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Rock Tape is for Everyone!

Rock Tape is usually advertised as a tape for recovering athletes, but it can be used by anyone dealing with some sort of acute or chronic injury!

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In this post, I’m going to describe alternative ways/circumstances for using Rock Tape! I’ve done a Rock Tape review in the past, so if you want to learn more about the tape itself, click here to visit that post.  While it may seem obvious to use Rock Tape if you just got injured doing some sort of activity, it may be less obvious to use for chronic issues that may develop. I’ve certainly had my fair share of ‘long term’ issues like pes anserine bursistis and patellofemoral syndrome and Rock Tape has been there for me all the way.  Check out the Rock Tape website to find videos for how to use the tape or contact one of their Rock Docs for additional consultation.

Additional Uses:

  • Races: Cut a few strips to carry in your pocket or fuel belt to use in a race if you feel a shin splint, knee, IT, hip flexor issue etc… so you can apply it during the race and help you finish! I certainly will be cutting a few emergency strips to carry in my iFitness fuel belt for my upcoming races! Since they are thin and lightweight, it can’t hurt to have Rock Tape on hand!
  • Athletic events: similar to the above statement, if you participate in athletic events like Crossfit games etc… it would also be a good idea to have a roll or a few strips on hand if you feel like you have strained something and it needs some immediate attention 🙂 Each roll comes with a paper showing various ways to use Rock Tape, but you can check out the Rock Tape website all about taping for Crossfit!
  • Work/School: Have a roll of Rock Tape in your desk or at your workplace to help with any issues that might develop from sitting or working on a computer for too long, like lower back or wrist (carpal Tunnel) issues. Of course its always a good idea to get up, walk around, and stretch to help minimize these as well 🙂

How do you use Rock Tape in your life?

Argyle

Disclaimer: as with any product, it is recommended to consult your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.  Rock Tape donated 1 roll to the MLML Open House opportunity drawing, but all opinions are my own.

February Training Recap

TJIM! Thank goodness its March! Spring is near and so are my races! So how did February go? Well…I decided to get my knees looked at since I still had lingering issues even after my pes anserine bursistis healed (yay for small victories!). In short, I’m back in PT, but I’m ALLOWED to run!

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What’s with PT?

During my pes anserine bursistis issue, I had a very tender pes anserine area as well as sore adductors (inner thighs).  But I also had some inner knee pain if I sat with my legs bent (aka sitting) for too long.  My chiro and I thought it was a byproduct of the pes anserine, but after I recovered from that late December, the inner knee issue still persisted. So I went to an orthopedic specialist again (early Feb) and he diagnosed me with patellofemoral syndrome, aka improper patellar knee tracking. Only thing, is that I have unusually ‘quiet’ knees for that diagnosis. No grinding, popping, knee giving away or locking. Just the aching issue if I sit down for too long, no pain during exercise. Also, I can’t do heros pose in yoga because I get weird pinching around my knees (like over-stretching, tight pain feeling).

My PT (same as for hamstring strain), said that the outer part of my knees are very tight (and a little around the lower IT area), which is pulling my kneecap weird and mimicking the patellofemoral syndrome.  I’m about to finish my third week in PT on Monday and then get re-evaluated to see if I should go for another 1-3 weeks.  What’s weird is that the specialist said I should go to PT for 4-6 weeks, but he only wrote an Rx for 3… I do feel like it is helping, but that I will likely need the full 6 weeks. My routine is similar to what I did for hamstring strain, we just have a few more exercises to focus on quad and VMO strengthening. I also have a new way to wear Rock Tape to help support my knee caps, so I can keep training.

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Training

I did take a week off from running during February when I made the decision to see the specialist because I didn’t know if it was ok to run or if I was making it worse (even though I only had symptoms with knees bent, if I kept knees straight when sitting on the couch, no issue). The specialist and my physical therapist said that if running really does not aggravate it and if I don’t get ‘soreness’ later in the day or the following day, I can still run.  Just as long as I stay below the threshold of pain. And in precaution, I have taken to adopting a run/walk routine again, run 4-5 min walk 30sec-1min and stretch as necessary. I’m not fast, but at least my current run/walk pace is a fairly consistent, 11:30 min/mile, even on my ‘longer’ runs, which are only 4 miles right now. Fortunately, this is still an acceptable pace for my half marathon in May (they require 13:50 min/mi pace) and even though I took a week and a half off essentially, I am still ‘on schedule’ for my 9 miler and half marathon.

