In February 2010 I was training for my first 15k. I was running down a very steep hill when I started getting a pain in my left knee. Based on the locations of the pain, and my fabulous google skills, I determined it was my IT band. Which is frustrating, because it's one of those things that would go away, and pop right back up.
I didn't discover foam rolling until training for my half marathon at the end of 2010, and then it was much more about my hips than my knee.
When I ran the Rock and Roll Half in January of 2011, my IT band acted up during the run, and really hit hard after the race. I thought rest was the answer, and since I had just found out I was pregnant, rest was easy...for a couple of weeks, before I started training for my next half marathon.
My IT band pain struck again in January 2012, when I was training for the Tinkerbell Half. It was during my last long run - the week before the race. This time I was smart, and brought my foam roller out to play. (And reintroduced my Vibrams for the taper during the week). By the time the race rolled around, my knee was back in fighting shape.
And I haven't had any knee pain since. Until 2 weeks ago, January 2014 (I'm thinking January is a bad month for my knees, what do you think?). It was my 7 mile run, and I was on my way back when I felt that same twinge in my knee. My right this time, just to keep things interesting apparently. It was fine as soon as I stopped running, but as soon as I started playing with Thatbaby on the beach and chasing a ball, it flared right back up. Not good. With all the big runs I have planned for this year, I knew I had to nip this in the bud. As soon as we came home, I broke out my foam roller. And rolled and rolled and rolled. My IT band, my quads, hamstrings, and calves. Everything that touched my knee! I took off the next day (which was good, because when I woke up, my IT band was throbbing) and kept rolling rolling rolling. Monday morning I took it easy. Threw on my Vibrams and went for a nice, slow run. With no pain. And came home and rolled. By Tuesday I felt comfortable picking up the speed, but keeping up with the rolling.
I think I've taken care of the problem, but I'm keeping a close eye on it! My long run last week was with a lot of trepidation. I kept waiting for the twinge in my knee, but it didn't come. Keep your fingers crossed that this keeps up till June!