Monday, February 25, 2013

Returning from the DL (IT Band)

"Hitting the wall" was what I hoped had happened at Columbus during the last several miles. To an extent, I think I did, but I probably could have pushed through it better if the lower right side of my body, foot and knee, had not started to deteriorate. I wasn't simply fighting fatigue for the last 5k or so, I was also battling pain. A day or two after crossing the finish line, most of the pain had had subsided, but something remained not quire right with the knee. Once I attempted to return to running, following a marathon recovery plan, I knew I had a lingering issue. After a several weeks of not being able to run more than a couple of miles without my knee stiffening up and feeling strained, I came to the conclusion that I was likely suffering from IT band syndrome.

Sometimes not running is the hardest part of running. Yet, out of frustration I decided that I ultimately needed to hang up my running shoes for a while. I had run, without taking a significant break for the past year and was seeing improvements in both speed and endurance. As much as I wanted to continue training, my body had other thoughts.

Becoming a couch potato was not an option either. I need to be active in one way or another. Plus, I wanted to speed my recovery. One thing that was lacking in my Columbus Marathon buildup was significant strength training. Strength was what I decided to focus on for the last couple of months of 2012 and into 2013, following scheduled workouts in Mark Lauren's You Are Your Own Gym.

Finally, in January, I cautiously began to ease back into running, while continuing to do strength workouts. Additionally, I consciously zeroed back in on my form. When I first started running, I developed plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and recovered from it by adopting barefoot running. However, I worried that overtime, after returning to shod running, my gait might have slipped up.

At this point, I have confidently returned back to training, having raced a local winter 5k as a test run, and now preparing for a 10 miler and half marathon in March. I am continuing to focus on my form and including at least two days a week of strength training.

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