Monday, November 17, 2014

The Self Loathing Ramblings of a Frustrated Runner

     When I started running I had no thoughts of running races or setting personal records (PR) all I was trying to do was lose the weight.  As my mileage increased and my per mile times decreased, the idea of actually running a race seemed like the thing to do.  That first year I tried to run every race I could get my hands on.  I was constantly scouring the internet looking for races that I could fit into my schedule, which I know was annoying Mandy quit a bit.  This past summer I put all my training eggs into one basket for the marathon and totally skipped out on a bunch of other smaller local races that I did last year.  I had planned on doing a 10K right in the middle of my training, but thanks to my knee pain I was having at the time, I skipped the race so I could continue to rest my knee.  In fact if it wasn’t for my sister being involved with that 5K a couple of weeks before the marathon, I wouldn’t have even done it.  I put all my focus and energy into preparing for the marathon which is why, I believe, I had such a great race day experience.  I loved every minute of that race and to be quite honest I can’t wait to do another one, but every since that race my running life has been a frustrating chain of events. 
     First I have pain in my ankle, then my knee pain comes back while running anything longer than 2-3 miles at a time.  I keep telling myself that I just didn’t let my body heal up enough after the marathon, so I gave myself almost two weeks worth of time to rest and what happens my first run back, freaking knee pain.  Because of this issue, I have missed out on a half marathon I wanted to do and at this point there is know way I am running the local turkey trot on Thanksgiving.  It has really thrown me into a funk right now, mostly because I don’t know what to do.  I know it is my IT band acting up again and I have read every little thing on this issue and no matter what I try nothing seems to work.  Rest seems to be the number one prescribed treatment, but I have read so many stories about people who have rested for 6 months and on their first run back the pain returns.  I have been icing, foam rolling, stretching and no matter what I run two to three miles and the pain returns.
     This shit is so frustrating because all I want to do is run.  I keep thinking do I really need to worry about getting faster and setting new PRs?  The primary reason I fell in love with running is because it worked so well in aiding my weight loss.  I would not be anywhere near where I am at with my weight loss if I couldn’t run, that I am sure of.  The thing that I can’t stand is that I can’t run long distances right now, even if I slowed down to a turtle’s pace I would still have pain after a couple miles and long distance is what I am into right now.  Hell I even started researching ultra marathons, but that is a freaking pipe dream with this knee pain.  I had been thinking hard these past couple of weeks on my goals for 2015, I have even started writing about them and was planning on posting it this week, but at this point I don’t even know if consistent running is in my future little lone setting a pretty aggressive time or distance goal.  If I can get this knee pain solved, I think running and having fun doing it will end up being my goal for 2015.  Maybe get back to my attitude from 2013, were I was running any race I can get my hands on. 
      A couple of things I have read that can cause IT band syndrome is weak quads and core, shoes and running form.  With this in mind I have started a body weight exercise routine that will hopefully help my entire body get stronger.  I am also going to go this week and look into a new pair of shoes.  I have been hearing great things about Altra brand shoes helping to correct and promote good running form with their zero drop design, so I am seriously considering  going them a try as well.  The last thing I am going to do after I give myself a little more rest is keep my runs short, 2-3 miles max.  I think if I keep my IT band from getting irritated while getting stronger eventually I will be able to get back to long distances again.  At least I hope so, I got a lot of important races coming up in April and early May.


  1. Hugs, Dean. Sounds like you have done a ton of research. The only thing I might suggest is look into a running coach to watch your form and make suggested corrections - or a physical therapist that specializes in running?? Hope the "joy" returns :)

  2. Knee issues suck! I spent almost all of 2012 dealing with it. When I finally got better, there were a few things that I think were helpful: 1) I ran only on the treadmill. It's a softer, less "jarring" surface, and easier on the joints; 2) I stopped running AS SOON AS I felt pain. Sometimes that was after three miles, and sometimes that was after a quarter mile; 3) I rested it a lot.
    I had tried foam rolling and stretching, but it didn't help me at all. I didn't really start to see an improvement until I started running on the treadmill instead of outside. Obviously, you need to find what works for you!
    I would definitely email Golden from Altra and ask for his opinion on what shoes he thinks you may do well with. It would be worth a try!
    I know it's so frustrating to deal with this when all you want to do is run. But you'll get back there! Your marathon wasn't very long ago. Ideally, you'd rest for three weeks after a full; but no runners like to do that ;)