Tag Archives: KT Tape

Tapering and Cheescake

It’s taper week! which means less exercise and a huge appetite. ugh. This is supposed to be the week of recovery for you body. A chance for your body to catch it’s breath before the race. Tapering is always frustrating for runners, especially when you’ve just spent all this effort training and building up. Well it’s been a little extra frustrating for me because for some reason, this week of ease has somehow resulted in the pain returning to my shins. The worst was Wednesday night. It’s gone down a bit, but it’s still bothersome. I just have to suck it up.

I’ve also been eating like crazy. Which is fine when you’re burning a gazillion calories a day. But this week I haven’t been working out as much so it doesn’t quite feel like anything is cancelling each other out. Even a coworker commented on my eating habits as I was piling chicken onto my plate at a baby shower the other night. When I told her I had a race Sunday she looked relieved. Only one pregnant woman was in the room, and it wasn’t me.

Pete is so supportive, which is why he brought me home this lovely dessert last night from his restaurant. I’ve never been a big cheesecake fan until I tried theirs. Mmmmnn. And he brought fresh fruit. AND he added some sour patch kids on the side. My favorite :-)

We’re heading to Pittsburgh for the marathon first thing in the morning. Stopping at his parents first to drop the Fox off and then heading to the expo where I plan to get my shins taped up (KTTape Booth). Pete’s family is so wonderful and supportive of me as well. I was thrilled to get an email from his mom this morning asking if I thought chicken tetrazzini, pasta, salad and my choice of dessert would be an ok dinner Saturday. Sounds perfect to me. As for marathon morning, well they’re calling for rain, possible T-storms, and higher temps. I’m trying not to worry or think about it too much. Wish me luck!

Wine, cheesecake, fresh fruit, and sour patch

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Learning the Ropes of Taping

So it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of KT Tape.  My PT taped me many times, and I was taped up before the Marine Corps Marathon at the KT Tape booth (the guy there taped me 100 times better than my PT ever did).  Well ever since then I’ve been wanting to learn how to do it myself, but the truth is that I really have no faith in myself to do this properly.  It’s my sandwich theory (or Pete’s salad theory): a sandwich tastes so much better when someone makes it for you.  And that’s not just a cop-out to get someone else to make me a sandwich.  But no matter how hard I try nothing I make will be better than what Pete makes.  The same goes for taping my shin splints, I feared.  I needed a professional.  Well I’ve got two races coming up, and I know that KT Tape will be at the Pittsburgh Marathon (I hope this is still true).  I’m not sure if they’ll be at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, but it doesn’t really matter because we’re not even sure we’ll be able to get to the expo on time. So…

I went ahead and bought some tape last week.  I’m looking at it as training tape.  And so Friday night, after I got the package in the mail, I sat down and watched the video online about how to tape your shins.  And then I tried it myself.

My first attempt

Not bad.  But not great.  It didn’t seem to really do anything.  So I decided that Pete needed to learn, and that in addition to being my boyfriend/nurse/doctor/math tutor/running coach ect., we can now add “Personal Taper” to the list.  We had a really fun time last night.  I made him watch the video, then after he said he got it I kept correcting him and telling him he was doing it wrong but I couldn’t explain how to do it right. I’m lucky he’s so patient with me. There were definitely a few strips of tape that were wasted.  It’s frustrating because I’m the one who knows where my pain is and knows how the pressure of the tape feels, but I have to trust his hands because they’re a whole lot more steady than mine and he’s in a good position to apply it.  So in the end we made some progress.  It’s not completely right, but we’ve got two weeks to figure it out.  In the meantime we’ll practice some more (anybody know of any other videos online?) and I think I’ll go ahead and buy another roll of tape (this time I’ll get the real KT Tape.  I bought the knock-off kind by accident, which is fine since half of it is already in the trash). 

Pete's attempt - better than mine

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What a little tape can do….

So I’ve got a little product endorsement here: When my stress fractures hit me this summer I began to go to a physical therapist.  At the end of my first session he asked me if I’d ever used Kinesio tape.  No, but I saw it at the Olympics.  I’m really skeptical about all this stuff by the way.  I’m really not an easy sell – on anything, not just sports products.  But I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.  I honestly can’t say what it is, or how it works, but whatever it does it works. 

BlueKTTape3

I got myself taped up at the expo for the Marine Corps Marathon (in the last hour the expo was open).  It was well worth the 45 min wait in line (which goes really quickly when you make friends).  I was taped up better than my PT ever taped me up, and I seriously credit this weird tape with helping me run pain-free that Sunday.  My only complaint is this: By mile 5 the tape was seriously falling off my legs, and I almost worried about tripping on it if it did.  Before the expo I stupidly put body lotion on my legs, but I was sure that all the alcohol I rubbed on my shins while standing in line took that off.  The tape is supposed to be waterproof (I’ve even swam in it before), so I don’t know what happened here.  Either way, I wish I trusted myself enough to learn how to tape my own legs.  But I think my sandwich theory applies here: Just like a sandwich is always better when someone makes it for you, it’s better to have someone else tape your shins.

