Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beaching it Up in Style

This weekend was a blast and a half and I’m so sad it’s over!  It would have been more fun if I wasn’t so swamped with work but I still had a great time and it was exactly what I needed.  Well except for the 10 hours of driving and a sewer leak issue, but that’s a disgusting story for another day. 

This weekend we headed to Lincoln City for the lovely 3 day weekend, though I was nervous about terrible weather since it has just been straight-up pouring here all week, including the drive there which was a torrential downpour (I heard we nearly broke the all time record with over an inch of rain in less than AN HOUR) and thunder / lightning the whole way.  But the weather cleared up and although it wasn’t exactly sunny and warm, it didn’t rain and it cooperated enough for some good beach trips and nearly 4 hours of running on Saturday.
Who wants to pay us to be models for advertisements?

Activities included:
1.  Beaching it up.  We all know how much Cooper loves the beach, and let’s face it, we mostly go there to indulge him.  So it was absolutely necessary he get tons of playing time – with dips in the surf, sprinting around like a mad man, digging random holes, etc.  He highly enjoyed himself.

2.  Some extremely competitive tennis.  JMan and I are the only ones who really play tennis but I saw some serious potential in people! 
There's JMan trying to pull out the between the legs shot.  Spoiler alert: he failed!

3.  Casino-ing it up.  I actually barely partook in this.  I fell asleep instead of going on the first night, only went for a little bit on the 2nd night, and worked instead of going on the 3rd night.  There is a SWEET dance club there that has some pretty hilarious people-watching though, which I definitely need to make more time for on future trips.  I was also devastated to find out I missed out on COSMIC BINGO!  Next time, next time.

4.  Running!  Didn’t I already mention my nearly 4 hour run on Saturday!  Well I added another hour on Monday, running a lovely 6.5 miles on the beach with Cooper (running with him off-leash on the beach is seriously one of my most favorite activities in the world). 

5.  Beer Tasting!  Duh!  Rogue Brewery in Newport is a must-see, and I enjoyed my little 4-sampler pack that included, in order of my preference: 1) Hazelnut Brown (remains my favorite of Rogue’s beers), 2) Orange Honey Wheat, 3) Chipotle Ale (spicy!), and 4) Tracktown Brown (I had to get this in honor of my long run!). 

6.  Salt Water Taffy Eating.  A trip to Depoe Bay to one of the best little candy shops around, Ainslee’s is always a requirement.  Hello, you can’t go to the beach without enjoying a little Salt Water Taffy.  Okay, you might also need some caramel corn.  And okay, that chocolate dipped twinkie must be tried!  It’s okay because I just ran 22 miles? 

7.  Bon-firing.  Boom.  JMan made that fire all by himself and he was quite proud. 

8.  Working.  Sadly, work majorly got in the way of my fun this weekend and I felt like a bit of a party pooper.  As I mentioned earlier I’ve been swamped lately.  I’m at the peak of my data collection for my dissertation and the next few weeks may be the busiest of my existence, which is unfortunate timing because there are lots of fun events going on plus the peak of marathon training!  I’m a poor planner, what can I say.  So if my blogging is less than par in the next few weeks, you now know why! 

What's your favorite beach activity?  How well do you deal with stress?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

22 Hilly Miles Done! Boom.

22 miles are in the books!  Okay, let me back up a bit, because I wasn’t exactly supposed to do 22 miles this weekend.  Whoops.  I had this extra week built into my schedule (well I had a few, one of the issues I’m having with my current training cycle is that it’s TOO LONG – next time 10 weeks is enough instead of 14).  Anyway, given how sore I was after the Lincoln City Half Marathon, I built an extra week of recovery into the cycle for the week after the Portland Half Marathon, but since I wasn’t sore at all (so strange, considering how terrible I felt and how hilly it was), I really wanted to boost my confidence with an extra long-ish run.

Plus, the stars were aligned – Jordanne and I were going to be together for a long weekend with no real plans so plenty of time for running, in a place known for it’s cool temperatures and a pretty ideal location for long-running (or at least there IS an opportunity for a long run even though the city is small).  This is in contrast to next weekend, which is the planned date of my 22 miler, which we will be traveling to a lovely little town where I’ll be too busy celebrating my dreaded 30th birthday for running for half the day (seriously – this run took nearly 4 hours).  And there really isn’t a place to run where we’re going – the town is TINY and we’d be running 10 2 mile loops or something.  

