27 March 2014

A run last Sunday

So I had a good run on Sunday morning.  Three miles.  Not huge, but when ITB daggers have been starting at 1 mile for the past 6 weeks, this is huge for me.

To be clear, let me explain the difference between "daggers" and "twinges," at least for me.  "Twinges" don't affect gait.  You can feel something going on in your knee, and you know that twinges in various parts of your body can come and go on a run.  Some twinges become painful; others you quickly forget.  ITB twinges, for me, can make me rethink how I'm going to land my foot on the ripple in the asphalt ahead, but they don't really slow me down.

When I get ITB daggers, it's like landing and having a knife shoot up and into the side of the knee, like shucking an oyster, making me feel like my leg will collapse.  There is no running after that point.  And it's not a question of whether it's a pain-threshold issue; it's a matter of will my body go crashing to the pavement because the leg is going to give out.

Back to my run.  (It's here at Run My Route.)  This time the first mile is great, and right as my Garmin beeps the first mile, I get the twinges.

Part of me thinks this is psychosomatic (now called psycho-physiological or something like that).  In truth, some of this is in my head.  It's the brain that generates the pain, and I've noticed that if I can take my mind off my left knee, the running is better.  Sometimes, I try to "will" the pain to the right knee to see if that does anything.  In the run before this, when twinges turned to daggers, I walked for about three minutes and resumed running.

This time, I continued running past the mile mark.  Twinges continued, but no outright pain.  At three miles, the longest I've run without interruption in more than a month, I decided to quit when I was ahead.

So the ITB mystery grows.  I've stopped the foam rolling of the IT band.  And yet I haven't done the hip abductor exercises I mentioned in a previous post.  I can't account for why the twinges didn't turn into daggers on this run.

I did go for a bike ride (18 miles) the previous day.  In general, bike riding doesn't inflame my IT band.  Looking at my logs, I recall a recent run the day after a bike ride that also went well.

{Sigh} So you see the various factors at play.  Ugh.  Where to start?