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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stuff I Love: Miracle Tape

I've been using KT Tape to help my plantar fasciitis, and it is working!! WOO!

I started seeing a physical therapist around the end of July, and the exercises are working, but slowly. Soon after my DNF at the Hadassah 8K, my therapist, Russell recommended that I try the KT Tape. Here's an interview on WBAL with Russell, where he explains what it does and how it works.

I was totally and completely skeptical of this tape when he first put it on. Sure, I'd seen it on the Olympics. I knew that athletes used it, but I really didn't see how this tape could possibly make my foot any better.

I have two separate problems - the plantar fasciitis in my arch, and the pain on the top of my foot that is arthritis or tendinitis, or something related, caused as a side effect of the PF. Russell asked  me to choose if I wanted the top or the bottom to be taped, and I chose the top, since the top of my foot was a lot more painful than the bottom. I totally blew this whole tape thing off. Whatever!

Well, as I was walking out of the building, I could already feel a difference. Lo and behold, that Saturday, I was able to run 5 miles with almost no pain in the top of my foot, and minimal pain in my arch (which has never been as bad, as I said before). It was amazing.

The following Tuesday, I ran on the treadmill and felt the same - just small twinges near my toes, and arch pain, but SO MUCH better. Russell re-applied the tape, this time putting it both on the top of my foot and on the arch itself (as you can see in my photo above). (Side note: I was wearing Annapolis 10 Miler Gear that day, if you're familiar with the race, you can tell that I was totally matching!). Thursday, I ran again and no pain during the run on the top of my foot, just continued arch pain near my heel. I did feel a bit of pain near my toes on the top of my foot when stepping on the gas pedal driving to work a little bit later, but it wasn't bad.

Friday morning, Russell re-applied the blue tape in the photo in the hopes that it would do a better job of helping my arch. It was in a different configuration, which would better support my arch. The great news? I ran FOURTEEN MILES on Saturday with very little arch pain and no pain the top of my foot. I did have arch pain here and there, but it was not sustained. I walked in the last half mile, and I was pretty wiped out the rest of the day, but it was more because I had no business running that many miles. I hadn't trained enough - I had only done 9 miles as my longest before this, and that was in early July. I was falling back on my base mileage that I've built up over the last 6 years, and I think it helped me out.

So, I had some arch pain on Sunday, but it went away. I've been very diligent about icing my foot and using a golf ball to help stretch out the plantar fascia.

KT Tape? I'm sold on it. I was a non-believer, but now I think it is miraculous. If you try it out, make sure you get the PRO version, as it sticks better and longer. I only took off the tape this morning that was applied on Friday (and the top of my foot had been on for a full week). I wouldn't have taken it off, but I needed a little break, and I wanted to shave under it. I see Russell this evening and he will likely re-apply.

Did I mention it also comes in a ton of cool colors? My only wish would be a color variety pack so that I could change up the tape to match outfits.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hadassah 8K 2012

The Fleet Feet group before the race

My very first DNF!

I've been talking about the injury to my foot for a while. It's PF pain, and it's also on the top of my foot (which is basically arthritis or tendinitis all coming from my wonky feet). So, I didn't know how this race was going to go, and I felt a sense of dread at the starting line.

I ran a pretty great race here last year, so that was on my side, but it was still not good.

My first mile, which was just running around Goucher College, I did 10:30, which was pretty great, but I was already in pain. We left the college and headed out on the the hilly, ridiculous surrounding area. It was hot and humid, so that wasn't a great thing. And the hills. Oh, the hills. I've done very little hill training lately, compared to normal, and I've been doing so much non-running, that I just couldn't handle those hills in that heat.

I was getting passed and passed and passed. I'm not going to lie, mentally, I could not handle the number of people that were passing me. I knew my time was going to be abysmal, and I was definitely feeling pain both in my plantar fascia and on the top of my foot. Finally, about 3 1/2 miles in, we went up this GIANT hill that I remember toughing it through last year. But, this year, I walked. When I got to the top, I was worn out and hot, and I had some foot pain and I just didn't want to destroy my foot or do further damage for this race that meant nothing and I was clearly going to do terrible for anyway.

So, I flagged down a volunteer who drove me to the finish line.

It was so embarrassing. I've never DNF'd before. Having to tell people what happened was miserable. To  make matters worse, I agreed to go out to breakfast after, and it really stunk listening to everyone talk about the race - and give me advice on my foot and whatever. This was over a week ago, and things are actually doing better (I'll update later), but this race was definitely my low point.

I have a pretty tough race coming up at the end of the month - The Annapolis Ten Miler - and I don't know if I'll be able to do it or not. We'll see.

Photo courtesy of Robin Nesky

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