23 October 2009

KT Tape

I was first exposed to kinesiology therapeutic tape the same way most mortals were. Watching the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh was seen with the tape spread all over her shoulder. I was confused with it at first. I had never seen athletic tape spread out in patterns like this was.

All that I learned from the tape was told to me by the announcers during their color commentary. Not much to go on, just the basics. I forgot about the tape after the women's volleyball event was finished.

The next time I saw the tape was in my goodie bag from the ING Philadelphia Distance Run. KT Tape had a free sample pack in the goodie bag. Guess who has the endorsement contract? Thats right, Kerri Walsh.

When I hurt my ankle a little bit ago, I was doing the usual icing, wrapping, resting and all of that. I saw the sample pack on my desk and checked out their website. Of course the reviews there were all good. I found their Facebook page, and user comments and questions taught me a lot about the tape.

I asked on KT Tape's Facebook page the best way to tape my ankle based on my pain. I took their recommendation and used the two sample pieces that were in the pack.

The tape is very comfortable. It is 100% cotton, and while cotton is many runners enemy, it works perfectly here. An application of the tape can last about 5 days and stays on despite shower and sweat. It moves with your body in such a natural way that you can sometimes forget it is even on.

I found a Sports Authority near my house that sells the tape, and bought a roll. The roll is pre-cut strips, so there is no need for scissors.

Since putting the tape on, I have not felt any pain. The most notable improvement is when I first wake in the morning. Usually my ankle was most painful when I woke. The last two mornings, with the tape on, there has been no pain.

My foot is comfortable. I am giving it a few more days rest, and then will be trying an easy run to see if I can stay comfortable on it. I have a good feeling that I will be able to get back to my training and get through the marathon!

19 October 2009

Frustrated and Worried

About a week and a half ago my foot started bothering me. Just a slight pain on the arch, near the ankle. Recently it has been worse.

I was resting it for a little while, and decided to try an easy run on Friday. It lasted about 20 minutes before the pain in my foot became constant and I began to feel tightness in my shin. It was not unbearable pain, but it was not the good kind of pain. I knew I needed to stop.

I have not run since, and plan on resting and icing for a while right now. But I missed my long run yesterday. It should have been 3 hours and 30 minutes. No way I could have done that.

I probably will not run all week. This weekend I am scheduled for a 4 hour run. I was also planning to run a 5k this weekend. The first race I ever ran and a nice way to revisit the beginnings of my running. I am not sure I will be able to do it.

With the Philadelphia Marathon only 5 weeks away, I am getting worried that I will not be properly prepared to run for twenty six miles.

If my foot heals properly over a couple weeks, I can probably adjust my schedule to get some more long runs in and shorten my taper a little. It still will not make me as prepared as I planned, but perhaps it will prevent me from totally bonking on the run.

This is frustrating and getting me a little worried about race day.

09 October 2009

Sticking To It

One thing that frustrates the heck out of my wife is my uncanny ability to take up a hobby with an intense amount of passion, and then quickly lose interest after a few weeks or so. I have supplies and items tucked into closets and storage bins all over my house. I keep them because sometimes I revisit the hobby, but never keep at it for long.

Lets see. There is painting. My favorite medium is acrylics. I did some sculpting with polymer clay. I did a couple detailed model cars. I flew kites. I molded chocolate candy. I did some wood burning. I almost tried woodworking, and now I want to start sketching.

One of the reasons that I give up on these things so easily is because I am lazy. I am not going to lie. I am a lazy couch potato that does not want to work hard to get good at something and in turn I lose interest in the thing that I am doing.

This blog is a good example. Since it has to do with running, I have not lost interest in it, but as you can tell I am lazy and procrastinate. I put off writing the numerous blog posts that creep into my head and do not update nearly as often as I would like to.

But if I am lazy, then why start the hobby in question in the first place? The only thing that I can think of is that I am not content with sitting on the couch and rotting in front of the television.

Luckily I found running. As with everything else I quickly became passionate about my new "hobby". I started reading running magazines and websites and even bought a new pair of running shoes at the local department store. I could go on for hours about how that last part was a mistake, but I think we have all been there.

As with everything else I do, running almost didn't last long. I was doing the Couch To 5K program, and was sticking to it very well. Of course after about three weeks I started skipping workouts and eventually stopped doing the program all together.

Now my stopping has nothing to do with C25K itself. It is actually a very good way to start running and I liked it a lot. Remember I am lazy and that is why I stopped.

A couple of months later I revisited the running thing again. This time I not only became passionate for it, but I really fell in love.

As of this writing I have been running regularly for over a year. I have ran a 10 miler a half marathon and multiple 5k's.

Next month I will be doing a 10k and the full Philadelphia Marathon.

I have actually stuck with running, and I do not see myself stopping anytime soon. So why haven't I given up on it like I have with everything else? It is hard to explain, but if you are a runner then I don't have to explain.

01 October 2009

Dog Day Tempo Run

The word for today is leash. Apparently there are a lot of dog owners that do not understand the concept of a leash, nor do they own one.

On the plan today was a 55 minute run with 30 minutes at tempo. During my warm up I noticed a rough looking dog on my side of the street. The look of this dog made me think of some wild mutt running around picking fights with other animals. I decided to cross the street.

I slowed down in an attempt to not alarm him, but as soon as he noticed me, he began trotting across the street. Half way across he started barking, and I noticed that his eyes were the very window into Satan's soul. I stopped and yelled "NO". He veered away from me and went onto a nearby lawn, but started to growl lightly. I didn't dare turn my back to him, and walked very slowly backward as he sniffed around the ground. Finally something else caught his attention, and when I was a safe distance away I continued with my warm up.

When my watched beeped to signal the end of the warm up, I was feeling very good. I quickly got settled into my pace and felt comfortable. I did not realize it until I started my cool down, but I was in a zone. I was not even aware of the sounds of my feet. I was focusing on my breathing, and I think that helped me zone out and lock in a nice steady pace.

With about six minutes to go, I heard more barking. The sound of this barking was the high pitched yapping of two small dogs running toward me. Now I understand if dogs get loose by accident. Maybe you opened the door to grab the paper and they ran under your feet or something. I am sympathetic to that, but these dogs did not need to plan an escape, it was handed to them.

The lady was standing in her yard talking on the phone while the dogs just wandered around. The yard was not fenced in and they were not on leashes. As the dogs are jumping up and nipping at my legs I started to get irritated because I had to slow to a walk. I heard the lady yelling stop. She repeated the word over and over again, but I didn't realize she was talking to me until she said, "stop walking."

Now I was already irritated because my tempo was messed up and I was forced out of a zone. I looked at her and said, "I am trying to keep a pace here." All she could say was, "well stop walking and I will grab them."

What? Here is an idea. If you have two annoying little dogs that run after every moving object in the street, why not keep them on a leash. I wanted to speak my mind, but held back and just said, "Put them on a leash." Then tried my best to get back into the groove for the final five minutes of my run.

Of course those last five minutes were horrible. I got a stitch in my side and struggled to keep an even pace. My breathing was wrong and I was frustrated. I finished those last few minutes and then went into my cool down.

Besides the dogs, I had a very good run. For those 30 minutes at tempo, I ran an average 9:19 pace for a total of 3.22 miles.

In the beginning of January of this year I tried running a full mile at a sub 10 minute pace, and could only do it for barely a half mile, and it killed me. Today's 3.22 at a 9:19 pace felt awesome.

The improvement feels incredible!