 Even in Lincoln City running 22 miles is FAR.  We covered quite a bit of the available roads.

Back to what happened.  This is becoming a ramble and a half!  I thought maybe we could do 18 or something – Jordanne wanted to do 20 and call it good.  I worried about doing this because I ran my longest run training for the 2010 Portland Marathon (my last marathon!) 4 weeks out because of vacation plans and I don’t think it helped to do that.  

Anyway, so I got up on Saturday morning and was raring to go but no one else was up.  So I puttered around for awhile, eating breakfast and drinking coffee, but I couldn’t take it anymore so I texted Molly and Jordanne and took off on a little jaunt.  I hadn’t made it more than 5 minutes before they texted me that they were ready.  Molly was ready – but Jordanne wasn’t exactly, so we milled around for another 45 minutes or so before we finally got going.  And then we were off!

 The three of us at mile 2-ish, waiting for the light to change.

Molly stayed with us for the first 2.5 miles and then turned around to make 5.  Jordanne and I crossed over the highway onto the lake road, which is truly beautiful but slightly dangerous in terms of traffic.  It’s a windy road that people drive too fast on and take the corners too tight on and it can be a little unnerving.  I’ve ran on it before during my Portland long-run training cycle and feel okay but I felt a little bad subjecting Jordanne to the dangers!  But it turned out fine. :-)

I also DEFINITELY accomplished my goal of having a hilly run:

Although there weren't any severely huge hills it was just constant CONSTANT rolling hills throughout.  Seriously NEVER-ENDING HILLS.  Total elevation gain of 1,176 feet. 
I actually felt pretty good the whole time, though I started to worry about Jordanne near the end, she was tripping a few times on the pavement (not picking her feet up high enough) and said she couldn’t really see and that she was feeling delirious.  I called JMan and he and her husband are saints and came and met us and brought GU and bananas, which instantly made her feel better, and I appreciated the half of banana as well.  Other than that, I had some almonds at mile 6, a GU (strawberry banana – it was  okay) at mile 9, another GU (vanilla bean – just like pudding, yum!) at mile 15, and tons of water (we refilled 3-4 different times though my bottle was never empty) with 2 tablets of Banana Nuun (my new favorite flavor!).  

AND although the overall pace was pretty slow (total time of 3:42:xx) for a little over a 10 minute per mile average, I was able to pick it up at the end and my last two miles were my fastest at 9:19 and 9:07.  

 Taking a "break" to eat some almonds at mile 6 on this very classy chair I found!

There were definitely times early on where I felt like we should definitely be farther than 6 / 9 / 12 miles, but get this… at the end I actually felt LIKE I COULD HAVE KEPT GOING!  Do you believe it?  I don’t!  I was extremely pleased.  

Afterwards I ice bathed it up (well, kind of, the water that came out wasn’t very cold and we didn’t have much ice – it wasn’t torture so I know it wasn’t very cold) and I felt great the next day!
Sights seen on the run: lovely lake views, some mansions, a dog who had escaped his owners and tried to follow us until we rescued him from the horrible traffic (why does this always happen to me?) – this resulted in some awkward half-pick-up lines from some old men who thanked their dog for bringing two beautiful ladies to him, a DEER which made me really excited, a sweet chair made out of a tree stump, the ocean, etc.   

 Proof I saw a deer!

GREAT RUN!  And glad it's done!

So – what do I do?  How far do I run next weekend?  I don’t think I’ll have time or the place to do a lengthy run on the weekend, however it’s possible I could squeeze one in on Friday or Monday.  How far should I go?  What do you make of doing my longest run 4 weeks out from the marathon?  Thoughts?  Any and all advice is seriously appreciated! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Training Week #10

10 weeks down - 4 to go!  Just one big week left (the biggest one!) and then it's taper time baby.  Except... I kind of messed that up?!  Look for that post tomorrow. 

Let's see how I did this week following my disaster of a half marathon race.  Don't worry, the pity party is fully over - remember how I talked about movin' on?!