I’ve been awesome about cross training this month, I got in 5 swims (I did two swims on my running ‘off’ week) in addition to my regular schedule:

  • Running mileage: 21.02 mi total this month (slow mileage increase/week).
  • Swimming mileage: 4.88 mi (yes I swim about a mile each time I go)
  • Yoga: once a week + #nomoregirlypushups challenge + workshop!
  • Strength Training: 2x/week (now incorporated into PT)
  • Stretching/Foam Rolling: every day. Sometimes 2x/day if I have time!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

2013 Training Schedule and #TeamComeBetter

Welcome to 2013! Yes I’m on the late bandwagon for publishing my post about training for events, but I wanted to make sure my first few weeks went by smoothly before I jinxed myself by developing an entirely new injury to keep me from running. NOT interested in revisiting that 2012 scenario.  Thankfully I’m back on track and ready to hit the ground running!

IMG_3402In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a nerd (being a grad student scientist and all), because I love creating fitness plans with excel.  To experienced/long time runners this may look like a slow process (because it is), but it follows my physical therapist’s guidelines for slowly incorporating a run/walk program into my regular fitness regime as well as the 10% increase mileage rule. I started the 5 stage run/walk program late December, so I used those weekly miles as a starting point for my intended schedule. While I designed a smart & balanced approach to my upcoming races, it is subject to change if I feel any injuries develop. Definitely NOT going to power through them.

  • January: progress through remaining run/walk stages (labeled Stage # RW) while maintaining cross training: yoga, swimming, strength & core training.
  • February: full runs 2 days/week with cross training.
  • March: transition to 3 days/week with cross training.
  • April: keep gradual mileage increase and use Big Sur 9 miler as a day for ‘training’ rather than a ‘race’.
  • May: final mileage buildup & taper for Capitola Half Marathon

Note: Everyday will include short dog walks and stretching/rolling sessions. CRUCIAL for my tight lower body. LOVE my Sprinter Stick for massaging knots out.

What does it mean to come better?

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 My blog pal Abby from Back at Square Zero asked herself: Why just come back when you can come back better? and later coined the phrase.  Both of us have dealt with injury over the past few months, so we are coming back BETTER in 2013The message we are hoping to send is that: running may have its ups and down, but you can always keep working toward your goals and to come better. Follow our #TeamComeBetter progress on twitter and instagram and if you are also making 2013 the year you come better, we’d love to know, so tag us (@mast2mar and @BackatSquare0) and/or use the hashtag #TeamComeBetter!

P.S. Abby is on a training for the Rock in Roll, Nashville marathon, the same weekend as my Big Sur 9 miler, so be sure to check out her training plan and please support her efforts as we are both making 2013 our come better year.

2013 Training Plan

What are your favorite ways to cross train?

Pes Anserine Bursitis, lucky me…

The ‘tightness’ and ‘achiness’ I’ve been feeling on my lower inner knee has been officially diagnosed by my sports chiropractor as a Pes Anserine Bursistis; which translates to inflamed bursa of inner knee.  Quite frankly, I am at a loss for words.  I don’t feel like I ‘earned’ this injury from doing something ‘glorious’ like training or racing.  The irony is not lost on me.

Pes anserinus is the anatomic term used to identify the insertion of the conjoined tendons into the anteromedial proximal tibia. From anterior to posterior, the pes anserinus is made up of the tendons of the sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus muscles. The tendon’s name, which literally means “goose’s foot,” was inspired by the pes anserinus’s webbed, footlike structure. The conjoined tendon lies superficial to the tibial insertion of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) of the knee. –MedScape

This is what MedScape says about Pes Anserine Bursistis pain symptoms and it pretty much describes me exactly (in addition to the fact I’ve noticed that it hurts/aches more in the afternoon/evening, while in the morning it just feels stiff):

Pes anserine bursitis can result from local trauma, exostosis, and tendon tightness.  An occurrence of pes anserine bursitis commonly is characterized by pain, tenderness, and local swelling. Typical findings reported within the subjective examination may include the following:

  • Tenderness over the inner knee can occur, with pain upon ascending and, possibly, descending stairs. Patients typically deny pain with walking on level surfaces.

