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Touch my iliotibial. Touch it.

So now that I am past this CO 'cross season, I'll let a cat out of the bag (no excuses though!): I have been suffering tremendously through this crazy IT band issue since the early Fall. Crazy shooting pain in my glutes and my tibialis anterior....all on the left leg. It's so f'd up: I'll be riding along (racing I am definitely under pressure) and it's like a light switch turns on: Shooting pain in my ass cheek and in my lower leg followed by a near immediate decrease in power. I mean like only the right leg can turn it over. Eventually things come 'round again but I always have ground to make up because of it.

So last night I go over to Bliss' house to discuss some 'cross business related to a non-profit he's architecting (note: you will all be affected positively by this if we get it off the ground!!! **), and his wife Michelle, my team mate, over hears us talking (OK, me bitching) about this problem. With all the training these days it is flaring up too so it's fresh on the mind. First thing John says: "Get on the floor." He then whips out his (get your mind out of the gutters you perverted monkeys...) foam roller and shows me what to do. "MOTHER PUS BUCKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I scream as I roll like he showed me and my IT band starts to smash and get worked on this foam machine of death. Unbelievable. At this moment Michelle says: "OK, get on the table...". Ah, team mates. Michelle is an unbelievable talented physio-therapist. She begins her treatment and gasps as she starts o feel about: "Holy crap, I could lift you straight up with this IT band!". Not good. She goes to work.

"Jesus HELP ME!"

"Lord, please God have mercy"

"Holy Mother, save me."

I am acting for contrition right there on that table. Pain. "AH, you're a screamer, aren't you?" says Michelle sadistically. Twenty minutes later she finishes up and I feel like I am on drugs. Her work is in.

Now mind you, this WHOLE season I could have helped myself. I run, I train, I do skills....and not once did I take care of the muscles...even with Ward prophetically hounding me to see his guy months back. So with a pat on the back and the Bliss family handing me the IT foam roller as I left their beautiful home last night, they suggest I get some more work done before Belgium to get things re-aligned and back on track.

That said, Michelle's work did some goodness for me today! Today the 'poor man' showed no mercy. Sub 20 temps and snow and ice, the prescription was a set of intervals that sincerely should be tasked to prisoners of war. Good but cold suffering. The last one did put me in cross-eyed mode and randomly Bliss shows up on the last one....maybe to secretly check in on laugh a bit as he's in fun mode now.

More depth tomorrow. Sweet dreams.

Reader Comments (10)

Once you get used to the white,"pillar of pain" step up to the black one. seriously i can help you with your IT problem. i have been through it many times. It's all about listening to the body


December 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What's with the hair on the right butt cheek in the picture? Is that the place you intentionally don't shave?

December 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBoups

good catch on that hairy butt cheek, boups. i think that must be keller's answer to the jazz patch on the chin.

monica (my wife) had some wicked IT band issues a couple years ago that came about when she started getting into running. after several trips to andy pruitt and company, lots of stretching, and heavy use of the foam roller, she finally got it squared away.

foam rollers are can do some wicked back cracking with that bad boy, too.


December 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterhixson

Ah, Boups. You are an omni-observant one, aren't you. Little does anyone but my wife know that I like to keep a semi-circular patch of hair in the shape of a smiley face on my cheeks. On occasion, I'll turn that frown upside down into a ass-cheek fu man chu. It all depends on my mood.

December 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

man that sounded so painful last night! it was funny to see little michele working over big greg.
hope you feel better soon.

check out this vid of of the elite men at nats...

there's a small clip of page and wells battling it out through a corner.

December 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterzach

the foam roller is hell--we have the black one. . .

my pt person would dig her elbow into various parts of my leg and ass. my eyes would tear; i would grab the table hard; i would whimper like a baby. BUT this year I had no issues b/c of regular body work.

it is goooooooooood for you! endure and you will reap the benefits!


December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommentermegA

I discovered the foam roller last year after similar problems with a tight IT band when I started running alot. Cyclists are notorious for tight IT bands (compared to runners), and it often goes unnoticed until running is involved. After you've been foam rolling for awhile and the pain is less intense, try stacking both legs while rolling 1 IT band (as opposed to supporting your weight w/the non-rolled leg), and discover a new level of pain. Rolling the quads is also painful (maybe more painful) but great for recovery. Legs feel like new afterward.

December 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChad

Chad et al: EXCELLENT feedback....and clearly I've hit the proverbial 'nerve' with this post amongst you all.

Roll on.


December 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Why deal with the pain of a foam roller then AIS will take care of I.T. bands problems more effectively and with much less pain.
Find yourself a good Active Isolated Stretching therapist(also called the Mattes method) and they should be able to get you pain free in one session, depending on severity, but more importantly, they will teach you how to stay that way, with a series of specific stretches and exercises.

December 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterC.S. Thown

One more tip - taught to me by the good people at North Boulder Physical Therapy - stand, cross your right foot over your left one and lean right. Switch, repeat. Both Laura and Ed at NBPT have powerful, pain inflicting thumbs and good advice.

December 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPG

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