My 3-month hiatus with ITBS seems to be finally coming to an end! After taking off from running for 3 weeks, doing Insanity workouts daily, and incorporating a glute, quad, and adductor strengthening regimen to my lifting routine, I eased back into every-other-day short runs. I skipped the stretching and foam rolling. I increased my daily intake of fish oil, glucosamine/MSM/chondroitin, and anti-inflammatory foods. Things seem to be resolving. I am taping my knee and wearing my ITB brace on all my runs for now until the residual in my knee tightness subsides. I am still getting some mild waxing and waning pain after 5-8+ miles, but I’ve found if I walk and stretch my quads, I can start running again pain-free for quite some time until I need to repeat.
The biggest factor here, obviously, was identifying the cause. In my case, it was running too many miles too fast on rugged, snowy mountainous terrain. Once I stopped, it was just all about waiting for time to heal it. No doubt that the strengthening exercises could have played a part in recovery as well, and I plan to keep doing those preventatively. Now, I just have to be careful not to overdo it and continue to baby the leg until all the tightness is gone. I no longer have any pain or stiffness after runs or when I’m in bed. I am continuing to ice it after runs.
My mileage for the previous two weeks: 21 and 33! I ended the week last week with a 20 miler with mild elevation gain of 1200 ft. Wow, did that run kick my butt! It’s amazing how quickly the body un-adapts (is that a word?) and re-adapts to stressors! I ran it exceptionally slow to baby my leg, since I just wanted to be out there moving as long as possible, regardless of time. I knew it was going to be somewhat trying for me since I hadn’t been on a good long run since mid-January and indeed it was! I found myself walking quite a lot the last 5 miles! I was good and sore the next day, and my recovery run yesterday was a little rough but loosened everything up nicely.
In 5 days I’ll be doing the training run for my 40-mile ultra in June. I got a feeling it’s gonna be tough on me this weekend! But what doesn’t kill you makes you run faster! Ha! I’m going to try to be careful with my mileage this week and preserve my legs (and IT band) for the stress of the training run…. Right?