After every long run I feel some sort of pain in my left knee and even hamstring. The pain has been plaguing my long distance runs for months. What I failed to realize (until yesterday after a self-diagnosis), was that I've fallen victim to Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS.)
I've been ignoring the knee and hamstring pain for a long time now because only yesterday was I forced to stop running during my--or, what was supposed to be my 2.5 hr run. The run started out great just like every other run. It was only after 25 minutes that I start to feel a sharp pain in the side of my knee. Thinking it would subside, I kept running until I reached a large downhill portion of the trail. It was here that I felt an immense pain on the left side of my left knee. I knew it was serious because the intensity of the pain even lingered after I had stopped. Moments after digging my thumb into my knee to try and ease the pain. I was forced to limp/walk home when simply "walking it off" didn't help at all. Later that day, even, I had to go for a walk and was again forced to limp during the downhill sections of the walk. For a moment I actually thought maybe a bone is chipped or--god forbid--broken.
The next day I did some research to find out I have ITBS. I read on several sites that when you first experience the pain from this syndrome that you should not run for at least a couple of weeks. And even after the couple of weeks you should slowly ease back into it, only adding 5-10 minutes of running a week!
Sadly in order for me to overcome this adversity, I will not run, or even bike at all for 2-3 weeks. On the brightside however, I will swim a lot more and even weight train more. On top of this, I will visit my A.R.T.(Active Release Technique) specialist a few times in an attempt to break up the scar tissue and fully reduce any inflammation in the area. I will also be icing the area nightly as well as loading up on anti-inflamatory foods such as ginger, tumeric, omega 3's, kale, and spinach.
I can now look back and say that ITBS was a ticking time bomb from the moment I ignored the doctors advice and refused to wear my orthodox-which I now wear ;)