If you ever wondered what your IT band looks like check this out:
Mine hurts. It started about 40 miles into the VT 50, but wasn't really that bad. Or it wasn't any worse than the the way the rest of my body was feeling. Since the race it hasn't bothered me, until this weekend. I had originally hoped to get in 15-18 miles as a long training run for the Stone Cat marathon, but had to cut it a bit short.
Saturday I arrived at Pineland at 7 and met Dave and Lily, it was too cold to hang around waiting to see if anyone else was going to show (and I wasn't expecting anyone else) so we promptly headed off to run onto the Oak Hill trails to begin the run. Maybe it was because we were all a bit chilled but the pace immediately seemed pretty quick for the distance I was hoping to do but I didn't say anything because at least it was keeping me warm. About three miles into the run as we made our way up the first steep climb on the Pownal Trail Lily asked if we were going to keep this pace up. I was relieved to find that I wasn't the only one who thought the pace was quick, Dave also agreed and we all said it would be a good idea to slow down. However, as the grade leveled out the pace snuck back up.
This was just one of those days where the air is cool and fresh, the sky is bright, the leaves are brilliant and you just can't cant hold back. We finished the Oak Hill loop in about 37 minutes, that's a guess because I forgot to start my watch, and then headed onto the Campus Loop to bring us back to the parking lot at 8. We got there right on time and found Don, Tiki, Brett and Sara waiting.
We learned that there was a cyclocross race starting at 9am and agreed that another hour of running would be plenty for everyone. We started out back on the Campus Loop and then headed out along the River Loop to the Yurt, ran the Valley Farm Loop and then took a short cut across the fields to bring us back up to the YMCA.
The three miles of downhill running from the YMCA to the Yurt (the long down on the elevation profile below) really started to make my right knee ache. More of an annoyance at first, but eventually it turned into a real pain. The uphills provided some relief and luckily the company helped to provide a pleasant distraction.
As we neared the Pineland campus we encountered bikers warming up on the course and it was clear that it was time for us to get off the trails. I got in a total of (approximately, because I started my watch late) 11.8 miles in 1:42, that's an 8:38 pace. I stuck around long enough to see the first (cat 4) cyclocross race, which was my first time seeing the event live. Pineland lacks some of the more difficult obstacles of other courses but probably makes a good place for beginners, but I don't know much about cyclocross.
There is something about the sport that is very appealing, I think it's the mud and the running. The only downside is the $1,000 + bike.
I spent the rest of the day helping Erik with his 50mile/50km race in Brunswick. This race is on a 4 mile road loop, not my cup of tea for running but I was glad to help.
Saturday night I spent a lot of time on the foam roller working on my IT band thinking that was the basis of my knee pain. That just seemed to cause more pain, which I think is actually an indication that I had found the source of the problem. Sunday my knee definitely felt better and I headed out in the evening with the hopes of getting in 8 to 10 miles. Again I decided to cut it short because the pain returned and only got in 6. Back to the foam roller.