Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chafing--Awkward But True

   I've been an avid runner for the last 17 months, running over 2,600 miles, but have consistently battled one problem--CHAFING OF MY CHEST.  This is not something I would typically write about (TURN OFF), but I believe many runners go through this so I thought I would share a funny story and a fix to the problem.
   I tried using sports tape, vaseline, tight fitting and loose fitting clothes, band-aids, etc... Sports tape would get wet, fall off, or rip my chest hair out (EEWWW), vaseline would stain shirts (double EEWWW), clothes just don't work loose or tight, and band-aids didn't stand up to the sweat. I also had a funny incident where I forgot to take the white sports tape off and started cutting my lawn with my shirt off. I noticed and wondered how many neighbors saw that one (OMG).  My wife and kids got such a laugh out of that one and so did I at my own expense and self humiliation!
  One day I was putting New-Skin® Liquid Bandage on a cut and thought this might just be the ticket.  My wife coined a marketing name that New-Skin® could use for runners...Tender Buds...I just about fell off my chair with laughter...Anyway, thought you would enjoy this bit of self humiliation and potential cure for chafing chest.  Nexcare No-Sting Liquid Bandage Spray, .61 oz.

Here is a bit of Office humor:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eat, Run, Drink ... Fuel Yourself

  How do you fuel yourself before, during, and after runs?  For me, it depends on when I run and the type of run--race versus training.   For my weekday training regimen, I typically run at dusk. For this, I typically eat a bowl of cheerios with banana, and a yogurt with water for breakfast around 6AM.  Then I eat my mid-morning snack of banana/clementine or fruit bar with coffee around 9AM.  For lunch I typically eat a hearty salad with protein and a low fat yogurt or a 6 inch turkey sub with honey oat bread around 12:30PM.  This provides me with the right balance of fuel to start my work out and keeps my calorie count down.  I usually run between 5-10 miles during my training runs.  During the run, I always bring a bottle of water, but never eat.  Post training, I usually eat a flat bread turkey sandwich within 15 minutes of my run followed up by a soup for dinner or light wholewheat pasta, Frank Perdue grilled chicken on salad or whatever else I can conjure up.  On the weekend, I usually train mid-morning.  I never really carb it up the night before UNLESS ITs BEER TIME, but always try to eat what I call a Fruit Frapishay (sliced up fruit, covered with Yogurt and Grapenuts) 1 hour prior to workout.  15 minutes after workout, I will eat a light lunch (sandwich with soup).  This seems to keep my calorie count down and get me on the mend quicker.
  Prior to races, the night before, I'll carb up. I will eat whole wheat pasta with a light ground beef with sauce and will drink at least 64 ounces of water.  For morning races, I need my Fruit Frapishay which keeps my stomach settled for those pre race nerves.  I also like to drink coffee before races to rev myself up. During run, I'm not a big fan of food, but if necessary, on longer runs, I'll stick with banana's or whatever they hand out.   Post run fuel, I typically have bananas, granola bars and drink Gatorade and water 15 minutes post run to avoid cramping.  Water is my main beverage pre, during, and post.  This has worked pretty well for me except for 20+ miles....STILL NEED TO FIGURE OUT THAT ONE!!!!  What works for you?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Run with Foot Pain or No Gain

  Over the last two years I've run through a variety injuries, the most common being pain related to my feet.  I have had pain in my arch which had similar symptoms to Plantar Fasciitis.  I also have had problems with the top of my foot near my metatarsals.  In addition, I have broken or seriously damaged my big toe on both feet at least three times.  Here are some tricks that help me run through this pain, but as you know, each of us have a different threshold and tolerance for pain, so be careful and don't risk injury if you don't need to.  Use common sense and before trying any of these techniques always see your doctor first.
  Lets start with that oh so sensitive area--the arch.  When I first started running distances of 5 miles or more, I would have pain in and along my arch line.  After trying a number of different remedies, I determined the pain was caused by switching shoes.  When arch support changes from shoe to shoe this tends to cause pain in your arch.  I have always been the type to run through this, but this pain was so severe, I needed to counteract it somehow.  I found taping the arch provided the extra support needed to get through my runs and overtime the pain would disappear.   The following link was very successful for me (consult your doctor first).  The down side was that the tape when wet would start pealing back around mile 3 or 4.  The key for me was wearing tight socks.  Tight socks seem to hold the tape in place a bit better.  The second technique I found that seems to work is going with a shoe 1/2 to 1 size larger and to obtain shoe inserts with extra arch support.  I prefer Gel inserts because it provides padding as well as the arch support needed.  It also molds around your foot for extra support. Below is a link that provides helpful information in more detail.
  Now lets get into those painful metatarsal injuries.  I have found that running shoes without appropriate tongue padding bruises the top of my foot and provides for painful metatarsals.  To get around this, I prefer to wear thin socks to give me extra room.  I also buy shoes with extra padding and finally I use shoelace locks which give me a consistent tightness of the lace.  I have found that shoes that are too tight cause these problems.  These techniques work for me and might work for you.  More can be found on shoelace clips here
   Finally, have you ever been running and catch your shoe on your full down stride on the edge of an uneven sidewalk and jam or break your big toe.  I do this two or three times a year and end up with a broken or badly bruised toe.  My toe turned purple and looked like a ripened plum.  These are several toe injuries you can get from this type of violent collision.  The last two times this happened, I've been able to run through this pain, but this injury seems to be the most painful.  For more links associated to these types of injuries try this link  The best remedy is to see your doctor and get plenty of rest.  If you are a hard charger, make sure you have sturdy shoes to get through it.  Also make sure you ice and heat, and ice and heat.  Buddy taping your toes also helps provide additional stability, but going to your doctor is the best approach.  For more info on buddy taping see
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