Possible Happy Puppy News

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Yeah, It’s been a while.

To bring everybody up to speed: I have iliotibial band syndrome. Common runner injury… blah blah blah. Just scroll down to the previous two posts for the rest of the story. Okay, so my last post was on Nov. 13, where I explained to everybody that I was going stop running for an extended period to let my body heal.

I originally planned on checking in periodically with updates during that time, but decided against it. Really, every post would look like this: “Still not running. Pretty bored. My neighbor’s cat stares at me every time I walk to my car. It’s pretty unsettling. Uh, not really much else to talk about since this is a running blog and I’m not running. Did I mention my neighbor’s cat? Oh, I did. What’s up with that? Stupid cat.”

That’s pretty much how it would go. I briefly mention that I didn’t run, then use the rest of the space to further my anti-feline agenda.

So I didn’t really do anything until about Mid-December. Two weeks ago, I went out for a run and the knee pain started at exactly 1.5 miles. That’s the barrier it seems. Rather than get discouraged, I decided on a new – more proactive – approach.

No, I didn’t go to a doctor. That’s what you’d expect, right? You see, I’m not too lazy to run over 500 miles in six months, but ask me to put on real pants and go to a doctor, that’s my limit.

Doing more research online, I learned a few exercises that are supposed to help. You see, stretching and massaging and foam rolling isn’t enough. Recent research has shown that those with weak hips are more prone to problems with their iliotibial band. So I printed out a few hip exercises that remind me of the workout videos that used to air on ESPN before school. A lot of slowly lifting, some clenching, some holding and then some releasing. Some pretty manly stuff.

I also read that extremely cold weather is known to irritate the IT band. Hills are also a problem. I can’t believe it’s taken my over a month and half to realize this, but it’s cold outside. Wanna know something else? There’s a hill at exactly 1.5 miles into my running trail. I never said I was smart.

Now obviously I can’t hide from the cold and hills forever, but at this point – with my knee just looking for reason to start hurting – I decided that it would be a good idea to try something different. I need to just find a way to run – just a few miles at a time – to get back in this thing. I believe that I hope that if I can just get things going again, things will find a way to work out.

So for the last two weeks, every night before I went to bed, I spent about 15 minutes doing my rehab work.

Tonight, I went over to my gym and jumped on a treadmill. No cold. No hills. If this didn’t work, then… well, I dunno. I’d probably rest for two more weeks and then try something different.

Good thing it worked, because I had nothin’ else. I’m happy that to report that I ran for two miles on the treadmill without a problem. It was a solid pace at 9:30 per mile. I stopped after two miles because a). I’ve been inactive for 6 weeks and b). I really didn’t want to push my luck.

Is this good news? Yes. Am I back? Not really. There was a point during my run that I thought my knee was trying to pipe up. I’m just going to dismiss that as all in my head. At let’s be honest, it was only two miles in ideal conditions. That’s not going to be the case when I’m back outdoors.

So here’s the plan: More yoga-like exercises for my weak hips. More stretching. A slow increase in my treadmill running. Way back in September, I signed up for a half-marathon on March 20th. That seemed easy six weeks ago. Now, nothing is certain. I’m making progress though. It may not be much, but it’s something. The 2010 MCM is still in my sights.

2 Responses to “Possible Happy Puppy News”

  1. Brian N. Says:

    I came here for news about a puppy. There’s nothing in here about a puppy- happy or otherwise. I feel cheated. You big tease!

  2. The Long Road to Recovery: Part 1 « The Running Jerks Says:

    […] I did not run for about a month. This brings us to about midway through December. I tried again, got some good results, but was soon back to the same old problems. So finally, after two months of being a stubborn ass […]

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