I'll post a "race report" on Leadville soon. Despite DNFing, I can already say that it was one of the most defining moments of my life. Running 50 miles on a blown IT-band is hard, very hard.
From mile 35 to mile 70, where I dropped, I ran with a limp, and every thought I had was laced with physical pain. I told myself that the only thing that would take me out of the race was the inability to physically move forward - and that happened, as I had to be carried into a med tent at the Half Pipe aid station with a black, swollen IT-band!
I'm back to running; each run I'm going a little farther, while the tightness and irritation is dissipating. I have four exercises I'm working on to strengthen my glutes and tensor fasciae latae, I'm stretching the band out often, and I'm improving my downhill running form.
Apparently, I've been doin' it wrong. I think. I did a 14 mile out-and-back along the Foothills Trail today and tried out a new downhill technique, just for kicks. Boy does it work well, and it doesn't pull on my IT-band like my old style would.
Here's the technique: loosen your muscles and keep your legs fluid, point your toes down, and lean forward. I know, this sounds like any how-to-run-downhill technique, but you always imagine you're running correctly. It's easy to run uphill - running downhill is an art.
This style is responsive - instead of tensing up and committing to a particular foot placement/knee angle, the muscles tighten upon impact and respond to the terrain immediately. Running down rough trails is no longer jarring and much more enjoyable.
Be like the stream.