Last week I was feeling under the weather (and the weather itself has been getting worse, cold and wet). I’d been doing well with my running, so skipping a day or two wouldn’t hurt was my rationale on Monday.

Tuesday I have class in the evening, so no running. 

Wednesday, I stayed home sick from work, definitely no running. Thursday, it was all I could do to drag myself through work and Friday is a standard rest day for Ambrose and I so it was Saturday before I ran again.

I could feel my right hip getting stiff by Thursday, but I thought once I started running it would smooth out.
It didn’t.

For the first time in months, I felt the ITB pain flaring up. My right hip had gotten all scrunched again and I could feel my steps pulling my body out of alignment and into pain.

But even if I haven’t gotten past this issue, I have at least learned how to deal with it. I didn’t stop running until I’d run the two miles that was my plan for Saturday. And although I didn’t time it, I started faster than I normally do, which was probably not the best idea when I knew I was feeling stiff. But I didn’t want Ambrose to beat me, and he’d had a head start!

The first thing that I started adopting from Chi-running was the pelvic tilt. It involves rotating the pelvis forward so it is more level, as if the pelvis were a vessel trying to hold water. I actually encountered this concept way back in college when I took belly dancing classes in Santa Fe, only they called it “holding your basket.” And I didn’t get it at the time (though it would have been nice if I had).

That technique has been my foundation for addressing the ITB issue, and it’s the one I have to focus on the most as I run. It hurts for my right hip to be stretched like that, but it isn’t a bad pain. It’s the pain of a sore muscle being worked back into shape. I worked for years to make a habit of the way I hold my hips while running, and, like Ambrose always says, it’s going to take me a long time to break a habit it took me a long time to make.

But I didn’t expect it to regress so quickly. I’ve been trying to be conscious of what I might be doing when I’m not running to make my right hip so much more stiff than my left, and I’ve been watching my walking gait. I think sitting at a desk all work day doesn’t help either of my hips, and maybe it affects the right more since it is already messed up. But for now, I’m going to stick to a strict diet of running at least twice a week, spread out over the week. Experiencing that backslide tightness is not pleasant, but it is a good reminder that I am still rehabilitating my body from the bad habits I started with.

I’ll worry about whether or not I’m causing this stiffness through other habits, like how I walk, sit or sleep, when I can string together a few sub-ten minute miles.

Baby steps. I ran three miles Sunday and three miles Monday. The leg still hurts, but I can feel it improving and loosening.

I hate baby steps.

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