I've been sidelined. And it's killing me.
The nagging pain on the outside of my right leg turns out to be Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome, a common running injury.
The IT band is a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh and across the knee. As the fibers rub on the outer knee bone (that's about as medically technical as I can get), it causes friction. And friction causes pain.
Plenty of pain.
I showed up for Sunday's team run fully intending to do the 7 miles I had on my training schedule. But not far into the run, I knew that wouldn't happen. The pain in my knee was getting worse and shooting up my hip with every step.
I gave up trying to stick with the pack early into the run. At points I even walked. When I looped around at Mile 4, bringing me back to the school, I decided I wouldn't push it any more that day. I couldn't.
I described the pain to Coach Jack and he immediate diagnosed it as a problem with my IT band. Cut down my running, he said, and stretch, stretch, stretch.
Yesterday I visited the doctor (now anyone who knows me knows that I was really hurting if I ended up in the doctor's office) to get confirmation of Coach Jack's diagnosis. (Not that I didn't believe him, of course...)
My doctor, as it turns out, is a marathon runner. She, like Jack, immediately diagnosed the IT Band problem. She had one herself when she started running, she told me.
She twisted and turned by leg in every direction, pushed on my knee and checked for any other potential injuries. No major problems.
So she prescribed an anti-inflammatory, icing several times a day and lots of rest. She sent me home with a packet of info about the IT Band, injuries, stretching and recovering.
The good news is that the prognosis looks good. A few days off my feet, maybe more.
Probably the most disappointing part is that it's unlikely that I'll be running alongside my teammates participating in the Seacoast Half Marathon on Sunday.
But at least it won't sideline my plans for the Disney Half Marathon.
REMEMBER, I'M DOING THIS FOR A GOOD CAUSE.
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