Did I mention the KT Tape booth will be at my marathon in Pittsburgh on May 2nd?  :-)

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http://www.kttape.com/

@KTTape

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Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon 10K

RR: I spent the night before my race out late, at a horse show, and didn’t get into bed until around 1 a.m.  Big difference from my marathon in May where I was in bed by 10 p.m. And just like almost every other runner, I had quite the restless sleep.  Nevertheless when my alarm when off at 5:30 a.m. my adrenaline kicked in, I threw on my race clothes and warmed up by running uphill to the metro.  I have to say that one of my favorite parts of this day was my metro ride – a trip I usually hate because I’m prone to motion sickness.  What a sight to jump into a metro car at 6 a.m. on a Sunday that is filled with runners.  And boy did we have fun.  Sat next to a guy who had come up all the way from Orlando to run his first 26.2.  Met some women who do this race every year.  And everyone had questions about my legs.  Oh, did I mention?  I was taped up – all bondage-esque, the day before at the expo with KT Kinesio Tape.  The stress fracturkttapees in both tibias may be healing, but they cause a great deal of pain.  But somehow, and don’t ask me how because I have no idea, this Japanese chiropractic technique does wonders to my legs.  It may look a little strange, but it works so what do I care.

Arrived at the Mall to a sea of runners; stretching, huddling together (did I mention it felt 10 degrees cooler in DC than in N. Bethesda?)  The lines for the porta pottys (sp?) were ridiculous, and after wasting ten minutes just standing in line and not moving any closer I decided my time would be better spent stretching.  So I checked my bag, found a bench, and entered into a very meditative state of stretching that I always seem to go into before a race or a horse show.  And then the next thing I knew it was time to begin.

I positioned myself near the 50:00 sign.  In truth my goal was to make it in under an hour.  Before my injury I was shooting for an 8:40 or so mile.  But many things have changed in the past few months, and in all honesty I really wasn’t even sure I’d ever really run again – at least not like I had.  My body had been going through so much, and my mind had become so used to defeat from the pain, that I figured I’d just see if I could make it under 60:00 and maybe that’d be it for my running career.  Luckily, that wasn’t the case.

6.2 miles went pretty darn fast.  I spent the first two in what I like to refer to as “equitation flat class mode”.  In a show ring, in a flat class, you have to fight to be seen by the judges.  Not only are you trying to look pretty and have your horse move well, but you need to cut in and out, strategize from halfway around the ring, to figure out how to position yourself.  I was always great at this.  And I always won those classes.  I find that the first 2-3 miles in any race are quite similar.  You have to maneuver around the slower runners, cut in between two others, jump over a pothole.  I don’t know why, but I have so much fun doing this.  And it’s great too because usually these are the worse miles in my long runs.

mcm

The course was ok.  Personally, I think the 26.2 is much more beautiful.  This was kind of blah but it goes by quickly.  At about 3-4 miles I came up a hill and saw a man, military although I can’t remember which branch, running with a prosthetic…and running at about my pace.  A guy in front of me turns around and says to me, “well there’s really no complaining now, is there.”  And that was it for me.  No complaining about my shins.  There’s no room for that in this world.  If this man can run, then there’s absolutely no question about my capabilities.  I lengthened my stride and moved on.

There were more moments like this.  But they’re personal and I’ll keep them to myself.  But I will say that one of the reasons I enjoy running is because I find it to be a mental battle.  I compete against myself.  I fight my mind.  It’s a very cleansing experience.  My last mile was probably the hardest.  I resisted all urges to check my Nike+ the whole race.  I know that it is never completely accurate.  Coming through the last stretch, with all the marines lined up, shouting and giving high fives – well that was pretty cool.  I knew I was close.  Just one more turn…And then I turned.  Maybe that was my fault for not reading up on the course more ahead of time.  But who knows, maybe if I knew that giant (because that’s what it seemed to me) hill was going to be there I would have been dreading it and then not have enjoyed the race.  Either way, just when I thought I had given my last burst of energy I was now going to have to double it.  A man next to me, military I presume but out of uniform, transformed into drill sergeant and began yelling at his girlfriend.  Yelling is totally not the right word here, because it was very endearing and motivating and he was only filled with good intentions.  I could tell from his tone.  But apparently his girlfriend wasn’t having any of it.  She was having a tough time getting up the hill and told him to stop.  So I turned to him and told him he could bark at me.  And he did.  And what a difference that made.  I needed that extra little boost.  I don’t think I could take that from anyone I knew, but for some reason a stranger acting like a drill sergeant made my legs start to move faster and I left the couple in the dust (or I like to think I did at least). 

I crossed the finish line and entered what I like to call runners daze.  It’s a drunk-like/amnesia type of state.  I usually just wander around as people hand me water and bananas and such.  I thought a marine offered me clam chowder, which I really wasn’t in the mood for after a run, but I accepted anyway.  Turns out he said “chow” and it was a bag full of nutritious food.  My daze usually stops shortly after I find Pete.  I don’t know why I go into this state but I do.  I always laugh about it later, but at the time I don’t really notice.  I found Pete about 20 min later, with his video camera and tripod in hand.  He gave me a hug and started asking me questions (he missed me crossing the finish line unfortunately).  A few minutes into my ramble about the race I realize the camera is on and he’s been shooting me the whole time.  Great.  I probably look like a crazy person, sweating, bright red with more and more freckles starting to come out, darting my eyes everywhere.  I have yet to see the tape. Thanks Pete.mcmsweat

My chip time was 54:13.  I ran an 8:44 mile.  I got my PR.  My previous best had been a little over 57:00, so I’m obviously thrilled.  What’s even better is when I put it all into perspective: For someone who has been battling multiple stress fractures and debilitating shin splints for months (not to mention tendonitis in both calves due to these injuries) and hasn’t really trained that hard for this (I’ve been running about 2x a week for a few weeks. 20 min here.  a few miles there. Hardly anything) and then to go and run like this, well it shows that I can do this.  I can do Pittsburgh in May.  After all, there is no complaining anymore.

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