Monday - 25 minutes (2.5 miles) elliptical + 20 minutes (1,000 yards) swimming

That's what I looked like. source

Tuesday - 6 miles in 52 minutes (Average Pace: 8:39) before Girls on the Run practice.  Garmin fail so I'm not positive about the distance / time but this is what Map My Run says.

Wednesday - Normally it's WAY too busy for working out on Wednesdays but I stopped at the gym on my way home around 9pm and pumped out 1 mile of swimming (36 laps) in 40 minutes.  I did intervals of 500, 400, 400, 200 with 100 of kicking in between each.

No wait, THAT'S what I looked like. source

Thursday - 4 miles of horrific running + 1.3-ish miles of walking afterwards.  I ended up trying to go running AFTER eating which is always a horrible idea and this was no exception.  Please make this teach me my lesson! 

Friday - Good thing I did something on Wednesday because I really was too busy for anything on Friday.  I thought I would have time for a quick bike ride and even brought my bike to work but then things got crazy and all of a sudden we were in the car on the 5 hour drive to Lincoln City for the weekend!  So a big fat zero. 

The cat worked out way more than me on Friday.

Saturday - 22 hilly miles!!  Can you believe it?!  So I was supposed to do this run next weekend instead and now I'm not totally sure what to do about that - but I'll talk more about that tomorrow.  :-)

Sunday - Umm??  Does sitting in the hot tub and drinking delicious beers count as a work out?  What about walking from candy shop to candy shop in Depoe Bay to procure all of my sugary goodies?  Hmmm..

 Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat: Seriously one of the best beers in America.  Tastes like a cherry coke!

Okay, so the workouts this week were just okay.  Although I had a 22 mile win and a 1 mile swimming win, the other days weren't quite stellar.  32 total miles of running this week.  I'll try better this week!  Do I say that every single week?!

How was your week of workouts?  What did you do on the long weekend? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Flashback: Singapore Marina 21K

I think there's only 1-2 of these left!  We've almost gone through them all!  Lucky you, no more Sunday Flashback!  :-)  This one stems from July, 2011, during my 8 week stay in Singapore.  I'll tell you all about that some other time.  Probably.

Well, half marathon #8 (and the first one in a different country), is in the books.  Thanks goodness it's over!  In case you weren't aware, other countries call half marathons 21k's - because they like k's a lot.  :-)

I highly recommend everyone does the Singapore Marina 21k, this race is definitely for you if you:  
  • Love out and back double-loops
  • Like running in the dark on poorly lit streets, grass, cobblestone, etc.
  • Want to sprain your ankle from said poorly lit streets, grass, cobblestone, etc.
  • Or would prefer to scrape your knee from falling on said poorly lit streets, grass, cobblestone, etc.
  • Love to refuel after a hard race on bananas.  And just bananas. 
  • Like to run on back alleys
  • Love to run with hundreds of other people SINGLE TRACK that brings you to a near walk
  • Love to run on a street with one lane not blocked off to traffic and the other lane not removed of parked cars, leaving about 1 foot of still unsafe space to run
  • Did I mention there were two identical loops that were just out-and-back loops to begin with?
Gitt and I before the races.

Backing up a bit.  This was a my first night race (started at 7:30pm), and Gitt's race (the 10K, just one loop) started at 5:30pm, so it left me a little unsure what to eat / what to do.  I ate a really great breakfast and lunch, but not very big, and then I had a few bakery items on the way because we were running late instead of the Subway sandwich I'd planned to get, and then there was essentially no food at the race start (or finish for that matter) so I ended up eating a hot dog and apple juice (I asked for an apple, but in true Singaporean style, yes, this has happened to me before, they gave me juice instead and absolutely REFUSED to sell me just the apple they use to make juice, even for the same price, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do such a thing), so not exactly the best pre-race fueling job ever on my part!

Also, they do not seem to be big on GU and such here so I tried to buy one or two but couldn't find it anywhere.  So I was left to the mercies of 100Plus at the aid stations (a carbonated Gatorade-like product that tastes like Fresca), and I carried a water bottle which I was so happy about because even though I wasn't that thirsty (I did do an excellent job of hydrating) my throat was dry most of the time.  The last two aid stations I was begging the 100Plus, like come on, do your thing, give me a boost!

