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Posts Tagged ‘marathon’

Make the Most of Your 13.1

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

I thought I knew what to expect on my first half marathon (13.1 miles), but quickly realized that I was wrong.   In training for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I had finally reached the half way mark: 13 miles. I decided to celebrate this milestone by running an official half marathon, and signed up for the Fort Worth Cowtown. The good news is the race turned out to be a far better experience than I expected, but I definitely learned some things that I feel are worth sharing.

Here are some before, during and after tips for making the most of your 13.1 half marathon.

Before the race

  1. Get there early: I got to the race early and was glad.  I didn’t stress about parking, had plenty of time to use the restroom and enjoy the atmosphere.
  2. Go to the bathroom: Using the restroom before the race is a must.
  3. Do what is routine: As per my usual morning runs, I drank a little but didn’t eat before the race. I was glad I didn’t, butterflies were enough for my stomach.
  4. Plan ahead or bring a buddy: Depending on weather, having someone to hand your clothes off to before the race starts is a nice bonus.  Otherwise, you are either cold while you’re waiting in the corals (because you don’t have them) or you are warm but then have to leave them at the start, and go on a crusade to find them after the race.

During the race

  1. Let ‘er rip: My adrenaline must have been way up, because my split times were about the same as my 5K and I held steady the whole race.   I was cautious the whole race about that, but next time I won’t be, and I will be more willing to push my times.
    Practice makes perfect: Running and drinking are an art.   I would try that before the race.   How you get the water in your mouth without showering you and everyone around you, and then how you get it down without coughing…well, it took a little practice.   I am sure I provided a laugh or two for those on the sidelines!
  2. Find flat surfaces: Looking for flat parts of the road are a must if you are prone to shin splints.   It took me about 1 mile to realize that an extra step or two to the left or right to get off an angle in the road was worth it.   The crown of the road or closest to the edges seemed to work the best.   13.1 miles at an angle could be problematic.
  3. Send some thanks: There are so many incredible people volunteering and encouraging runners during races, I wish I would have thanked more of them along the way.  If you have the breath, thank them.
  4. Snack smart: Energy gels really seem to work.  I like Gu and Cliff products because they taste good and go down easy.   Also, find a product that doesn’t produce large fluctuations in your energy; big highs then deep lows.

After the race

  1. Enjoy the moment: Give yourself time to take it all in, don’t rush out to leave so you can enjoy the moment.   I had to high tail it out of there for life’s next event, but wish I could have just hung out a few more minutes to enjoy the post race food and activities, and to let the accomplishment sink in.
  2. Run for fun:  I ran the race just to finish and I am glad that I did. I think it is great to measure your time, but if you aren’t enjoying the people, the scenery and the accomplishment, then it won’t last very long and won’t be much fun.
  3. Bring along recovery tools: If you have a roller, make sure you have it because you will surely need it.  Once you are stagnant your muscles will begin to tighten up. Having tools at the race (in your car, etc) to help stretch and loosen your muscles will help decrease future soreness. I of course am a RangeRoller guy, a must for any post race recovery.

That was my race experience.   Hope these tips help to prepare you for your next race. Let us know if there are any race tips that you swear by, leave us a comment. I hope you enjoy your 13.1!

Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis, An Inspiring Story

We were sent this testimonial from Arielle; runner, triathlete, and soon-to-be Ironwoman. She recently overcame 10-months of pain and suffering, due to ‘nagging’ Plantar Fasciitis, with some truly inspiring perseverance and what she calls “Medi-Dyne magic.”

“As a highly competitive gymnast growing up I periodically had heel pain, but nothing that I couldn’t remedy within a few days. Fast-forward about a decade later, and I found myself completely in love with long distance running. Ever since I took up the sport in the spring of 2009, I had experienced intermittent heel pain on and off again. In all of my athletic history my feet and ankles have always been my weak link, and I’ve run the gamut of injuries from stress fractures to dislocation to neuromas and so on…
Fast-forward one more time to March 2011, just 6 weeks before the Boston Marathon. I had been training for over a year to qualify and prepare for the race in Boston. After my
first 20 mile training run my foot completely seized up, and nothing would remedy the intense heel pain and feeling of strain that I was feeling in my foot. I stretched 3 times every day, used traditional methods—ice and massage, but nothing would alleviate my heel pain and get my arch to loosen up. I was forced to stop training up until race day, though  even after over a month off my feet, my Plantar Fasciitis was no better than that first day it came on.

I limped my way through the Boston Marathon and afterward my injury was no better or worse than before, so I took another couple of months off from running to try and get the inflammation to cease.  In the mean time, I found triathlons, which helped due to less running, but I was dissatisfied with the solution. I was recently gearing up for the Seattle Half Marathon in November of 2011, my first race since April. I was having a particularly painful week, feeling like I would never be uninjured again.

Training was going well but I still had nagging Plantar Fasciitis and foot pain, a sign of not good things to come (given that I’m racing in the Ironman Canada next summer). During an evening of injury-related depression I was surfing Twitter and saw someone post that Medi-Dyne would be sponsoring #runchat. I went to medi-dyne.com and clicked through to learn more about you guys. I instantly remembered seeing you in either Runner’s World or Triathlon magazine, and pulled the trigger to have my ProStretch Plus rush ordered. From all of the stretching I’ve done I understood immediately what sets the ProStretch Plus apart, and hoped it would truly be the device to save me!

My ProStretch Plus arrived just a couple days later, and after 1 day I saw a huge  improvement in my Plantar Fasciitis (both heel pain and arch tightness). After 3 days my  heel pain was gone, my arch tightness had subsided, and I was noticing less arthritis pain in the outside edge of my foot. After 7 days I was able to go off my arthritis medication and I haven’t had any heel pain since!!

The foot is so interdependent on all of its moving parts that inherently many of my injuries have stemmed from compensation for other injuries. Regular use of the ProStretch Plus has really gotten to the core for me to work through many of my foot injury issues. I  haven’t been in pain for a while (finally!!) I’m still seeing active improvement in my flexibility and stride while walking and running. And I love that the product is so easy to use; I keep mine in my kitchen so that I can use it between cooking and cleaning in an area where we all congregate. The ease of use makes it easy for me to remember and more likely to incorporate it into my routine.So happy to have found you guys an looking forward to more of your magic!” – Arielle

Thanks to Arielle for sharing that amazing story and the fun photos with us. You can follow Arrielle’s training on her blog, “On the Way to Ironman” at www.onthewaytoironman.wordpress.com.  We are looking forward to hearing about her success at the Ironman in Canada this summer.

If you have a story about your injury recovery that you would like to share with us, or if Medi-Dyne helped heal your pain please email connect@medi-dyne.com. Read what others are saying about the ProStretch Plus at medi-dyne.com or order your ProStretch Plus today.