Listening To Your Body

Since the beginning of the year, I have been running somewhat injured in one form or another. When I really started adding on miles in January, my right knee started giving me a lot of trouble. It actually started in December when I bought what was supposed to be the correct pair of shoes for me, but by January it started getting worse. I finally realized it was the shoes(just goes to show you that running stores that “professionally” fit you don’t always know what they are talking about), and that I over-pronate badly and need a stability shoe. I switched up my shoes and was golden. For a week or two. Then the pain came back. But not in my right knee, in my left knee. I asked for advice everywhere, saw my chiropractor once a week. I was foam rolling, using acupuncture, salt baths, icing it. Each remedy was very temporary, and every Sunday, my knee would start hurting after my long run. I suspected it was my IT band.

Luckily(if you will call it luck), I knew how my body and knee reacted. I could run and run and run and run, and as long as I didn’t stop to walk at all, I would only be in minor pain. Walking made my knee lock up and it was very difficult to resume running. That was why I didn’t stop for pictures until the end of the Princess Half. I knew as soon as I stopped, it would be hard for me to continue running. Not wanting to walk, I skipped pictures. I would be kicking myself if I stopped for a picture at mile 4 and had a hard time running after.

When I got home from my Disney trip, still in some amount of pain(but not hobbling around), I immediately called an orthopedic/sports medicine doctor. It was time to quit working through the pain and fix it, especially if I’m going to keep going. I saw the doctor today. He took X-Rays(they turned out great), checked over ligaments and range of motion and came to the same conclusion, ITBS, or Illiotibial Band Syndrome. The IT Band is a large amount of tissue that extends from your hip down to under your knee, on the outside of the leg. It’s a very common occurrence for runner’s to have IT Band issues. Unfortunately for me, all of the “first steps” to fixing IT band issues have proved ineffective. So I got a steroid injection in my knee and will start physical therapy next week.

Now, with my knee feeling great(thanks to the shot), I can live pain free, at least for the time being. Right? Wrong. After the doctor, I had to stop by the grocery store with my two youngest children(life doesn’t stop for a sports injury you know). My toddler was at the end of her rope and she pitched a fit when I tried to put her in her car seat. She arched herself backwards, I lurched forward, and felt my back twist in a very uncomfortable way. Now after my orthopedic appointment, I headed to my chiropractor, so she totally ruined my fresh adjustment. My back has since started spasm and I’ll be back to visit my chiro again tomorrow. Awesome.

Now, with a knee full of cortisone and a back that is screaming, you’d think I’d be smart enough to rest right? Wrong again. Since my half over a week ago, I’ve done two two mile fast walks on my treadmill. I guess I’ve gotten used to being so active and I actually feel a bit blah not being at that level. So I got the grand idea to go ahead and try to brave Zumba tonight. As I’m driving there, my head is telling me “Hey, you! You need to rest. Your body is breaking. Stop, turn back, do not enter.” I didn’t listen. I made it through half of Zumba and I decided to leave. My back was still achy, and my knee had started to hurt again(something it shouldn’t actually do thanks to the numbing agent in the steroids), and I wasn’t able to keep up with the dancing. Not because of the pain, but because I was so mentally off from that little guy in my head, knocking on my skull and shouting, “Hellooooo, McFlyyyyy.”

I’m going to have to accept it for right now. I’m going to make myself that much worse if I don’t slow down. We all get there, and this has just been an important lesson that while I’m still rather young, I’m not invincible. I need to rest.

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