runfreeforever

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Plantar Fasciitis Massage

I tried this stretch and it ACTUALLY WORKED. I was kinda surprised! I will have to keep doing it! I’ve tried other stretches and other ways of massaging my foot, but none of them really got rid of the pain like this one did! I’m excited to see if it can actually help me get better!!

TRY IT FOR YOURSELF ūüôā

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Plantar Fasciitis

I found this video on Runner’s World, and I think it sums up Plantar Fasciitis pretty well!
State Track was this past weekend, so now I’ve got a week to rest my foot up so I can get back to training for cross country and get 400 miles in this summer! My foot is getting a bit better, but it was still acting up enough at state that it messed up my stride ūüė¶ I ran a not-so-good leg, but my team still did decently!
But my whole state meet recap will have to wait, I gotta ice up my foot and get some sleep!

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Plantar Fasciitis = Plain Frustration

Our conference meet¬†was on this past Monday. I was supposed¬†to run the 4x800m, open 800m, and the 4x400m. I ended up running the 4×800 and half of the open 800, hobbling and limping the second half of the open 800m, and finding a substitute for my 4x400m.

I started out the day with a bit of pain in my arch. I’d been having mild arch problems for the past couple weeks but it went away when I ran and I didn’t think too much of it. But then I did a long run on Sunday, for an hour at a moderate pace, about 8 minute miles. My arch started hurting a bit more after that and my hips hurt a bit too, but once again, I thought I could just push through it, rub it out, and I’d be fine. But my body had other ideas.

I ran my leg of the 4×800 in 2:29, not my best but pretty darn close. I was happy enough. My team ended up finishing first and getting a team PR in 9:41, so I was even happier!

During cool down and the warmup for my second 800 though, my arch would start hurting much worse than before. I told my coach about it and she just recommended that I tried to stay off it as long as I could before my race and that I keep my regular running shoes on for as long as possible, rather than¬†my spikes. She recommended icing it and taking advil later. I know it’s hard to tell, but in retrospect, I wish I just would have scratched that race.

I started out okay in the first hundred meters before my arch started aching…then as I started the second lap it started getting worse…and popping…and by the last 200, I couldn’t even run on my toes anymore without it popping and hurting like crap. I limped all the way down the home stretch and still managed to place 5th in 2:36.94. Not bad for being hurt, I guess. But what made it suck even more was the girl at the end who tried to be¬†nice. I was obviously in pain and she goes, “It’s okay, everybody has a bad race sometimes.” Maybe it wasn’t intentionally mean. But I kinda wanted to slap her. That wasn’t a bad race. That was me shooting myself in the foot and still running on it. That was me get my foot eaten by a ravenous lion, bear, and shark at the same time and still finishing it out…even though I probably shouldn’t have. That was part of me dying on the track, not because of my crappy time, but because I knew that I just did something really really¬†really bad that I shouldn’t have and that may jeopardize the rest of this season. I’ve apparently got plantar fasciitis and I just made it way worse.

I could hardly walk all night after my race or especially the this morning. As the day went by, it¬†loosened up a bit but¬†I was still¬†kinda hobbling around¬†the halls all day.¬†I went to see my school trainer before practice and hoped that it would help to just tape it up. Nope. It made it feel a bit better when I was just walking around, but I didn’t even get a hundred meters into my warmup before I had to stop. I went back inside and ended up on the elliptical for forty minutes, then iced it and stretched until practice was over.

Plantar Fasciitis¬†sucks. A lot. Especially this late in the season, when it’s beautiful outside and all I want to do is run, and the state qualifying meet is tomorrow and the state meet is next week already!

Hopefully ice, advil, and prayer will at least get me through the next two weeks!

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My Best Friend, the Roller Massager

I’d like to introduce y’all to my bestie, Pro-Tec Athletics’ Roller Massager!

Ta-da!!!

