Thursday, October 24, 2013

Half Marathon #29 and Patellar Taping

On Sunday I did the Sandy Feet Temecula Half Marathon, thus completing my 29th half marathon. Notice the word choice "did" and not "run". Okay, I did run most of it and I did finish, but it was not pretty. I debated not running this race because of my bum knee…thus, I did not train for this race and thus the above verbiage. 

Well, I am not one to sign up for a race and not do it (hell, I ran a half last year with a bad cold), so on Saturday afternoon, I headed down to Oceanside (near San Diego) to spend the night at my friend Kelsey's (aka co-crazy runner) house. We watched girly movies and made a delicious pasta dinner. We went to bed early because we had to wake up at 5am. Luckily, 5am is when I wake up everyday for work, so it wasn't that big of a deal. We were on the road by 6am and at the race start (after a quick Starbucks stop) by 7am. The race started at 7:30. 

We were off. I will spare you the gory details, but the course was mostly loose pack dirt and large steep hills. My legs (and knee) felt great for the first 7 miles  but the last 6 miles were HELL. My knee started to hurt, then it stopped, but that is because I think my entire body went numb. I might have curse out Kelsey in my head (who picked this race and ran it significantly faster than me) during the entire twelfth mile. When it was over all I could think of was how happy I was done. 
Kelsey and I at the finish line
Did I mention that the race started and ended at a winery? Well it did, so we might have participated in some wine tasting after the race. It was just what I needed to ease the pain.
The medal
I am going to take a month off of running and concentrate on strengthening and stretching. I need to give my legs a break because on Nov 30th, I have my last half marathon of the year and I plan on it not being excruciatingly painful.

On the Physical Therapy side of things, I did try taping my knee with Leukotape.

There are a few different types of tape. The ever popular one right now is Kinesio tape. This is the tape that you see many athletes wearing. Kinesio tape actually helps move your muscle or inhibits it from working. It can also help with edema (swelling). Supposedly it creates a pull on the skin and allows for fluid to flow. It also helps restrict or help muscle movement without restricting movement in that limb. I am currently doing research on kinesio tape, so I will get back to you when I have a little more information. 

The main purpose of taping is to use as a crutch to help you heal quicker, but it should not be something that you use all the time. 

I used Leukotape. The purpose of this tape is to restrict movement in a muscle to prevent further injury or pain…I figured if it was a quad problem, this type of taping would help...

Above are the 2 methods I used during training and during the race to off load my quad to not pull on my patella (knee cap) and prevent pain. Both methods helped, but not 100% affective.
I also considered that my patella was sitting in the wrong place. This method is moving the patella and placing it where it should be. I thought if my patella was in the right place I wouldn't have pain when I run. I only used this method during a training run and it did not help.

When taping…it is important to know where to place the tape, where and which direction the pull should be placed, and what to do if redness and swelling occurs, so make sure to consult your PT before applying tape.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jet Setting the West Coast

Okay, that is a slight exaggeration, but my last few weeks have been up and down the coast.

Two weekends ago I travelled up the Californian coast to San Francisco to hang with my little brother. The weekend was perfect. We had no plans but managed to pack our time with lots of fun stuff. We walked from Ben's place in Pacific Heights to the Embarcadero.

View from the top of Pac Heights
 Found a wine tasting room in Ghirardelli Square (after eating chocolate at Ghirardelli)
 Ate at Pier 39 (and drank a few drinks)
On our walk back, we stopped at the Buena Vista for my 1st Irish Coffee
By the time we walked back up to Pac Heights the sun was setting. This picture was a must!

On Sunday, Ben and I ran to Alamo Square. We felt so good, we decided to run to the beach. Not realizing the time, when we got to the beach, I only had an hour to get back and ready to leave for the airport, so we cabbed it back to his house.

The next day when I was back in Orange, I walked into my apartment to find this…Apparently it had been so windy that a tree blew over. Glad I missed that.

The next week went by quick (which I am glad it did), because Friday, I flew home to Seattle. I didn't tell anyone I was coming home because Chris and I were heading up North to take care of some wedding stuff. It was a very relaxing and (wedding) productive weekend.

This coming weekend (as in right now), I am heading down to Temecula to run my 29th half marathon. This race is going to be interesting for 2 reasons. 1.) I am injured. My knee has hurt since my last half marathon in August thus causing reason 2.) I have not run longer than 8 miles in the past 2 months and no more than 6 miles in the past 6 weeks. I plan on "doing" this race and not necessarily running this race. If I didn't set a goal to run 30 halfs by the end of this year I probably would not be participating in this race, but I am not one to not complete a goal I have set. So here's to not hurting my self worst.

I will update you on the race soon, plus some taping techniques that can be done to help with knee pain.