Side Note: I am almost to 100 followers! I have a fun giveaway ready for when I hit 100, so pretty please help me get there soon!!! Thanks!! ;)
My IT band pain returned with a vengeance this past week, and after Tuesday and Thursday's painful runs, I was more than a little nervous to tackle my first 10-mile run of this half-marathon training cycle. In an attempt to calm my anxiety and mentally gear up for the run, I started laying out gear FRIDAY afternoon even though I wasn’t running until Sunday. I know, I’m completely crazy. Gear this week included a brand new fuel belt!
This morning I dragged myself out of bed at 5:15am and headed out to a new (GORGEOUS) running trail. In addition to my new fuel belt, I tried out another new gear item today: an IT band strap, per my physical therapist's suggestion. This little strap doesn’t SOLVE the problem or HEAL the IT band, but it's supposed to help keep pain at a minimum so I can continue to run as we work on fixing the real problem. After I velcroed on the strap, though, I looked down at my legs and realized I look like an injured mess between my beloved compression sleeves AND the IT band strap. Oh well. :) I will do whatever it takes to get through a run!!!
|I know, I look ridiculous.|
Of course I had a mantra for this long run…Sorry it’s blurry, but today’s was, “You’ve got this. Keep Moving.”
In hopes of achieving negative splits, I concentrated on starting out SLOWLY and listening to my body. Did anything hurt? Thankfully, the right IT (my trouble one) felt fine! I took a Gu Roctane after mile 5—usually I’m a chocolate Gu girl, but it was HOT and I thought the Roctane would be a good thing to try. I liked it! The consistency is a little thinner than regular Gu and it’s a little saltier, but I felt great after taking it.
Miles 6-8 were a little tougher. The trail was REALLY sunny at that point and I was running low on water. But, glancing at the mantra on my arm every now and then, I reminded myself that I just needed to keep moving. As I continued running, around mile 9 I realized that not only was I going to finish these 10 miles, but I was going to finish them STRONG with negative splits, and in my fastest time ever for this distance! Even more exciting was that my IT band was STILL pain-free! MIRACLE! I literally started tearing up because I was just so unbelievably happy and hadn’t thought this was possible. I can’t even describe how I felt when I watched my garmin change from 9.99 to 10.00—relief, joy, exhaustion, elation, pride, CONFIDENCE.
|One hot & sweaty MESS!|
When I got home I subjected myself to my first ever ice bath…and it actually wasn’t TOO bad! I climbed right in in my running clothes and pulled a fleece hoodie over the top to keep my upper body warm—I think that really helped. While it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, I can’t say I wasn’t ready to leap out after 10 minutes!
Per the PT's recommendation, I also used an ice cup to massage my IT bands later on which felt AMAZING. (Though it was a little messy…) (Instructions: fill Dixie cup with water & freeze. After run, peel the top of the cup off and massage sore muscles with ice. Watch out for drips!)
Verdict on my new running gear: I LOVE the IT strap!!!!!! I wish I’d bought one months ago!!!!! While I think it’s important for me to still feel once in awhile whether or not I’m having pain, I will definitely wear the strap on my long runs and might even buy a second for my left IT. While it’s not as tight/painful as my right, it definitely gets nasty tight too.
I also loved the fuel belt. While I ran out of water, I know that combined with water stations at the race it will be plenty. The bottles were easy to get in and out, the pouch in back was perfect for gu, keys, whatever, and it didn’t move around. Also it was super easy to tighten and loosen the velcro closure even while running.
All in all, a fabulously successful run. :)
How do you carry your fuel on long runs?
Did you run/race this weekend? How did it go??