Recovering from this ITB injury remains fascinating to me. I have learned so much. We moved through another major step this week. I’m trying to describe the whole process publicly, as it makes sense of it for me and, I hope, may help others.
Plan A was one of denial. On October 8, one week after the Portland Marathon, I ran a 5 mile race locally and had pain in my right knee. It stayed through the following few weeks. I really didn’t take it seriously and hoped it would just go away. This “game” extended until I bonked at the 9.5 mile mark of the Tecumseh Trail Marathon on Dec 2.
This triggered Plan B, consulting medical professionals. I saw a doctor on Dec 4, went to a sports doc on Dec 6 and started aggressive physical therapy with ASTYM. This ran through December and saw my pain increase, with progress stuck in reverse.
Last Wednesday, Jan 3, I had another ASTYM treatment. My therapist was half-hearted, discouraged that I was not seeing progress. He looked at me and said “What do you think?” I told him I thought I should move in a new direction. He didn’t disagree. We shook hands and wished each other well.
Thus, Plan C began on Jan 4. This plan has two weeks of rest, ibuprofen to lower swelling, an appointment with a local sports massage guy, plenty of stretching and foam rolling and then a very gradual return to running. This plan is built on the experience of other runners, with particular kudos to David: Adventures in the Thin Trade and Dianna: Running Chick with the Orange Hat. David was very direct with me via a comment, based on his experience. Dianna gave me a wonderful gift in an email describing the timing and nature of her battle during 2006 with her ITB injury. Distilling all of this, coupled with what common sense I may muster, leads to Plan C.
And it has been fun. As I’ve often said, half of the fun of running is in the plan.
I sat up late Thursday night with a calendar and papers and race dates and my mind buzzing. I’ll run for the first time, I hope, on Saturday, January 20. For two weeks, I’ll alternate a very simple 2 and 3 miles, for four days a week. On Monday, February 12, I begin week 1 of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Half Marathon Plan, leading to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, on May 5. I’ve used this plan before and I think it is prudent. The “Mini”, as it is known around here, is the biggest half marathon in the country, having sold out with 35,000 registrants by early December. I really want to run it.
And, if I can then run another 13.1 miles on May 12, I will reach my first goal of 2007.
So, that’s the plan. Will it work?? I dunno. I do know a couple of things, though. One, I’m sure grateful for all my on-line running pals. Two, it will eventually clear up.
As someone who has enjoyed good health my entire life, this injury has also given me a new found sense of empathy for those with chronic pain. I was at work this morning and talked with one of our key manufacturing associates, a delightful woman in her mid-30s who has battled chronic lower back pain for the past two years. It just won’t let up for her. I have nothing to complain about…she’s carrying a real concern.