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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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Friday, August 10, 2012

Stats as of 31 July 2012

July 2012
24 miles
5 hours, 14 minutes
Avg Pace:  13:06/mile

Year Totals for 2012:
362.3 miles @ 12:45 pace (as of TODAY, not July 31 because I am so lazy)

Last month, I noted that I need to run 62 miles per month in order to reach my 700 mile goal for the year. I'm failing at that, huh?

So, I'm still facing plantar fasciitis. I"ve been seeing a physical therapist since I got back from vacation a couple of weeks now, and it's improving, but S-L-O-W-L-Y. I'm running when I can, but I have to stop when I feel pain, and that has been ranging between a half mile and 2 miles. At first, I was worried about whether or not I could run the Annapolis Ten Miler at the end of August, but now I realize that my half and full marathon goals are in serious jeopardy, too.

This time of year is always terrible for my motivation to run anyway because I hate the heat. This injury isn't helping.

So, in general, I am feeling pretty terrible about my running right now :( I'll work through it, but it really stinks.

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