Saturday, January 06, 2007

Now, moving on to Plan C

ORN: zero

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.



Anonymous said...

Alrighty. Plan C it is then. Recuperate with Perseverance!! Sounds like a good plan.

Anonymous said...

Massage is a very good thing! And may I suggest that your very first forays back into running be on soft surfaces. I'm rooting for Plan C! : )

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a sane and reasonable plan. I sure hope it works for you! I love that you are enjoying planning the recovery instead of moaning about the downtime. Now that is a positive attitude!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with BOP. You do sound awfully upbeat and excited about your plan to recover. We all to often wallow in our misfortune. With your positive attitude you are bound to come through this ITB issue just fine.

Anonymous said...

Plan C sounds very optomistic! I am excited for you plan to recovery. I look forward to hearing more about it! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it takes some searching to find the right plan for you! I hope plan C is it. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Great attitude Joe! I look forward to reading about your progress towards recovery.

David said...

As long as I am getting credit for dispensing quasi-medical advice, I'll quack on. Lower back pain can occur from a lack of strong abdominals that control one's posture/carriage. There are many good exercises to help.

I'm glad you're on to a plan with incentives and promise.