Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Taking it Easy

My time after the marathon hasn't been fun.  I took a week off and then managed to injure myself on my first run back.  That is probably my own fault for trying to do too much too soon, so live and learn.  Now it feels like I'm reliving the taper madness because of how little running I'm doing.

Since the marathon I've now run a grand total of 4 times for a total of 22 miles.  Before the marathon that would of been a slow/easy week for me let alone a nearly a month.  I'm trying to take things in stride though.  I don't want to get to the point where I knock myself out of running for months.  I realize I have some time until I would need to do another training cycle, and even that isn't necessary at this point if I re-arrange my plans.  I'm not committed to any longer races next year until Soldier Field 10 miler at the end of May.  I would like to do a spring Marathon and possibly even take a stab at the Lakefront 50K - but am hesitant to register for anything until I start feeling better.

So what is wrong with me?  I have Runner's Knee - that fun catch all phrase for knee pain.  It can also be referred to as patellofemoral syndrome or iliotibial band syndrome.  In simpler terms I have an imbalance in my muscles that is causing extra strain around the knee and in turn is causing inflammation and pain.  I also have pain in the tensor fascia latae (or TFL) which is a muscle in the front part of the hip that connects to the IT band.  According to Wikipedia the muscle is responsible for assisting the gluteus maximus in supporting the knee in a position of extension. 

So what do I do now?  I've been given a number of exercises to help strengthen my hip muscles.  This in turn should help restore the balance and stop the twisting at the knee causing the inflammation.  The exercises make me look a bit like Jane Fonda or Suzanne Sommers with the leg lifts and clam shells.  I'm also doing quite a bit of stretching and having some personal time with the foam roller.

Unfortunately I don't have the same outfit to do my exercises
Hopefully soon enough I'll be able to ease back into running.  I got a patella brace for when I do to in order to help the knee stay properly aligned.  I've already done a short run with it to test things out and all worked out.  Unfortunately I can't run much more than 10 minutes without something acting up so I'll keep things brief until I can handle more.  I just don't want to go completely stir crazy.  I'll probably also spend more time on the stationary bike this winter.

Hope everyone else is doing well out there.


  1. I have struggled with ITBS for years, so I literally feel your pain. It is very frustrating to have to take time off of running - a couple of years ago I wasn't able to run at all for several months and it was brutal. Hopefully you'll recover much more quickly than that!

    These days I basically just try to keep my ITBS under control because I don't know if I'll ever get to a point where I truly overcome it, unfortunately. And I have spent many, many hours of my own with the foam roller, doing clamshells and monster walks and squats and everything I can to strengthen my hips. It is quite a process! And I've gotten to know my PTs quite well, LOL. In any event, I wish you a speedy recovery!!!

  2. Actually... I am going to say it is FORTUNATE you don't have the same outfit to do the exercises :-p

  3. Rest up man, it's the off-season right now, so enjoy some well-deserved time-off/low key workouts!

  4. I was really hoping that there would be a picture of you in that outfit doing some exercises, it would be your most popular post ever!

    Heal up man, just like on my side. We could run through the hurt, but just prolong our issues.
    Long walks in the cold and stationary bikes until we get better! And Pint night will be an easy 3!

  5. I will join the chorus of disappointment in that you do not own lavender leggings. That said, heal up well and heal up smart.

  6. What - no spandex & leg warmers under your leotard?! It was great to see you tonight at the RRS run… I hope we meet up again soon! Take it easy now and work on that ITB strengthening!