 The views from the run!  Okay not really, it was dark by the time I was running.  But the views BEFORE the run.  That's the Singapore Flyer on the right - the biggest ferris wheel in the world (I think?) and on the left is the Marina Bay Sands Casino / Hotel - the only cruise ship I know of ON TOP of a hotel!

On to the race!  Gitt dominated in 1:08, which is amazing for her first 10K ever and having run for essentially only the last 4 weeks.  Alex, who was supposed to do the half with me, apparently showed up over an hour after the start so I never saw him.  Even though I learned my lesson in the 5K [where I should have started at the very front], a port-a-potty stop and the incredible jam of people left me way back from the start, which I ended up paying for severely later.  The good news was that I passed people the whole entire time, and I don't think I ever once got passed by a woman or someone who started with me (only the elite men who started after us).

The first 3 miles I felt like I was suffocating, this was an exceptionally sweatastically humid day (lightning was going off in the distance most of the time so I guess we're just lucky we didn't get a thunderstorm), so this horrible feeling coupled with the horrible-ness of the course was leaving me VERY grouchy at first.  Seriously, SINGLE TRACK during the 2nd mile of a busy half marathon??  And it was in some alley-way?  And then we're running on non-shut-down roads where they didn't even bother to remove the parked cars?  WHAT?  So I easily lost two minutes in the first two miles here, so although the course was short (about 12.9) this is probably an accurate time given the single track.  Then there was tons of out-and-back, which made it confusing because there were people running EVERYWHERE, coming at you, across the river on the path on the other side, on the bridges, and it was confusing where you were headed next, who you were ahead of and behind of, etc.

The course got a lot better after those first 3 miles though (even though it was 2 loops of the same course), because after the 1st loop it was way spread out and I was pretty much alone, and there were some redeeming qualities to the course - you ran on the water for much of it, had great views of the flyer and Marina Bay Sands and other great Singapore sights, and the National Day (August 9th) practice parade was going on complete with an amazing set of fireworks that we got to see part of.

 Can you spot me?  :-)

The next 7 miles felt pretty good, I got into a kind of zone that felt sufficiently hard but potentially sustainable (though I had my doubts the whole time).  I fell into step with red-shirt-man, who I ran with for probably half of the race.  I would lead or he would and at times I thought I'd never see him again but then we would be back running side by side again, and that really helped pull me along in the bad times.  I finally pulled away from him for good at the end but I made sure to find him afterwards to say good job.  The last 3 miles felt HORRIBLE, like hitting the wall, my legs felt like lead and I had to play mind games and keep chanting mantras and replaying Pump It to keep going.  The course was pretty flat - there were just a few small hills associated with crossing bridges, but the biggest one in mile 11 felt like a MONSTER on the second loop, that was a really hard time!  I also developed a HUGE blister on the bottom of my right foot which was starting to bother me but really didn't hurt until I finished, and then it made it difficult to even walk.  But then I finished!  So happy with this effort and time.  Although its far from a PR and slower than the half I did with Rachael in May, it felt like a really really good effort and in the humidity, I think it is a great time.  I'm proud!

Afterwards we left since Alex started so late, and tried to find something good to eat and drink to celebrate but it was 11pm and everything was closed [everything in Singapore closes early because they want you home and not up to no good!] and I just wanted to take a shower so bad so we just grabbed some prata (the only thing open, not a very satisfying post-race meal) and then I crashed and had the best night of sleep ever.   Now I'm ready to go to my real home.

Total Time: 1:52:23    Average Pace: 8:43

Look at that ridiculous sweat!

Splits:  9:10, 9:28 (the single track), 8:32, 8:36, 8:36, 8:25, 8:46, 8:39, 8:36, 8:35, 8:37, 8:41, 8:33 

***UPDATE*** I got 9th place!!!  Yessss.  Move to Asia and you will instantly improve your running status in races even though you'll be way slower because of the heat / humidity.  I will NEVER get 9th overall in a half marathon with 400+ females in it again, I am sure of that!

Ever done an international race?  I want to do SO many more - London, Paris, Great Wall, etc. etc. etc.!  I love traveling and am sad I don't have any travels on my calendar.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hey Girl - Tell Me All Your Marathon Plans

Before we get into today's post - it's time to announce the ShowerPill Giveaway winner!  Out of 50 comments picked #5 and #30 like a good boy.  And the two winners are...  drumroll please.....

