Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Now (ITBFS) Injury Free

My dad passed away on Feb. 28th. Drove out to Arizona for the service and to be with family. The following weekend, on Sunday morning, I went out for a 17-mile run. The weather was perfect. The last 4 miles including running up and over Thunderbird pass in NW Phoenix. Not a bad hill, but after 13 miles a bit taxing. Later than afternoon, my brothers and I decided to play basketball (in honor of Dad, a high school basketball star). An hour and a half later my knees were killing me. [That's right, idiot! That's why we stopped playing basketball 12 years ago. Remember? It was hurting my knees.] I still had some pain that night, but by the next day all seemed fine.

The following Friday, I began driving back home. I covered about 1300 miles in 2 days. I drove it all myself and when I got home on Saturday evening I went out for a short run. Three miles into it, my right knee was hurting. I figured it was just the driving and didn't even think about it until the next day when I tried to go 18 miles. It was hurting after about 6 miles, and by 14 miles I was in serious pain. I somehow got through another 3 miles to get home. Serious knee pain. Right knee on the outside. A bit of research and I deduced it was Illio-tibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS).

Long story made short: I cut my mileage in half for a week. I went to a message therapist. I began stretching religiously. I iced my knee. The following week my long run was 12 miles -- I stopped and stretched every three miles -- I could feel the injury, but never became painful. The next week I ran 18 miles -- I stretched about every six miles, I could feel it tighten up but again, no pain. The next week was 20 miles -- I stretched at miles 10 and 17, no problems. The next two long runs (18 and 22) were great.

Catch these things early, don't let them progress. For ITBFS don't get depressed, you can beat it -- cut mileage in half the next week and no hills, stretch that IT band, ice it, and ease back into your running (stopping to stretch anytime you feel it tighten up).

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