Running up, over and through the cogs

Chiro Save and a Beauty!


“Holy… effing… shit,” I said to Dr. Jay, my long-time chiropractor (and now, savior), “I wish I could explain to you the type of relief I’m feeling right now.”  I lay there, face down, breathing alleviated breaths that seemed to crescendo into sweeter, livelier respirations of victory.  Finally.  Everything made sense.  Sort of.

“Yeah, even your ribs were all out of whack.” he said.

Ribs?  Back?  But my problem is ITBS… or so I thought.

In fact, the last three weeks have been as frustrating as they have been debilitating.  Laid up from my DNF at the Des Plaines River Trail 50 from what was most certainly IT band syndrome, I have spent the last 20-some days scouring the internet for anti-ITBS clues, searching frantically from one runner injury forum to the next, soliciting advice from anyone with any inkling of authority, even if his handle is RUNNERSLAVE69.

I bought a $15 compression wrap that would be better used as a headband.  I endured three intense ART sessions.  I rolled and stretched my IT band so much that I feel like I should be an inch or two taller.

But none of it seemed to do anything to help, which led to repeatedly asking myself: WHY?  WHY ME?

My hip flexors are super strong!  My gluteus medius could be used as an anatomy classroom specimen!  My quads are about as muscular as one could ever expect them to be!  SO WHY ME?  WHY NOW?  DON’T YOU KNOW I HAVE A MARATHON TO RUN IN 9 1/2 WEEKS?

It wasn’t until I was on the phone with my dad, complaining to him as best I could without turning into a complete baby, explaining how I went from being uber tough BQ runner to debilitated hobby jogger who couldn’t run 4 miles without a flaring IT band leaving him hobbled, depressed and defeated.

“First I throw out my back on the ab roller,” I told him, “then my knee locks up from ITBS, and then, because I was so frustrated with not being able to train, I went straight to the heavy bag without wrapping my hands and now I’m pretty sure I have a broken wrist.”

(Luckily, I don’t actually have a broken wrist.  Just a sore wrist.  A very, very sore wrist.)

“Wait, what did you say about your back?” Dad asked.

“I threw it out on the ab roller.  The Monday before my DNF actually.”

“Maybe that and your IT band are related.”


This is my dad. He’s a smart guy.

Why didn’t I ever think of that?  I should have known that.  I should have known that!

“Oh yes, the two are definitely related.” said Dr. Jay.  “When you strained your back, all the muscles around it tightened, pulling inwards, which pulled your hip upwards, rotating it into an abnormal position.”

With the rotated hip, the IT band got off track, and voila, after a few gentle miles I wanted to saw my own leg off.  Thankfully, I won’t need to saw my own leg off.

In fact, Doc says after another adjustment or two, I should be back to normal.  Seven to ten days should do it, which is fantastic news for humanity, considering I’ve been a moody bear without my regular training regimen to keep me centered.

But just in case I have any lingering ITB issues, I did buy some KT tape.  I plan to start using it immediately, which finally offers me a legitimate excuse to experiment with shaving my legs.


4 responses

  1. Kirsten

    YAY for smart dads! (dang it we grow up into adults and our parents STILL know best!)
    Now I look forward to your next blog on experiments in leg shaving. I am sure this entry will be up there with your notes on vaseline usage. Please do not solicit advice on this from RUNNERSLAVE69.

    November 7, 2012 at 21:34

  2. Dan

    Glad to hear you’ve isolated the root of your woes. Hope those seven to ten days end up being exactly what you need to get back on track, Sir Jeff.

    I’m at the point in my training where I feel cautiously invincible. I have no pains at all when I run, even when they’re 16+ milers, and a lot of them are at a fast clip. It’s a little worrisome because usually after such a streak, something happens. I’m trying to stay positive, especially with my race schedule …

    I try to not believe in magic bullets, but it appears that switching over to lighter shoes has made an enormous difference in injury prevention and overall performance. I hope I’m not wrong …

    Carry on!

    November 8, 2012 at 09:56

  3. Glad to hear that you have found the issue to your problems. I went through some of the same stuff when I had my plantar fasciitis issues. It is all connected. Best of luck with your next race, I am sure you will do awesome!

    November 11, 2012 at 21:03

  4. Pingback: Four Tenths of a Second Behind Peter Sagal: The Universal Sole Trail Challenge Race Report «

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