#5 was Danielle at Long May You Run:

And #30 was Leslie:

Email your mailing address to within one week to claim your prize!  Also - final thoughts: people brought up CAMPING which is a GENIUS idea for using ShowerPill wipes.  Okay okay, enough about that.

On to today's post!  I already whined and complained to you about Sunday's race.  It sucked, yeah yeah yeah blah blah blah.  It's time to suck it up and move on.  The pity party is officially over.  So what's next, you might ask?  Or you might not care.  Either way.

First let's check out some of the 20+ pictures they took of me at the race.  Seriously, didn't you know I'm famous and need my own batch of paparazzi?  Well now you do.  They took some real gems too, like this one:

This is possibly the most flattering picture EVER.  My facial expression = priceless.  And I'm not sure what's going on with my legs but I'm pretty sure that's not an appropriate running gait. 

They also took about 5 that looked like this:

They also did a good job of documenting my inability to overcome my heel strike addiction:

MarathonFoto is serious about those copyright things huh?  Sorry MarathonFoto.  Next time capture the one where I actually smiled and thumbs-uped the camera (I swear that happened).

There's a tiny bit of a smile and thumbs-up behind that man in red. 

So what's next for me?  Well, Seattle Rock n Roll is a mere 29 days away and it's time to get serious.  I want that PR BAD - and I'm not letting Sunday's confidence-busting race get me down.  That PR WILL be mine.  The magic number we're looking for here is sub 3:55 people, however that's not my real goal.  My real goal is around 3:45, however I wanted to make sure this number was still an accurate prediction. Mile Posts posted a PERFECTLY timed post about choosing a goal pace for the marathon, which included more than just my go-to move: McMillan. 

McMillan Pace Calculator predicts that my marathon time can be around 3:47:25, for an average pace of 8:41.  This is based on Sunday's goal - the prediction from my Lincoln City time is 3:44:26. 

RunBayou provides a bit more information and predicts the potential for a 3:40:43 (based on Lincoln City's time), however I think this is a bit too ambitious this go around.

But based on this information, I revised my training calendar for the 5 weeks I have left until the marathon:

Here's what I added - what was lacking (or inconsistent) before.  The focus of my last 5 weeks is threefold:
  1. Keep up the trackwork - CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
  2. Incorporate Marathon Pace (MP) miles (8:35).  So far I've done ZERO MP miles.  Ever.  In my life.  
  3. Incorporate HILLS.  We all know I'm horrendous at hill climbing, and that RnR Seattle is definitely going to be hilly.  It's tough when I only run 3 days a week to do all these different workouts (I'm already hoping to go back up to 4 days a week after this marathon training cycle is over and see if my body can handle it - just gotta get through the last 5 weeks injury free knock on wood), so it seems like doing hilly long runs is best. 

Any tricks to magically improve hill-climbing skills?  Perhaps without actually climbing hills?  Send me your best hill workouts!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Girls on the Run IS So Much Fun!

Well, Tuesday was my last day of Girls on the Run coaching.  And it's official.  I have found my calling in life.  Now I just need to find someone to pay me handsomely to be a Girls on the Run (GOTR) coach full-time.  Anyone?  Anyone??!!

Girls on the Run is an AMAZING organization that everyone should get involved with if they can.  Their mission is to:  "educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future."  It's an after school program, two days a week for 1.5 hours each time for 10 weeks.  It's a scripted program that includes warm-up activities, a lesson (topics included body image, fueling our healthy bodies, having a positive attitude, choosing good friends, etc.), and a running workout.  The workouts build up to the conclusion of the program, where the girls run a 5k! 

Which brings us to Saturday, the Girls on the Run 5k, otherwise known as the best day EVER.  

So although Sunday was horrible, since Saturday was truly one of the best days EVER, it all evens out. :-) 

About 400 girls ran in Saturday's race.

