Four physical therapy appointments down; six to go!
Ever since my official IT Band Syndrome diagnosis, I’ve been going to PT about twice a week. At each visit, they’ve been having me stretch and gradually do more exercises. On my own time, I’ve been getting back into my workout schedule and doing my PT stretches – plus foam rolling – daily. I’ve also started to go for a run every weekend to test my progress. During my run yesterday, something groundbreaking happened…
For the first time in the last year, I ran more than a mile without knee pain! It was such an amazing feeling…and also terrible because this girl is out. of. shape. After I got home, I was even able to complete my Lower Body Blast workout being very mindful of my form (I’m slowly learning), and it didn’t bother my moody IT Band either. Aww yiss.
Usually, I’m all…
But I’m in my happy place today because, for the first time in a long time, I’m seeing progress!! It’s such an uplifting feeling. As I was going through my many stretches after yesterday’s workout, I felt inspired to write about all the “commandments” I’ve set for my injured self – some serious, some just ridiculous (because that’s who I am).
1. Thou shalt foam roll and, consequently, build an amazing pain tolerance.
I’m learning how helpful and truly necessary foam rolling is when getting back to running form. As I’ve gotten used to the discomfort over the past few years, I’ve noticed my pain tolerance increasing. One of the first days I went to physical therapy, I was told I’m very stoic, so she was having difficulty telling how much pain I was in since I wasn’t reacting. Bahaha.
2. Thou shalt hate other runners in secret.
I’m sorry, but I’m also not sorry. I can’t help but have runner’s jealousy when I see others doing their thing. So…I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping my bitterness bottled up. Haha. I’m working on not having any at all; I swear.
3. Thou shalt pity your running shoes, for their mileage will build at an alarmingly slow rate.
Oh, my beautiful four pairs of perfectly good running shoes. Not using you is such sweet sorrow. I had a pair or two from before the whole ASICS LA Marathon extravaganza last year and acquired more from ASICS throughout that experience. It’s nice to have them on deck for when I’m able to run again, but I’m ready to rock my shiny “new” shoes!
4. Thou shalt find alternative ways of getting active instead of moping around and feeling bad for yourself.
When I can’t run, I’m discouraged from doing anything at all (because my mindset is really screwed up). I’ve gradually gotten better at powering through and getting active in other ways, so thank God for that. After all, finding other ways to exercise that I CAN do will only help me on my way to recovery.
5. Thou shalt encourage other runners despite your possible bitterness towards them.
Sure, when I see people running, I get really jealous because I envy their health. However, for some reason I don’t have a problem with encouraging other people to run. I mean for one thing, I can remind them to not take it for granted; but also, I just really love running and want others to succeed. Staying at least partially positive in this way helps my overall attitude.
6. Thou shalt admire your beautiful feet that have lost all their blisters, calluses, and general roughness due to not running.
Super weird silver lining to not running? My feet aren’t disgusting. Haha. Usually, I’m trying to find a bunch of ways to take care of my runner feet because of the miles upon miles of abuse. But they’re quite normal-looking these days, which is a nice temporary perk of not running. (Though I admit, I’ll be more than happy to get back all the blisters and other problems if it means I can run again.)
7. Thou shalt weight train and focus on improving your terrible form.
Okay, so maybe this one is just me, but I’ve never been good about my form. I’m competitive at heart and often sacrifice form to get more of something done. However, I’ve learned the hard way that this will only hurt your progress. It feels great to do squats, lunges, and the like with correct form for once. I can tell weight training the right way is really helping me get back on the right track. Next stop: working on my terrible running form.
8. Thou shalt Google your problems and be completely confused about how to cure yourself.
So I’ve had IT Band Syndrome for a year. Why? Because I tried to cure it myself and wasn’t consistent enough with any specific method (stretching, weight training, etc.) to see improvement. That’s because I kept finding new ways that people swear by for recovering from the common running problem, which made me skeptical about anything I tried. It’s SO nice to have had a legit professional evaluate my specific problems and tell me exactly what to do.
9. Thou shalt seek professional help if you don’t see progress.
Having just recently seen a doctor and starting physical therapy, I can’t say enough about how great it is to have someone knowledgeable work with me on my tightness and imbalances. If you don’t see progress, please don’t wait as long as I did; get help from someone who knows what they’re doing! It’s not worth the struggle of not doing something you love for so long.
10. Thou shalt be hella patient because rushing recovery doesn’t work very well.
Since I’m able to do more than I was before, I’m trying really hard not to push myself too hard. Even when I am able to run further without pain, I’m planning to be smart about it and increase my mileage at a relatively slow pace. I’ve learned that my body will go at its own pace, and the best I can do is persevere and do everything I can to move forward without setting myself back by aggravating my injury.
Do any of these “commandments” resonate with you based on a past or current running injury?
How do you cope with not being out of commission?