I’ve been doing a series of articles on treating common running injuries for Competitor: achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome. While none of it’s been particularly new information for me, they’re all relatively comprehensive overviews of the different ailments and what we do and don’t know about fixing them. So, if you’re having any of those problems, I suggest checking out the stories (and not just because I wrote them and I am awesome).
But, what occurred to me as I was writing about IT bands on Monday is that this information isn’t new to me now, but it was once. Once it would have been shockingly new information. In college I was crippled with IT band problems. Any time I ran over 10-12 miles I stopped being able to walk. My knee locked up; my hip locked up; I’d hobble home. It made training for and attempting to complete my first marathon slightly disastrous. My treatment protocol at the time was basically rest and hope. I didn’t know anything about rolling or stretching or, most importantly, hip and glute strength. So, it probably shouldn’t have been shocking when I had the same problems four years ago, exacerbated by a terrible bike fit. And, what I remember most is being so simply overwhelmingly frustrated and confused. WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ME?!?
Now, it seems obvious and simple. Not that that means I never worry about IT band problems (*knock on wood*), but I keep up my functional strength; I stretch; I roll; I head to massage when things are tight; I freak out and call my ART guy and my chiro whenever I have an inkling of a problem.
Now, IT band injuries seem oh-so-beginner. Now, I’m stymied by a torn muscle in my foot. (Someone yesterday asked me, “Are there muscles in your foot?” I’m going to say, yes, yes, there are.) Last year, I was taken out by a bone spur. Each time the problem seems mystifying and confusing. No one could have seen it coming. The world is so unfair. How could I have been expected to know this would happen. And, each time, the answers really aren’t that different or mysterious or shocking. Injuries happen.