it band

One of my favorite bloggers, Amanda, has been having a Runners Tell All link-up the 21st of every month.  Since getting back into running and training for my first 13.1 in a few years, it has been a perfect motivator and great place to share running related topics that I wouldn't normally share.  Today's prompt is: Share a bad race or training experience and what you learned from it. 
A few years ago I had this grand idea on attempting one half marathon a month, for 12 months.  I even blogged about my attempt at said challenge (which I seemed to have deleted) in 2010.  Since getting into running, the only thing that seemed to motivate me to run on a consistent basis was to train for a race.  So, in an attempt to keep me motivated and running consistently, I decided it would be a good idea to run 12 half marathons in as many months.

However, what I thought would be motivating, was not.  I wasn't training like I should have been and had taken some time off before I started this asinine idea so when I attempted a few long-ish runs I got injured pretty quickly.  Around mile 3.5/4, the outside of my right knee would start to hurt.  Like really hurt.  Felt like if I took one more step it would just break in two.  Being somewhat of a novice to running and never before really having any type of serious sports related injury, I feared the worse and thought my running "career" was over.

I explained to the husband where it was hurting and that is when he told me it was my IT Band, or the Iliotibial Band for those of you who are are more technical.  The IT Band is a band that extends from the outside of your hip/butt stretching all the way down to the side of your knee.  The pain can present itself anywhere between those two connecting points.

And this is when I was first introduced to what has become my running BFF, the foam roller.  The foam roller is a firm  cylindrical foam noodle-type thing that helps to massage those parts of your body that are hard to massage yourself.  To work out your IT Band, lay the foam roller on the floor then lay down on your side on top of the roller, rolling up and down, making sure to only target between your hip and the outside of your knee.  Then repeat on the otherside.  If my explanation is hard to get (I am not great at explaining things), here is a video that shows you how.

When I hoped to continue with the 12 half marathons in one year plan, I rolled out twice a day and on each side for 2 minutes.  Unfortunately, that didn't help me at the time so I had to accept that I wouldn't be able to complete the challenge at the time.  I have, however, discovered a trick that works for me now.  If I am going for a run that calls for 4 or more miles, I roll out each knee before the run. Knock on wood, I haven't had any serious pain since.

What is your worse training or race experience?
What type of running related injuries have you experienced?
Has your IT Band ever been an issue?
Have you heard of foam rolling before?  If so, do you make time for it when training?

Linking up with Amanda, Leeanne, and Molly today!

until next time
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  1. Oh my god, I know the EXACT pain your were dealing with!! I had the very same thing happen to me when I trained too fast for my first half marathon, and my left IT Band has still not forgiven me. My foam roller is my savior, and gets packed in my bag every time I travel. Along with my stick for my calves. Toiletries, I can buy when I get there. My workout accessories? Irreplaceable!!

  2. Glad you have it figured out! And ouch! I had knee issues before my very first race. It wasn't pretty.

  3. I can not even fathom running ONE half-marathon EVER, let alone one each month! I've only just started foam rolling and is it bad that I don't think I have enough upper body strength to even do it. First time I tried, I was out of breath and my arms were shaking trying to hold myself up enough just to roll my hips/legs! Glad you have been injury/pain free since the rolling! *knock on wood*!

  4. Awesome! now you can complete your goal now! :)


  5. Outside right knee pain?! Towards the top of the knee cap?! Feels like your knee cap is going to fall out of your leg when you run?! Yes, this is exactly what I have been dealing with since January. I am so sick of foam rollers, but they do help. Thanks for sharing your experience. Good luck with the future half marathons!

  6. I have heard so many people swear by foam rolling! I haven't tried it myself. I really should get one. I thankfully haven't had many injuries or pain. I always stretch really good after a run, but I should probably get a foam roller. Glad your pain has decreased for the most part! Running injuries like that are always so annoying.

  7. Oh gosh! Well, when I first started training for my first half, I did it in a short amount of time and let's just say I did not really take care by stretching either before or after my run...so after a few months, I developed the horrid....plantar fasciitis. It has been over 1 year now, 3 docs, 2 physical therapists, and one too many cortisone shots....and I am now finally running. I will be blogging about it soon. I'm due for my PT visit on Thursday and I will happily tell him I'm on phase two of running now! 3min run/2 min walk....SOOO excited!!!
    BTW- I need a foam roller!


  8. We are twins when it comes to injuries! The same thing happened to me. I had to go to a chiropractor and foam roll a bunch. I foam roll a lot now and it is so very helpful!


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