amazing, just keep resting. Also, I LOVE cortisone. As long as you don’t get it more than once in an area, it is totally fine and really helpful.

    There will be more chances and chalk this up to a learning experience!

    • Thanks for your support Dori!

      Yes, I’m still going on a two week trip starting in Paris and ending in Brussels, so still not a bad deal 🙂

      I’m really hoping the cortisone does something, even if I still can’t run, just feel comfortable walking would be nice.

  2. Mike Barratt says:

    That’s a tough break! It’s obvious your heart and will power were in this race but your body wasn’t ready.

    I recently had to make a tough decision to back out of my first half marathon. I had an old football injury from college that I tried playing through and never gave a chance to heal properly. Well, I re-aggrivated it again. I decided to take a step back and focus on the long term(hopefully 50-60 years) and realize this is a short term setback. Taking it easy now, letting my body heal sets me up for success long term.

    Keep your hope and your dream alive. I will be pulling for you!

  3. helen says:

    This is such a great post, I admire your spirit so much. After everything you’ve gone through!

    What Dori says hits the nail on the head. 2012 will be a great year for you too.

    And yay for cortisone!

    P.s you will love Brussels! I went with work and really enjoyed it. Plus, I reckon you should also hop on Eurostar and come see me in London!

  4. Great post. As a newbie runner (just did my first half last weekend…) I know that I’ve already had a few issues where I didn’t know whether to train through the pain or rest it. Seems like the answer is always to listen to the pain and really figure out how bad it is. If it’s bad, it’s stop time! I hope you still get to do Paris. What an amazing place to run a marathon!
    Best of luck!

  5. loramarie03 says:

    I am in the same boat!!! I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m training for marathon #8 (Boston) and have never had IT Band issues in the past. Mine has been going on for about a month. My fiance is a PT so he’s been doing therapy on it which has been helping, and then this week I realized a contributing factor was my SHOES! Nike changed my model of shoes so significantly that they went from being soft to firm (aka from neutral to for pronators, not sure why they didn’t change the name! Not the same shoe!), and I think that’s why it acted out. I bought some Asics this week that have been helping, but then I was supposed to do a 16 this morning and made it through 9 and had to stop because of the pain.

    Also did your doctor/PT recommend doing strengthening? Most IT Band injuries I’ve read come from weak hips or glutes, and I have severely weak hips so I think the fact that my shoes changed and my hips were so weak were what caused it. I’ve been working on strengthening the hips which isn’t a quick fix but I think it’ll make a difference.

    Sorry for the long comment, but just wanted to throw some ideas out there. I hope that you start feeling better soon. Trust me, I’ve felt the same — lots of tears and just sadness because it’s so hard not to run especially as the weather gets nice.

    • Sorry to hear about your IT band but thank you for sharing! I have been working with a PT and doing a lot of hip and butt strengthening exercises. I’m hoping that will help me from re getting injured, but right now I still need to recover from the initial injury, ugh. If u have any recommended exercises I would love your advice!

  6. Pingback: Back on my Feet and Lovin’ it! | sweatpassionandtears

  7. Pingback: Saturday Fun Run Day! | sweatpassionandtears

  8. Pingback: Runner’s Taboo | sweatpassionandtears

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s