Monday Rambles: IT Bands and Race Worries

Last night I had grand designs of getting up early this morning, getting to work early, and hitting the treadmill before my shift started. My workout clothes were all packed, my alarm was set, and Drew, ever awesome and supportive, was prepared to get me to the bus stop early enough to make all this happen. I was pumped. I had downloaded a new app on my phone that provides virtual tours while you run/bike/etc. so you can pretend you’re running through picturesque countryside instead of running in place in a stuffy gym, and I was nerdily excited to try it out.

This morning arrived, my alarm went off, and I was overwhelmed by two sensations: intense tiredness and a shooting pain in my IT band. The tiredness was probably due to lingering NyQuil fog (I’ve been battling a cold/sinus issues for a while now), and the IT band situation is a problem that just sprung up over the weekend. The last thing I wanted to do was get up, commute to work, and hit the treadmill.

So I turned off my alarm and turned over for an extra hour of glorious sleep. So it goes. In the immortal words of Robert Burns (translated out of Scottish brogue), “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, and leave us nought but grief and [IT band] pain…”

Instead of fitting in a run on the treadmill this morning, I spent my commute googling IT band stretches and treatments on my phone. I have no idea where this pain came from… it appeared out of nowhere on Saturday and spent the day coming and going. I went for a short, easy run with Colin yesterday morning and my leg felt fine while I was running, but as soon as I stopped the pain came back. I tried to stretch it and took The Stick to it, and the pain faded for a while. Drew and Colin had a soccer double-header in the evening, and the pain returned while I was lending moral support from the sideline. Hmph.

My first real race of the year is coming up this Sunday, and I was already feeling unprepared and a little nervous for it without this IT band nagging me. Maybe this is my punishment for having such an unpredictable training regimen? I honestly can’t remember doing anything Friday or Saturday to provoke my leg into pain, so either I managed to injure myself in my sleep or my very intermittent running schedule is proving to be a resounding failure.

Unless the pain increases, I still plan to run the Guinness 5K on Sunday. I’m hoping the parade-goers lining the race route and the general sense of revelry will provide me with the adrenaline necessary to overcome my woeful lack of training (I barely made 2 miles yesterday going at a slower-than-usual pace), and I need to keep reminding myself that I don’t need to PR this race… it’s just for fun, the start of a new year of road races, and if my time isn’t great then it’s just something to build from. And hopefully my IT band starts behaving itself in the meantime.

Do you have any tricks for keeping IT band pain at bay? What’s worrying you at the moment?

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