If you ever have tightness or soreness or pain ANYWHERE before or after a hard run or any other time, THIS WILL BE YOU’RE BEST FRIEND TOO!!! It’s a massage roller with four foam sections that feel like angels kissing your legs when you use it. According to their website, “The Roller Massager stretches muscles and tendons, breaks down soft tissue adhesion, and soothes tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues. Deep tissue stimulation and massage maximizes muscle performance and flexibility!” I use it to roll out tightness from my muscles before and after races and tough workouts. At one track meet last year, my quad inexplicably cramped up while I was warming up for an 800. Without one of these, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to run my race with as much pain as I had before I used it. My calves are always so tight and it’s led to worse problems like shin splints and Achilles problems. But when I use the roller massager, it helps release the tension and it feels so much better! There’s also this thing that happens more often after a shorter distance race, like a 400m race or shorter, where your butt cramps up. It’s commonly known among the girls on my team as “booty-lock,” and, let me tell you, it is one booty-kicker. It hurts so bad and you can hardly walk until it’s stretched out. This roller massager helps with that too! And if you’ve got a huge knot in your back, the roller massager has you covered there too. The difference it can make is like magic. From calves to backs to butts to IT bands, this roller is a life saver! It helps reduce soreness and tightness like no other! Here’s a video on how it works:

I’ve also tried The Stick’s Original Roller Massager. While this one has the same basic idea, it’s basically a bunch of hard plastic beads that hurt a lot more than the foam on Pro-Tec’s Roller Massager above. My friend likes it; I don’t prefer it. I guess it’s personal preference, and maybe you’d get used to the way it hurts after a while, but that is not the thing for me.

WHITE/BLUE

 

I’m not trying to sound like a saleslady or anything, a girl I know uses a rolling pin (like the wooden kind you’d use in the kitchen) to roll out her muscles, and it works just as well for her! If you’re sore, there’s a seemingly endless supply of ideas out there to help you! I hope you try out the roller massager though, because it has worked wonders for me and I’m sure it will do the same for you!

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Shin Splints Suck

It’s the second week of track practice and it seems like EVERYBODY is complaining of shin splints and other ailments. I’ve had my fair share of shin splints and sore feet, arches, Achilles, knees, IT bands, and all that icky stuff. But now the question is, what do you do about it??? Do you just keep running with the pain? Do you sit out for a while? Is there a way to get rid of them or prevent them?

Now I don’t want to take the place of your doctor, physical therapist, or anyone else like that. I don’t claim any medical expertise, but I have gone through it many times, and I’ve done my research and gotten lots of helpful hints from coaches and other runners.

My very first rule of thumb is to make sure you have the right shoes! I cannot stress enough how incredibly important your shoes are!! I’ve talked about the importance of good running shoes in previous posts, and I am a firm believer in the fact that the quality of your shoes will affect you entire body. When you’re running in old, worn out shoes or shoes with the wrong amount of support for your foot type and your style of running, whether it be too much or too little, it can cause all sorts of problems. I don’t want to get into all the things your shoes do for you, but I promise that a quality pair of running shoes that fit the needs of your feet will help you sooooo much! It will help if you frequently suffer from blisters and shin splints, to even knee and back problems! Even though it can get expensive, it’s totally worth it!! I promise!!

If you’re still having problems after you know you have the right shoes, increasing your mileage or intensity too quickly could be another cause. A 10% increase in mileage every week is the recommended amount, but it really just depends on your body. Some people could be easily capable of increasing their mileage faster than that, but 10% could be too much of  an increase for others. If you’re increasing your mileage quickly or adding in more speed work and your body is screaming “NOO!!” sometimes you gotta listen and give yourself a break or risk hurting yourself. I hate listening to my body when it’s telling me “NO!” because it makes be feel so weak. I’ve been running for the past five years and I can tell from the way my body responds when I’m increasing my mileage too quickly and when I should stop. I know that it’s better to take one day easy so I can keep myself from getting hurt rather than being out for a week, but all too often I risk it and keep pushing when I should’ve backed off! Do as I say, not as I do; I don’t want you to get yourself hurt like me!!

As you’re backing off the mileage and intensity, icing your shins can help relieve some pain and help with swelling. Also taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin will help since they are both pain killers and anti-inflammatory. Compression socks/sleeves can also promote blood flow and speed healing. I like to sleep in my compression socks, a girl on my team runs in hers and wears them all the time, it’s personal preference!

Stretching your calves can help, too. Here’s some stretches to try from tapingshinsplints.com. It’s a blog full of info about shin splints and ways to treat and prevent them!