As I was ‘piecing together’ my workouts over the last few weeks (between little scribbles from workouts logged on calendar, journal and phone), I realized symptoms started showing up around the 12th of September (I originally wrote it off as ‘exercise soreness’).  I don’t think that physical therapy visit was ‘the culprit’ because I didn’t feel any ‘acute’ pain during the visit. Only soreness later that day and that weekend.

9/2/12 Walk-Run #1: 2.77 mi (walked majority of that): felt twinges in left knee and hamstring area, iced, compression, no soreness later or next day.
9/4/12 Walk-Run #2: 2.75 mi same as above
9/5/12 Physical Therapy: filmed running gait, no soreness the following day.
9/9/12 Yoga-1hr: no pain during practice, no soreness after.
9/10/12 Walk-Run #3: 2.64 mi “fewer twinges than previously, again no soreness later or next day”
9/12/12 Physical Therapy: Last session. Achiness of area started occurring. Ice & comp
9/14/12 Yoga-1hr: No pain during practice, but achiness continued on/off that weekend. Ice & comp.
9/17/12 Home PT exercises: Did light warm up walk (no pain), tried to go through all exercises, but lunges aggravated it (so I only did things that didn’t hurt it)
9/19/12 Went to Chiro; told him about achiness, he stretched the area (felt stiff too and tender to touch) and did graston scraping. Sore for next few days.
9/21/12 Yoga -1hr: Lunge poses aggravated knee (better if I was on ball of back foot). Sore all weekend.
9/23/12 Walked 3mi: A little bit of twinge pain, but mostly achiness that night. Ice & comp.
9/26/12 Gym: 15 min walk (no pain), PT exercises (no pain), but in evening, achiness set in.
9/28/12 Yoga-1hr: modified all poses, no pain in area, but achiness on/off Sat. Sunday felt better.
*** October ***
10/1/12 Yoga-1hr: same as above. Less achiness in the evening
10/2/12 2mi Bike & 3/4mi Swim: Twinges of achiness during bike ride to pool (uphill), some achiness after 30min of swimming (went to pull buoy for last 8 min, arms only). LOTS of achiness in the evening. Wore compression socks to bed and felt better in the morning.
10/3/12 Chiro diagnosed me with PAB. Have to take it easy.  He says I should be ok to walk 5k on Sunday, just wear compression socks or bandage.

Everyday: short dog walks (15 min or less) followed by 20min stretching 2x/day. (Now I stretch with foam roller, so it takes me longer to stretch than before ~ 10min). I also am in the habit of icing on/off a few times a day and practically living in my compression socks (as of 9/28).

 Personally, I think a multitude of factors contributed to this:

1. Right leg got WAY more attention for stretching and exercising (aka left side neglected)
2. Probably should have foam rolled more often in general (since I found out my lower quads were SUPER AND PAINFULLY TIGHT, so I now do it religously every day)
3. I shouldn’t have relied more on my left leg while my right leg was healing (overcompensation).

For this injury, I do not need to go back to physical therapy, since my chiropractor can do many of the treatments to it (graston scraping, electro therapy, stretching).  As with my R calf bursa (associated with hamstring strain), it will just take a few weeks to heal.  And then I need to make sure I stretch, have balanced muscle groups and ease back into training slowly all over again. Of course I’m not happy, but there’s nothing else I can do.  SOMEDAY I WILL GET BACK TO HAVING AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE.  My biggest regret is not knowing that letting myself have a haphazard workout schedule over the past year (pre May when I started training for half marathon) would be so bad for my body.  During college, I never had any injuries, probably because I kept up an well rounded active lifestyle (swim, bike, run and yoga)… UGH! I am a sad bummed out gumball. Not sure what that means, but I identify with the Natalie Dee comic… 😦

Anyone else ‘lucky’ enough to have back to back injuries?