As all of my non-readers know, I've been dogged by iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome in recent weeks. February and March were particularly dark for me, because I was increasingly concerned that I might not ever be a "runner" again.
So while I've been hunting for recovery techniques, I've noticed that by keeping my runs at 5k max, things have gotten better.
(We interrupt things right here to answer the question that all the teeming millions of none of you are certainly asking: Todd, why don't you just see a doctor about this? The answer is simple. There's an ethical issue involved. The pain only occurs when I run, and so the doctor could well say to me: Don't run. And in truth, that would eliminate my pain entirely. But because I have insurance, I could press for a series of expensive tests, which may or may not help me, but for which undoubtedly someone would have to pick up the tab. It wouldn't be me. So, I see this as something I can fix on my own.)
Back to the show. What I've noticed is that when the ITB problems really came on strong several weeks ago, my fitness routine was totally unlike last summer, when I was running fine and working my way up into the 5 mile range. Back then, I would alternate biking and running, and I'd walk about 2-3 miles each day. In the early winter, however, the weather prevented much biking or walking, but I was determined to run. Thus, I suspect, that led quickly to over-use.
So I'm doing a lot more cross-training, pigeon poses, hip/butt strengthening with the Theraband, and a moderate amount of foam rolling. It all seems to help.
Yesterday I was able to run 4 miles with only minor twinges. It was the longest, fastest run in months. I was incredibly happy. Wow. This is how my week looked: