Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy birthday, IT-band injury!

I am approaching my year anniversary of being injured.

A whole year.

Last weekend I went to a wedding with many college friends I haven't seen in over two years. This happened about 7 times: "Not that I stalk you on facebook, but you're like... a crazy runner right?" Besides the one stint in March where I ran a 50k training run, I've been doing small mile runs and nothing like what I'm used to. But, I'm actually quite ok.

I walk a lot to get in my "me" time. I volunteer at races so that I still see the VHTRC folk. I spend more evenings with my boyfriend. I read more and have moved my ambition focus to the fuck-what-am-I-going-to-do-the-rest-of-my-life part of my brain. It's probably a good thing.

Surprisingly, I haven't gained any weight, in fact I've lost a few pounds and my jeans fit much better. It's actually sort of nice that I don't need to eat so much. Even though I hadn't worked out for well over a month, I was still able to do some decent hiking in Colorado. Oh, right, I've been hiking a lot--it keeps me sane. It's like trail running, but slower and you have to carry all your shit with you. (Tip: get hiking poles so that you can control the weight on your injured leg)

So, twitter and facebook friends, I'm still out, yes, but I'm ok. Really. Promise.

Oh, and so that I can be helpful, here's what I would have done in hindsight:
  1. Don't go running with people or a group when you're recovering. A year ago, I quickly completed a 14 mile trail run that I would have half-walked if I was alone.
  2. If something doesn't stop hurting in two weeks, go see a physical therapist. I waited 8 months.
  3. Try to solve the root of the problem first. If I had stopped my minimalist footwear kick and put my orthotics back in earlier, I might have jump-started recovery.
  4. Look for a complete list of activities that will aggravate your injury. I was doing deep squats, jumps, deep squats, breast-stroke, deep squats, hiking... all things that kept my IT band tight.
  5. Have patience getting back into the game. Don't run 30 miles after you've only been back a couple months. (Like, DUH!)
P.S.: My feet look so pretty now!