Sunday, May 17, 2009

Compression Convert?

Saturday's 10 Mile Taper Run
It is often said that running is a mental sport. I believe that. Yesterday's group run was 10 miles and I have to say, it was more difficult in some ways than the 21 miles the week before. My perceived difficulty most likely came from these sources:
  • Although the run was partially along the Mission Bay area, much of the run was not very attractive. We hardly ran along the beauty of the ocean at all. Instead, we ran through neighborhoods with too much traffic and bad roads.
  • It was overcast. While that made it cooler, it also made the run more dreary.
  • I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to meet my group by 6:00. I was TIRED!
  • The biggest factor was my own frame-of-mind. Before the run, I thought of it this way, "Oh, it's just 10 miles. Easy-cheesy! Compared to last week, this will be a quick little jaunt along the coast."
The problem with that frame-of-mind is, 10 miles is still 10 miles! It still takes time to run that distance. In my head, I was ready for the run to be over practically before it started. But it wasn't... it seemed to take forever! It's funny how much the brain has to do with the quality and likability of a run!

Rock 'n' Roll Route
Even though much of the run was not very scenic, the benefit of running it was that a lot of it is part of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon route (maybe miles 18-23 or something like that). It is good to see where I'll be running for some of the marathon. One nice thing is, the roads will be closed so the traffic will not be an issue during the race.

Accidental Compression
After Saturday's run, I had to go to a party so I didn't get to do my usual "relaxing on the couch" thing. My bad leg was hurting so I iced it and on a whim, put on the knee brace I had purchased a few months ago. I figured the extra support would not hurt. It felt better just to have it on. I left the brace on for the duration of the party (about 3 or 4 hours).

The amazing thing was waking up this morning and having my bad leg be almost pain-free!! I was able to put my full weight on it and even chase my boys around at church. This has not happened after a long run in ages!

In my mind, I reviewed what I might have done differently to make this happen. The only thing I could think of is the knee brace. I've heard a little bit about the benefits of compression after a run but haven't taken it seriously. Until now. This is something I definitely want to learn more about.

What are your experiences with compression therapy?

Worrisome Running Stuff
My left heel has been bothering me for the past week. I'm wondering if it's the start of planters fasciitis. I'm trying to stretch my foot/arch, icing, and rolling my foot on a foot roller.

I don't know if this is the wisest strategy before a marathon, but for the next two weeks, I am going to do no running at all. I will continue with the cross training and strengthening but I really want to have as much time as possible to allow my heel to get better.

What do you think, my wise, experienced Running Blogger Friends? Any suggestions for dealing with a sore heel?


Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

I've got nothing for you Sara on your heel, sorry...

But congrats on forging through the run even though you were tired and it was an uninspiring course. You rock!

Kelly said...

I was just thinking the other day how I always seem to do better with longer runs (and long for me is like 4 miles haha). I think it's similar to you, it's the way I psych myself up and tell myself this is going to be hard but you can do it. On the other hand, if its only 2 miles I'll be like no problem it's going to be easy and then of course it's so difficult!

MCM Mama said...

Hmm, where is the pain on your heel? And does it hurt more after sitting, etc? I had some heel pain a week or so ago that turned out to be from standing too much on hardwood floors without shoes.

Glad the compression helped. I know some people with knee issues run with those, but I've never used any type of compression.

Good job getting through the 10.

Glenn Jones said...

Aren't you in new shoes? If so, I would not expect PF, unless there is something about those shoes that just don't quite agree with your feet. I would talk to your PT.

Regarding two weeks off - I think it would be wise. Keep in mind that you are going to be on your feet somewhere between 5 and 6 hours, so you *must* be as healed up as possible.

And you are right. Miles 18 through 23 *were* the worst on the course. Run through Pacific Beach, around the top of Mission Bay, along the river, and then an out and back between miles 22 and 23. It was hot and I was tired. It was where the paramedics were *real* busy - I saw 4 runners being carted away between miles 20 and 23. I was chafing, I had blisters on the bottom of my feet and my (ahem) nipples were bleeding (I know - TMI). I was miserable. It is where I really found out how mentally tough I had to be to finish.

Once you get past mile 23 it was all downhill. Turning onto Barnett and seeing Marines in uniform was such a feeling of accomplishment. Wouldn't trade it for anything!

tfh said...

