To Feel Strong

It’s been just over three weeks since the Myrtle Beach Marathon and I’ve hardly run at all. I kicked butt at the race– crushing my time goal, but like most things, it came with a price: IT Band Syndrome. 

The IT Band is a tissue that runs from your hip to your knee. IT Band Syndrome is inflammation that can be caused by overuse, tight muscle tissue or weak hip muscles. 

At some point during the marathon I started having a lot of pain in my left hip. I just ran through it. There were so many other things to worry about that, at the time, it didn’t top my list of concerns. In the hours following the race I was in a lot of pain in both my left hip and knee. I knew that it was an IT Band issue right away, I had the same thing after my first marathon. 

Needless to say, I’ve spent the past three weeks doing a lot of cross training, stretching, foam rolling, and icing. The pain is finally starting to subside. I’ve had no issues on the elliptical or bike; and thanks to the beautiful weekends we’ve been having lately in SoMD, I’ve been able to get three 30+ mile bike rides in!  

But it’s not the same. I was easily in the best shape of my life when I was training for the Myrtle Beach Marathon. And although I’ve still been working out at least five days a week, I just haven’t felt like I’ve been challenged. The elliptical doesn’t make me feel fit and strong. And the few fairly large hills around here make biking tough, but I don’t finish those workouts feeling like a badass. Lately I’ve felt “large”. Which is silly, because I’m pretty sure my weight hasn’t changed. There’s just something about finishing a long run, speed workout, or trail runs that leaves you feeling like your body is this incredible machine. 

Yesterday Nick and I planned to run my first real run since the marathon. My plan was this: “let’s plan to run 4 miles– 5 if I’m feeling good”. Nick said that was the wrong attitude so he changed it to “let’s plan to run 5 miles and if you’re really hurting we’ll cut it short at 4”. It’s amazing what a difference you’re attitude makes in running.

I felt so sluggish when we started out. I also still had hip pain. I was barely talking because my HR was really high and it was tough to breath. I thought “Oh great, I have the Blue Ridge Half Marathon coming up and I can barely run 5 miles”. But about halfway through the run Nick told me that I was moving really quick. I was totally surprised by that because I felt like a snail that someone poured just a little bit of salt on. My legs were heavy. This gave me a lot of motivation. 

I really started to pick it up during the last mile. I needed to feel like I still had it. I needed to feel fast and strong. I needed to feel like a badass. 

My overall pace for that run was 9:24 min/mi. I was very pleased with that. For not having run for three weeks, that’s pretty darn good. 

How has your running been going? Have you ever had an injury that made your workout routine change significantly? What did you do to overcome it? 

Happy Running!

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