IT Band Blues

It started a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t notice it during the run, as much as the rest of the day. There was this sort of ache and tightness on the side of my leg just below my knee. And from there it progressed, and by the third run I knew it was my IT Band.

I wasn’t really expecting to develop an out of the blue injury (I know, duh, that’s why they are out of the blue). I didn’t fall, there was no moment of impact, but then there it was. I tried to shrug it off, all part of earning my stripes as a runner. I read about strengthening and stretching and resting. I’ve done all of these things. I even went a weekend without running and hopped on my oft-neglected bike, and that next run back was full of sharp pain. Followed by a day of limping and wincing.

I know, it’s only been a couple of weeks, but I had plans. I had a half marathon circled on my calendar – the Lake Perry Rocks Half on October 20.

That painful run sent me into a tailspin of negative thoughts. Was I a failure and weak if I didn’t run? Was I being imbalanced and obsessive if I didn’t back off of my training? Was I ever going to be able to run again? (Yep, dramatic, like I said – tailspin)

The truth is I’ve already had to back off of my training because of the pain… and the truth is, it isn’t that race that has me so panicked… it’s November 19. That’s the day I’m scheduled for my hysterectomy. Hysterectomies come with the bonus of 6 weeks of no lifting or exercising… 6 weeks of no running….

That’s what I’m really scared of. What if this great habit I’ve developed and grown to really love, what if this 6 weeks knocks me off the wagon and I can’t get back on? What if I can’t find my running mojo after that time off?

Between the hysterectomy and the IT band issues I was flat out angry with my body, and what I couldn’t control.

There are a lot of things to think about when you’re going to have a hysterectomy, and that 6 weeks off is probably not supposed to be at the top of the list, but I’ve made peace with the rest of it – and the time off is my last hurdle. And now instead of hitting that date at full speed, at the top of my game, I might come in limping…

But then that is the thing… I’m still going to come charging at that date, limping or otherwise. Sure, I might not make that half marathon. My mileage might be lower than I want it to be. It might be awhile before I can run pain free again, but I believe I will.

I will continue to strengthen and stretch and rest when needed. I’ll throw in a little icing and a little ibuprofen, and I won’t give up. In my more positive moments I’ll appreciate the training through adversity, because it will make me stronger – both physically and mentally.

And if I don’t hit the miles I want before November 19? They’ll be waiting for me on my return, and I will return.

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4 thoughts on “IT Band Blues

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  1. Yes, you will return! You have come so far already. That 6 weeks will fly by. Can’t wait to see what kind of a runner you will become in another year!

  2. I think this fear/uncertainty/anger/grief is good. It shows how much running means to you and it’s going to fuel you to take care of yourself and get back out there when it’s time.

    I say let it energize you and empower you. It’s going to make your next race so much sweeter and more meaningful. You’re going to be in awe of yourself and you’re resilience and strength.

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