Nice job on the 10 miles-- I agree, these runs are always harder than me because I don't mentally prepare for them in the same way as the 20 milers. Oh, and I use compression all the time--love it! Sounds like you should keep it up! Sorry about the heel pain.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

you're so right about the mental part of running. Sorry to hear about the heal, I did have heel pain once about 2 years ago. I got some of those gel heel cups, that helped reduce the pounding my heel took. Since you'll be not running over the next two weeks, maybe use them for walking too, just so that you're not trying something completely new for race day. See if it alleviates the pressure while just walking around even. Other than that, I'd also suggest speaking to your PT. :)

The Happy Runner said...

So sorry to hear about your heel. That stinks! I hope the 2 weeks off heals it so you can run the race!

RunToFinish said...

I have fallen in love with my compression pants, I never hurt the day after a long run any more and I swear it has to be the pants

Marathonman101108 said...

If your heel pain feels like someone stabbed it with a knife, it's probably plantar fasciitis. Google it and check the symptoms. When I had it, I pretty much had ALL the symptoms! As far as taking two weeks off, if you're hurting, you don't have a choice. Consider the run-walk-run method for the marathon. It will help you in the long haul. Just make sure you're ready to commit to the 4 plus hours you'll be on the course. If all else fails, it's not a bad idea to withdraw. I did that before what was supposed to be my first marathon. It was the best move in the end, even though I was extremely disappointed at the time.

Irene said...

I agree with some of the others about taking the next two weeks off from running and cross training instead. If your heel still bothers you in a couple of days DO get it checked out.

I've had 6 mile runs that were just dreadful! Sometimes mileage is irrelevant to how you feel. I agree that it's the frame of mind! Some days are like that. Maybe this means your marathon will be great? I hope so.

Patrick said...

I truly believe scenery can ruin a run! I always try to zone out on the sidewalk when I go through yucky neighborhoods.

As for some of your pain have you tried taking Glucosamine supplements-- they have helped me dramatically reduce joint , knee and other pains.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GREAT reminder about the mental aspects of EVERY run regardless of the length.. 10 miles is tough!!

SO funny about the knee braces, what a great way to discover something to help with pain.

No advice for heel pain...hmmmm.. Ice, heat, rest...that's all I got.

Your Marathon is sooo soon!! My my Rookie you are almost there..

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Can't help you with the heel pain. I get all kinds of aches and pains, but that's not one of them!

I can't believe you got up at 4:30 for your run. I would never do that. More power to you!!! Woot!

AKA Alice said...

OMG..OMG...OMG...the heel pain? Where do I begin.

1. Do not ignore it. It may not be PF, but it could turn into it (not to be alarmist, but you know I've been fighting with PF since February)

2. In my case, all heel pain is related to a tight achilles. So I stretch, and ice, and massage that puppy like a baby.

3. Freeze some water in a paper cup. When it's frozen, peel the paper back and massage the bottom of your foot (the whole way, from heel to ball) with the ice for about 2 minutes.

3. Roll the bottom of your foot on a tennis ball (loosens the tendon, hurts a little at the beginning, but feels wonderful afterward).

4. Stretch. The best one is to drop your heel off of a step, then bend your knee forward to get at the achilles really deep. If you can't stretch it that way, roll your foot around a couple times (mine usually pops) then I can stretch it.

5. I do all of this 3-5 times a day when I start to get heel pain. I didn't do it this last time, and now I'm paying the price...GAH!!!!

6. (and this kills me the most). Don't wear flip-flops for awhile.

7. If you got new shoes that are a different style than your previous brand, consider going back to the previous style.

OK...enough about the heel. You know you can always email me if you really want more info.

Re...Miles 17-23...not much fun. I had friends who ran with me earlier in the race. I wish I'd had 'em with me in that stretch. Let me know. I'd be happy to run with you awhile.

Run Mommy said...

I had terrible heel pain issues during my training for marathon #1 and all I can tell you is Stretch, stretch, stretch. It did the best for me - and ice. Was it the new shoes?? :):)

Denise said...

Thanks for the comment to my post yesterday. I'm sure it wasn't easy for you to write that, but I'm glad you did. I've also, well am, dealing with that same issue as well. I know first hand how hard it can be. Please let me know if I can support you in any way.

Sarah said...

I have never had an issue with heel pain. I did have arch pain, which turned out to be plantar fascitis. Stretching, icing and rest worked for me with that. Hope you are feeling better soon!

joyRuN said...

You weren't kidding about your previous post self-destructing!

I'm sorry to hear about what's happened - good luck to you & your family.

Fair Weather Runner said...

OH, your last post did self destruct. I just want to say I hope things get better! I have no advice on the heel thing, just take it easy with the upcoming marathon! Can't wait to read all about it :)