Okay, so maybe I will post just a little bit, even if I'm not quite back up to form yet. Like I said, lots of cross training, not a whole lot of running. I decided I'm going to try to ease the running back in and if I feel any IT band issues, I'm going to meet up with the university trainer where I work, as per David's suggestion. Maybe now that I'm doing lots of cross training classes-- strength, abs, pilates, etc-- those will help build up those muscles that cause problems with the IT band.
Here was my dilemma yesterday: I had decided I would run 4 miles between my house and the university, then shower and meet some friends at five for drinks and a movie. But we were still getting intermittent rain bands from Rita (that storm is HUGE!), and it was also 90 degrees, so I decided to drive to the university. I had left my gym bag in my husband's car, so after picking that up I only had thirty minutes to do a workout. It was pouring rain and there was an empty treadmill in the gym.
I really wanted to run. The iPod was charged and a playlist was ready with some reggaeton and songs by Shakira and M.I.A., this new Sri Lankan-hip-hop sensation from Britain. In the old days I would have done a hard three miles with a few hills thrown in, followed by a few sit ups, then off to the showers and to meet my friends. But I'm trying to make different choices now because I realize how fragile some of these injuries are-- they just come out of nowhere and sideline you completely. So I did two miles, followed by ten minutes of stretching and strength work. Boring as hell, but I think this is what I have to do. After last January's marathon, gone are the days when I could just tear out for a run without stretching much and have no problems.
So, if you have thirty minutes only to exercise, don't fill it just with running-- it might save you in the long run to do the stretches and strength work as well...