I completed a 4 mile run tonight. I used a knee brace just to help support me knee. I was really nervous about my IT band.

My muscles felt really sore especially my quads and my glutes. I was really nervous about that. My current theory related to my IT band issues is that I do fine until my legs and glutes get tired and then I start to put too much strain on my IT band. I’m not sure if my form breaks down, or if it is just a fatigue thing. At any rate, the fact that I had sore muscles out of the gate was a bad sign. I feared the worst.

The whole run I tried to focus on form. I tilted my hips up and held in my abs tightly. I’m not exactly sure how one is supposed to breath with their abs tight, or lean forward with their hips turned up. More and more I am thinking that runners must be disfigured freaks because I can’t seem to do those things. To tangent on the tangent, wow that makes my head hurt, running is starting to feel like golf where they tell you to do a million things at once in a process that is a second long and then tell you to relax. Yeah right.

Anyway, I figured if I could go 2 miles without pain I would make it. I know that was wishful thinking, but still.

The good news is that I made the 2 miles without incident. The even better news is that I made the whole trip home with no pain at all. When I took off the knee brace my knee felt fresh and my IT band felt fine!

I am going to keep up the PT on my own. I have incorporated a bunch more exercises into my PT to try to strength my legs completely. I now do stretches and foam roll my IT bands every day. My IT band feels much looser now, and I hardly have any pain at all when I foam roll. A couple of weeks ago I was in agony, so that is good news.

On my off days from running I do a whole slew of exercises including 100 squats, 50 each of 5 different leg lifts hitting all different angles, and several other kinds of exercises and jumps. I think it takes me 45 minutes or so to get through all of the exercises and stretches and I hope it pays off.

I’m currently in survival mode, so I plan to continue wearing the knee brace and doing 4 minute run/1 minute walks for the rest of the year. I know that it will probably result in less strengthening benefit from my runs, but I think that the benefit of a healed IT band and no pain while running far outweigh the risks.

On Thursday a 6 miler, that should be interesting.