Hat on Top, Coat Below


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May 8, 2007

Remember the last time I wrote about running and I was all cheerful about my 5K personal best and vowing to keep at it? Well, I’m not so cheerful anymore. That 5K was the last good run I had. The day after the race, I walked for an hour and that was dandy. My first post-race running workout, however, was not dandy in the least. I wasn’t feeling well to start with–the paint fumes from the renovation going on down the hall from my office had given me a headache and a queasy stomach–but it just got worse when I got out into the fresh air and started jogging. The pain in my right leg that’s been an issue for me on and off showed up early and stuck around even when I slowed to a walk. I limped home with an average pace verging on 13 minutes a mile.

Then I went to Paducah and didn’t run at all for over a week. When I got back to it, my head and my stomach were fine but my leg seemed worse than ever. It hurt so much and so constantly that I cut my workout short and came home in a crappy mood. Since then, through the magic of the Internet, I’ve diagnosed myself with iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome and have started on a regime of stretching and strengthening exercises targeting the area. Therefore I had a reason to buy a giant-sized lime green water noodle at Kroger to use in place of the foam roller called for in the exercises, and let me tell you, there’s nothing like a grown woman strolling around the grocery store with a huge water noodle sticking up out of her cart to put smiles on the faces of fellow shoppers.

I’m not sure if I’m on the right track with the ITB. It hasn’t been quite a week since I started the exercises. I’ve been walking instead of running, though I did mix in a few very short jogs the last time out and that didn’t seem to make things worse. I figure I’ll give this plan a few more weeks and if I don’t see some improvement I’ll think some more about calling the physical therapist a friend at work recommended. I’m afraid I may have to walk most of the race I signed up for later this month, but I guess that’s still better than sitting on the couch.

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