The day started with meeting at the school to ride the bus to the race.  Not all schools had buses - it was provided by the community partners since many of the girls would not have otherwise had transportation.  All but 1 girls showed up, which made me SO happy.  My worst fear was that after all their hard work, they wouldn't make it to the 5k.  The girls were a bundle of nerves and excitement, and we had a BLAST on the bus.  Did you know how hysterically funny it is to wave at cars on the freeway from the back of a school bus?  Try it sometime. 
Each girl at the race has a running buddy, who also comes to the Practice 5k which occurs at a practice a few weeks before the 5k.  The girls LOVE their running buddies, and a lot of them made capes or fun accessories for the girls to wear.  Some of them had spectators who had signs with the girls' names on them and it was overall so amazing to watch how excited the girls were to be with their buddy.  If you're female and at least 16 years old YOU too can be a running buddy!  The next 5k is December 1, mark your calendars now!

The start of the race in Seward Park

In this lesson we were practicing "relaxing".  I don't need to practice that, I'm already a pro at it. 

One of our last activities together involved designing and implementing a community impact project, which I already talked about (remember how they wanted to train police dogs?!).  We decided to make cupcakes (by "we", I mean "me" - they just decorated them :-) ) for their teachers and make cards for the kids at the local children's hospital. 

I know this post is all over the place, but the point is, GIRLS ON THE RUN IS AWESOME.  If you want to read a way better written post about Saturday's 5k go read Lauren's recap here.  

So how can you get involved?  Honestly, coaching was a huge commitment.  Although I'm going to miss my girls SO much and wish I could be a coach all year round / permanently, it was extremely difficult to leave work early twice a week for 10 weeks.  Practice was from 3:20-4:45 and not too close to my work, so I ended up usually leaving work at 2:40 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I'm lucky and have a very flexible job and am not working full-time right now because of school, so it worked out, but even with those pluses I'm still not sure if I'll coach in the fall.  It's a big undertaking.

 The girls were so incredibly excited to get their medals!  They wore them to school on Monday and Tuesday and were showing them off to their friends.  :-)

Despite this though - there are LOTS of other ways to get involved, and I will definitely be involved in one way or another.  Being a running buddy is a great way to truly make a difference in a young girl's life who might really need a role model.  Lauren was amazing and stepped up to pretty much run the entire 5k single-handedly.  Becky took some fabulous professional-caliber photos at the 5k, and JMan was a trooper and handed out water at the half-way point.  There's also sub coaches (I will probably do this as well), fundraising, etc.  Or you could just give them money.  GO GIVE THEM MONEY!

If you're still not convinced in forking over your time and money to Girls on the Run - just watch this video.  I seriously challenge you to watch this and NOT be inspired. 

Inspiring - RIGHT??!!

How will YOU get involved?  If you have any other questions about GOTR just ask!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Injuries Schminjuries: An IT Band Story

First of all - thank you all SO much for all of your encouraging words on my pity party post yesterday.  I promise I am already in higher spirits and am working on a "movin' on" plan.  I'm also working on that Girls On the Run post I promised you today... I PROMISE PROMISE it will be up tomorrow. 

But in the meantime, I've been working on this post for a long long time, but since I just finished talking about my 2010 Portland Marathon race AND I just read poor Robyn's struggles with the evil ITB (illotibial band, for those of you lucky enough not to know), I realized it was time to FINALLY finish it.

After Portland I was ridiculously sore, but not anything out of the ordinary for having just finished a marathon.  I must also preface this by saying that I did not have ANY ITB pain during the race itself, or during much of my training.  I did a short run on Thursday after Sunday's Marathon, and on Saturday, while I was just walking down a steep hill (one of the ones by Pike Place Market actually, that's how vividly I still remember this, I even know that I was wearing my fake-Ugg boots), I felt this crazy painful pop in the side of my knee.  After that it hurt to take every single step.

That crazy pain faded, however, and it left me with the common ITB problems I'm sure most of you have faced before - you know, that crazy stabbing pain that comes on only after you've run a bit.  For me it was about 1.5 miles.  I would feel great for the first 15 minutes, and then, like clock work, STAB STAB STAB IN THE SIDE OF THE KNEE.  It. Was. Horrible. 

I tried EVERYTHING.  And because I tried everything, and because this awfulness continued on and on for 3 freaking months, it's difficult to know exactly what worked for me.  But I'm going to tell you everything I did, in the hopes that it too, will help you.  Obviously I don't think I need to say that I'm no doctor and therefore interpret my results cautiously.  This is pretty much the order in which I did things. 

