With a Side of Sunshine

Good morning! :mrgreen:

Waking up in the dark wasn’t easy this morning, but a vase of vibrant, yellow daffodils from my mom really brightened my day. They just scream Spring to me!

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Breakfast

This morning’s breakfast was pretty awesome. I know that I eat oatmeal (or oat bran) over and over again, so you’d think it would get boring for me after awhile, but it really doesn’t. Oatmeal typically keeps me satisfied until lunchtime, so I stick with it because it works, and switching up the ingredients keeps it interesting!

Today, I had oat bran with fresh blueberries, ground flaxseed meal, chia seeds, and a scoop of both peanut butter and carrot cake jam. The carrot cake jam was easily the star of this morning’s breakfast. It was sweet and gooey, and I ended up spreading it over the top of my oat bran, sort of like a glaze. Mmm!

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I also drank an iced coffee, but I downed it before breakfast while writing my Health post and catching up with emails from the weekend.

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Reader Question: ITBS

Hi Tina! I know you’ve been a sufferer from ITBS and was wondering what advice you have for what worked/what didn’t? I think I’ve caught it before it’s going to get more serious so I want to do everything I can to prevent it from getting worse; foam roller, lots of stretching, etc. I was able to do a 10K yesterday without any major pain, but my IT band is feeling pretty sore/tight today. Any advice you have would be much appreciated! Stupid running injuries!

I’ve definitely had my fair share of IT band issues!

In the middle of my marathon training last fall, I started to experience IT band pain during and after my runs. I have a hip misalignment, so coupled with lots of running, it makes IT band pain a constant struggle for me. But, I’ve learned how to manage this injury, so I can continue running. Here’s what works for me:

Yoga

The quality of my running and related injuries directly correlates to the amount of yoga that I do. (Caitlin just wrote about this on her blog over the weekend. I’ve also blogged about why I need yoga in my life.) When I start to slack on my yoga practice, I always seem to get injured. With six races in six weeks, including three half marathons, I’ve been religiously taking two 75-minute yoga classes each week. Stretching out my legs in class definitely helps manage the tightness in my IT bands and prevents injuries.

If you’re looking for some runner-specific poses, Caitlin has a bunch on her blog and YogaDownload.com has a FREE 20-minute session available on their website just for runners. I do it quite a lot, and it’s great!

Ice

I’m a crazy ice fanatic. I ice my hip and IT bands after every single run that I do”” even the short ones. The ice reduces pain and inflammation and, I swear, it’s a miracle cure. I use my Paradice Ice Pack around my knee and on my hip (I just put it in my yoga pants) and it really seems to work.

Foam rolling

Hurts so good, baby! I use my foam roller before and after my runs, which helps loosen my IT bands. I alternate each side several times and roll for 5 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how tight my legs feel. It can be painful, but it definitely helps. Here’s a how to video from YouTube.

Massage

My IT bands are part of the reason that I love group buys and massages so much! Massaging the IT band is very painful, but it works wonders. Also, loosening the leg muscles, in general, provides pain relief for me. 

Rest

If my IT bands are really bugging me, I take a couple of days off from running. Sometimes, they just really need a break and rest definitely does them some good.

Question of the Day

Do you deal with injuries? Are you still able to remain active? What works for you?

82 Comments

  1. Ah yes, currently dealing with week #5 of a pulled groin. I was registered to do the National Marathon in DC next weekend, needless to say, that’s not happening.
    I will admit I cried and threw a few tantrums, but I’ve come to accept that it happens and I will have to run my first marathon elsewhere.
    I’ve dealt with it by swimming, ellipticalling and spinning… but it’s just not the same. For some reason, running is the only thing that causes any real pain. Sigh.

  2. I first experienced my ITB injury in Sept after I ran Hood to Coast. I was ordered to stop running for 6 weeks at least. I cried, yelled, moaned, complained, wallowed for about a week and then realized I had to figure out something else to do. I started lifting weights and found that I actually LOVED doing it! It’s transformed my body in ways I wasn’t expecting.

  3. Yoga is good on so many levels. Regular practice helps keep my neck limber…super important for me, since I’ve had chronic neck issues ever since being rear-ended by a drunk driver.

    Those daffodils are absolutely beautiful! They’re cheerfulness in a vase!

  4. I’ve never had a confirmed injury, but sometimes my knees get achey! When that happens I just switch to workouts that are easy on the joints for a few days and then they feel better.

    I never get bored of oatmeal either. It’s just way too delicious! 😉

  5. I’m recovering from two stress fractures right now. I stay active with hiking, ellipticizing, swimming, and biking. Running will always be my favorite though!

  6. YogaDownload! Thanks so much for that link! I’ve recently just got back into fitness (both physically and mentally) after having children. It’s been quite a different journey for me! Love that I discovered your blog, and I’m looking forward to your book. Thanks for being such a fantastic resource for health and fitness.
    Oh, and I do have one question! Have done the Freedom Trail Run through Boston? If so, did you like it? I’m looking forward to doing that this Spring/Summer. It’s been on my to-do list!!

  7. This past July, I had a stress fracture in my hip and had to stop running for 12 weeks. Even though I couldn’t run, my orthopedic told me to do whatever exercise was pain-free, in order to keep my endorphin levels normal. Fortunately, I discovered how much I enjoy spin class 🙂
    Now, I make sure to listen to my body, and take regular days off. I also stretch a lot more, and make sure I do a variety of exercise, not just running.

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  10. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now (also got your book, it helped me through a tough time!) but I had no idea that you had IT band problems! I couldn’t run for 3 months because my IT band would always hurt when I tried. I finally saw a physical therapist and she video-taped me running and apparently I was a mess! I have a slight curve in my spine and my hips are off, which makes my right leg go at in inward angle when I run! I’m 4 weeks back into running and hoping to run a half marathon in the early spring! Thanks for all of your tips! I’m definitely going to have to be better about foam rolling… I’m just too impatient!

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