Injuries. We have all had them and they pretty much affect us the same way. It usually leads into some slight depression at first and then turns into envy of your fellow running friends who are still running and you aren't. It just flat out sucks. I am currently having issues with what seems to be a mix of runner's knee and IT band syndrome (which is probably causing the runner's knee pain). My first bout with ITBS was last year around the same time, two weeks after Uwharrie (same time frame as this year). This resulted in a hiatus of running for the rest of February, March, and the beginning of April. Which then turned into a good month of running coming back from the issue and then another meltdown as the oppressive heat of last summer made me into a non-motivated slouch.
During the down periods between February and April, I started doing P90X and rode on a stationary bike 3-days a week to keep up my fitness. It worked and when I started running again in April, I was laying down some really quick 5 mile runs but still lacked the endurance to run solid much longer than 15k. I was pretty satisfied and figured I would be able to run the Iron Mountain 50M that coming September if I got my mileage back up. But then came the summer heat, as mentioned before, and I ran about once a week for no more than 5 miles each run. One run a week was all I was motivated to do and my fitness and endurance plummeted. It wasn't until September that I started really running again.
Needless to say, I don't want that scenario to replay itself out again this year with the same injury showing it's annoying presence again. I am so much more motivated and passionate about running this year and I don't want to fall into another slump. I have plenty of little fun runs on the calender coming up soon as well that I would hate to miss out on. I want to deal with this injury and get over it as quickly as possible, but still be able to run during the recovery. Long periods of complete rest don't ever seem to do me much good. Especially considering that last week I took the whole week off and when I went to run for the first time in 6 days the pain was still there.
So, I will probably start doing yoga again (something I probably should have never stopped doing) and start using a foam roller to alleviate the tightness of my IT band, which I am sure is the cause of the Runner's Knee problem as well. Hopefully this combined with some flat, gentle, and unshod running for the next few weeks (as well as icing) will help the problem and get me back to running 50+ mile weeks as soon as possible.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions on dealing with these types of issues, leave a comment. It will be very much appreciated and might spur a pretty good conversation.