1.  Foam Rolling Like a Boss.  Seriously, foam-roll like its your job.  I did it twice a day. 

Spoiler alert: It will HURT.  If it hurts, that means you're in desperate need of it.  source

2.  Stretching Like a Boss.  Seriously, stretch at any and all opportunities.  You're in the shower?  Stretch that ITB.  Waiting for the elevator?  Stretch it out baby.  Brushing your teeth?  Stttreeeetttchhhhh. 

This is my #1 go-to ITB stretch.  There are others, but I like this one best.  source

3.  ART / Graston from the Chiropractor.  The Active Release Technique, or ART, is a soft-tissue massage technique not too different from what you do with the foam roller.  Basically the chiro presses into "pressure points" and then moves your leg around accordingly, trying to get the muscles to release and loosen up.  The Graston Technique, on the other hand, is similar to using The Stick on your muscles, except imagine The Stick is made of metal that is used to "scrape" your muscles and it hurts like no other.  Graston is seriously TORTURE.  It wasn't that horrible on my IT Band but I've had it done on my shin before and it pretty much reduced me to tears. 
They should call it the Torture Technique instead.  source

I do think that both of these things helped a bit but I think it would have helped so much more had I been resting and ibuprofen-ing at the same time (see #6 and #8).   The worst thing about this was the chiro was adamant that I could keep running through this as long as it didn't hurt.  So I kept running to that point of pain (15 minutes on the dot...) for WAY TOO LONG.  This was a huge mistake. 

4.  Physical Therapy.  I learned all about funny exercises to work your glutes and side glutes, like crab walks, clamshells, and the like.  I also went crazy on that machine at the gym where you open and close your legs (twss).
Clamshells: except to work harder put a resistance band around your thighs.  source 

Go to town on this machine.  Hint: make sure your shorts aren't too short!  source

5.  MRI.  After all of this, I was feeling hopeless and like it would never get better and the chiro agreed and thought maybe something was torn.  Nothing was torn.  He was just dumb for telling me to keep running through it.  This was a waste of money except for peace of mind. 

6.  Rest.  I finally decided I was going to rest for 2 full weeks.  I cross-trained on the elliptical and swam during (biking aggravated it as well so I stayed away from that).  I think if I had only done this sooner I would have been better way sooner.

 Cooper is a professional rester. 

7.  Doctor.  He was extremely unhelpful.  It took forever to get the appointment and I had already mandated rest for myself (FINALLY) by the time I went to see him.  He did tell me to do #8 though, which I do think helped.  I mostly just went to him to get my MRI read. 

8.  3 Advil 3 Times a Day for 10 Days.  I was seriously concerned about my kidneys and liver but the doctor said it was totally fine.  He acted like I was crazy for even being concerned.  Apparently I should eat Advil in the same fashion I eat candy.  This overlapped with #6 (resting) and I really do think that this combination helped. 

9.  New shoes.  Here is when I went minimalist and my husband got me a pair of Vibrams for Christmas.  I've since transitioned out of these because of shin problems and because they don't stop my heel strike.  But that's a story for a different post.  If your shoes are old, I'd get new ones.  If they're not, not sure this will help you. 

10.  Come back SLOWLY.  I came back very slowly, starting with 1 mile and adding half a mile at a time.  I could have come back more slowly (like I did 1 mile on Tuesday, 1.5 miles on Thursday, 2 miles on Saturday, etc.) but this worked for me.  I also incorporated stretch breaks every 5 minutes, lengthening these out to every mile, every 2 miles, etc.  I took longer at eliminating the stretch breaks.  I still remember how happy iI was the day I ran 6 miles again.  Make sure you're not running on a cambered road or running on a track because this can aggravate the ITB. 

So?  What's the verdict?  Obviously all injuries and bodies are different and there's no guarantees that what worked for me will work for you.  I read 100's of pages of forums about ITB problems on Runner's World and they all confused me.  But not one of them said what I really really REALLY wish someone had told me: that I needed to FULLY rest for 2 weeks.  I hope this helps you in some way!

Have you ever struggled with ITB issues?  Do you have any recommendations or ideas to add to this?