Another stretch that I like is when you kneel and sit back on your feet like in this picture:

Advanced Shin Stretch
http://www.teachpe.com/stretching/advanced_shin.php

Lastly, regularly doing exercises to strengthen your calves can help prevent shin splints. My coach has us walk only on our toes, only on our heels, with our feet pointed out, and with them pointed inwards for a few minutes after we run sometimes, to help strengthen those lower legs. Several repetitions of heel raises will help calf strength too, either by standing on flat ground or with your toes and forefoot on the edge of a stair, then lifting your heel up to stand on your tip-toes before returning back down.

I hope these tips help!

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The importance of good running shoes

I think a lot of non-runners have the misconception that running is unlike other sports because they think¬†there are no rules and you have no equipment. They think it’s inexpensive because you don’t have to spend the money on the cleats, rackets, balls, nets, etc. A lot of people overlook one of the most important parts of running – your shoes!

YOU NEED GOOD RUNNING SHOES!!!!!

Having proper running shoes is so¬†important! I cannot stress to you enough how incredibly crucial¬†your shoes are to the benefit of your whole entire body. I’m not kidding. I recommend going to a specialty running store where the workers will watch the way you walk or run and help you find the best fit for your feet and your running style.¬†Everyone is different and¬†has different shoe needs.¬†There are shoes that will correct overpronation¬†(when your feet roll¬†inward),¬†and¬†supination¬†(when your feet roll¬†outward). There are minimalist shoes and performance shoes and stability shoes, and the list of possibilities are endless.¬†There’s¬†a perfect pair of shoes out¬†just waiting for you to discover them and make them your¬†new best friend!¬†But not only do you need one really good pair of running shoes, but¬†you need to make sure that you replace them often enough. According to therunnersguide.com, how often your shoes need to be¬†replaced is based¬†mostly on your mileage (about 300 to 500 miles), but also other contributing factors, such as your weight and your running style. To track how many miles you’ve run in your shoes, they¬†suggest keeping a running log, which I will probably write a post on later.

For me, I can usually feel when I need a new pair of running shoes, and I am much more prone to injury, aches, and pains. I get shinsplints, I¬†get ankle problems, knee problems, back problems, you name it. I am in desperate need of a new pair of running shoes right now! The pair I have now are Mizuno¬†Wave Inspire¬†8¬†(see below), and I’ve had them since July. They have moderate stability, perfect for my¬†overpronation.¬†The shoe’s arch¬†fits mine perfectly, and they’re considerably lighter than my previous pair of Saucony¬†Progrid¬†Guide¬†4 shoes, which were about 10.1 oz!¬†My¬†current shoes are only 8.9 oz, over an ounce less than the pair¬†before. I know an ounce doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can feel the difference¬†and I like it. But¬†it’s high¬†time¬†for me to get a new pair of shoes!¬†I ran almost 200 miles in July alone, then my entire cross country season, and all of my winter training so far. I’m sure I have at least 600 miles on those shoes, if not more! And I can tell too; my knees have been killing¬†me like no other! I could hardly walk in to school yesterday because they hurt so badly! I’m afraid I’m just gonna start limping down the hallways of my high school pretty soon and I’ll need a wheelchair or a walker or something, like an old lady with arthritis! It’s pretty bad! But thankfully, I know that this is my fault and it’s easily fixable with some ice and a new pair of shoes! It gets annoying to buy new running shoes¬†(and also pricey, as they¬†often are in the hundred-dollar-range)¬†twice or more¬†per year, but its worth it and¬†will save¬†you so much pain while¬†you run! I went to¬†my local running¬†shoe store yesterday, Running Wild,¬†to get some new shoes for my painful legs. I’m just going to get another pair of the same kind of shoes, but I’m going to have to wait a week until they get my size in. They also updated my shoes, but I don’t think that much has changed other than their color, which is now gray and my favorite shade of blue. It’s never ever ever¬†a good idea to pick running shoes just by their color or how they look! But if you can get some shoes that fit your feet, your arch, and your running perfectly and you can get them in your favorite color, its a bonus!

Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 8 Running Shoe - Dick's Sporting Goods<—-my¬†current¬†shoes, until I get my new ones!

<—-the new and improved Mizuno¬†Wave Inspire 9 shoes that I should be getting next week! ūüôā

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