IT Band Injury: Out For 4 weeks

The orthopedic surgeon's verdict is in: It's the IT Band, and I can't run for four weeks. I am not a cross-trainer (nor a cross-dresser for that matter) but I have no choice now. I've been doing some biking, but since it takes the knee past a 30 degree bend, it hurts the IT band as well. I'm trying a stepper, keeping the vertical movement to only 6 inches or so. By doing this very rapidly, I am able to get a good cardiovascular workout while simultaneously strengthening the quad and calf muscles - two critical muscles for the WS100. Doing lots of stretching, push-ups, sit-ups and weight training as well. I'll use this time period to strengthen all my muscles, and I'll start fresh in 2006. 'til then...

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run - 2007

Today is Sunday, December 4, 2005, and I just found out that I won one of the two spots raffled for the 2007 Western States Endurance Run. Once a year, in addition to the lottery, the race coordinators sell tickets for the coveted prize - an automatic entry to the race for a qualifying runner. The proceeds go to a great cause - the maintenance and protection of the trails. With such an awesome prize and great use of the proceeds, I treated myself to a bunch of tickets. Today, I learned what, God willing, I will be doing the last week of June in 2007.

Since my 2005 JFK50 run has already qualified me, now all I need to do is train like crazy for 18 months! The problem: my Iliotibial Band (IT Band) is killing me - a gift from my recent JFK50 run. I can only run for a few miles before a sharp pain on the outer side of my right knee instantly freezes my running. The IT Band is a tendon going from the hip, alongside the outer portion of the leg, passing through the side of the knee and turning to connect at the tibia. When inflamed, it can rub at the knee, creating a piercing pain on the side of the knee (much like when you hit your funny bone) that only subsides by stopping immediately. Supposedly, it's one of those injuries that can take months to cure. So I am not taking any chances; I'll be making an appointment tomorrow morning with a sports doctor.

This is the first entry of my blog, which will detail my training and activities leading to the 2007 Western States Endurance Run. Hope it helps someone attempting the same feat after I have completed mine.