Hobbling around like a lame horse

Things are not good. My right leg is stiff and sore. It’s been that way for about a month, and I’m starting to get worried.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been ignoring the dull pain, thinking I must have overstressed a muscle or tendon and just needed a few days of rest. So I haven’t mentioned it to anyone or written about it here.

But in the last few days, I’ve been hobbling around the house and office, especially the first thing in the morning, or when I stand up from a chair.

People are starting to ask if I’m OK. The truthful answer: I don’t know.

I had hoped that three or four days of rest, during vacation last week, would cure whatever was ailing me. And during that time, my leg was OK.

But after my 16-mile run on Saturday, my leg began throbbing again. I woke up with a heavy pain Sunday on the outside of my leg, near my knee. I was unable to lift it my leg. I felt like a lame horse.

After a few minutes, I was able to walk gently on it, but every time I sat down, and then stood up again, I would feel the pain.

On Monday, I ran a very easy, gentle six-miler on flat pavement.

On Tuesday, I tried to run moderately hilly trails at Fort Ben, but my leg started throbbing again, and I had to quit after less than two miles.

Today, my schedule called for Yasso 800 repeats at the track. I knew that was out of the question. So as much as I hate to do it, I’m taking another day off.

I’ve never had a serious leg injury before, so I’m at a loss to know how serious it is.

After a little web surfing,  my best guess is that I have a mild case of iliotibial band syndrome. It’s often caused by aggressively and suddenly ramping up mileage.

“People who suddenly increase their level of activity, such as runners who increase their mileage, often develop iliotibial band syndrome,” according to one sports medicine website.

In June, when I started my official training program for the Columbus Marathon, I increased my weekly mileage from about 20 miles a week to 35 miles a week. I probably should have given myself a more gradual ramping up schedule.

The symptoms of IT syndrome match mine pretty closely:  soreness down the outside of the leg, often near the outside knee. “Usually the pain worsens with continued movement, and resolves with rest,” one website said.

So what should I do? According to several sources, I should decrease my mileage, ice my leg, do more stretching, avoid crowned surfaces, and let nature take its course.

Funny, I never had this problem when I ran trails. It started only when I began pounding pavement.

Well, I guess I don’t have much choice. Let’s break out the ice, start stretching, and hope this little problem doesn’t get any worse.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. I’m in Week Six of a 16-week training plan.

Can I get on track for good, and get to the starting line of the Columbus Marathon, healthy and trained, on October 17?

I wish I knew the answer.

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3 Responses to “Hobbling around like a lame horse”

  1. angela minnefield Says:

    Going from 20 – 30M may has caused you the pain you are feeling. I hope you recover quickly but SMARTLY!!

    My running is going very well……running 15M on Sat. I am not running Columbus……..on a business trip (ugh!)

    Keep Smiling……….things will get better

    Angela

  2. Be sure to stretch your hamstring. That may seem odd since the pain is on the outside of the leg and not in the hamstring. A few years ago I had a similar problem and after some internet surfing I was convinced it was IT band. According to the sports med Doc I eventually saw it was just a tight hamstring. After a few days of stretching the hamstring the problem went away.

  3. do you have a foam roller ? it is a must have for IT band tightness. It hurts to lay on it and roll but it works

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