My IT (ilio-tibial) band on my right leg is super tight. I’ve known this for a while, and I had been keeping up on running for just that reason until this last fall. I’m going to go ahead and place the blame for my getting injured while running squarely on that, but in a roundabout way. See, over the weekend, I did a lot of rubbing and massaging and pounding on my IT band. And while taking a therapeutically hot shower, I did a little hip twist. I typically do this kind of twist, but I happened to notice this time that I wasn’t doing the exact same motion when twisting to my right.
So I focused on the motion I was getting to the left and then focused hard on emulating it to the right. When I finally got it, I could feel that the motion was being impeded by nothing other than my IT band. And I could feel the pain going all the way from my knee to my lower back at the edge of the range of motion.
I’d been having stiffness in my lower back on the right side for a few months, but until that moment in the shower, I hadn’t realized that it was connected to the IT band that has given me trouble for years.
So now I know that I really shouldn’t take long breaks from running. Ever.
It might not cause gait issues, as it has in the past, but it can and will cause other issues. I need to be a runner, even if I’ll never be a fast runner or a high volume runner.
I did manage to get myself into a position to complete the April running challenge by doing a few days of very slow runs, and also by working at this IT band. I’m back to being able to do a mile under 11 minutes, and I’m hopeful that I might be able to hit one under 10 before the end of the month. My plan is to finish on Sunday with a set of two. I found last Saturday that running one mile and then taking a break, makes the second mile quite a bit faster. So that’s how I’ll set up to try and run my fastest mile of the month.
And next off-season, I’m just going to have to keep up with the running instead of letting things slide. I know my excuse this past winter was the lack of good footwear, but I really can’t let that stop me from taking proper care with the known issue of the tight IT band.