On Sunday, October 12th 2014, I completed my first half-marathon. The Staten Island Half Marathon to be exact. I started training for this race in July and the process had come to an abrupt stop after being diagnosed with the oh-so-awesome common runner injury, IT band syndrome. Yep, a pain in the behind it was.
I stopped running totally for a bit over a month as per my doctor’s advice. I did a series of stretches and plenty of foam rolling daily to help the bands and strengthen my hips. I was told to do physical therapy for 6 weeks but couldn’t afford it (surprise, surprise), so I did my stretches and workouts at home. Although the pain went away, my knee still didn’t quite feel normal…… So I picked back up very slowly (I’m talking 2 miles at a time) for a few weeks . I had 4 races left for my NYRR 9+1 qualification for the 2015 marathon and had to decide if I was going to run them…… and I did.
Some weeks later I completed the Bronx 10 mile doing a nice combination of speed walking and jogging. And two weeks after that, here was the half I’ve been waiting for / dreading. Of course, as any new runner would be – I was scared to actually run for fear of that dreadful knee pain. I walked a nice amount and managed to run a few miles too. By mile 10 I felt like the race would never end but before I knew it I was running into that stadium to cross the finish line. Although it took me a while, the only thing that really mattered to me was that I finished, UNINJURED! ICE, ICE, ICE was my BFF after all was said and done.
Now, I am not encouraging you to run if you have an injury… I’m just telling you my experience. I knew I had just finished recovering so I took these races slowly. I will share some of what I did to get over IT band syndrome in later posts so just keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I have 2 small races left and I’ll qualify for next year’s marathon, so you can look forward to a story about that experience as well (even though it is so far away). Now on to continue with strength training so I can have a healthy running season to come!