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ITBS: Isn’t That a Bewitching Scheme?!

September 4, 2010

Faber est suae quisque fortunae. (“Every man is the artisan of his own fortune.”) — Sallust

Protagonist trains for marathon number three. Protagonist goes on vacation. An unexpected shift: ITB injury. She cannot finish her 16-mile run. Knee pain persists. Marathon is in five weeks. Will she overcome?

ITBS sucks. Especially the kind that happens six weeks before a race. 10/10/10 is a perfect date for a marathon; ‘historic’, the Chicago Marathon newsletter called it. People will run it, people will break their personal records. I will (likely) not run it, I will be jealous all day long.

The next marathon I run will be awesome. 2010? Maybe. Yesterday I felt this was like making a left turn going south on Damen and Diversey. It is impossible. But if I focus and stay positive, I can do it.

I pulled up material about ITBS remedies. And about astrology, and about magic. An ultra-marathoner described his struggle with ITBS. He exaggerated his toe-offs to keep the knee pain-free, starting to consciously push more from the lower leg and the toe. Then I read about a Ph.D. from Russia who scientifically blamed toeing-off for injuries and unnecessary impact on the knee. A physiatry M.D. instructed patients to stretch it three times a day. A physical therapist warned that foam-rolling the ITB every day would make the syndrome worse. Interestingly, studies concluded that men are more susceptible to ITBS because their muscles are less flexible. What also made sense was the assertion that women’s anatomy put women at higher risk for ITBS, because of their increased rotation in the thigh and the knee. This research was fantastic.

I purchased Dr. Scholl’s inserts to support my arches. I practiced the perfect running form in front of the mirror. Finally, I rearranged my running schedule to fit my healing period, my 16-, 18-, and 20-milers, and 25 hours of fasting on Yom Kippur that could not be moved. Marathon day also had to stay the same: 10/10/10. It would take a supreme project manager to pull off this one. Coupled with a miracle, perhaps.





Art: Zodiac, by Raphael Rodrigues Oliveira, available under Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative license

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