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Foster: Learning to walk
Elise Foster was sure she had found the cure to running with pain, and that cure was physical therapist Carol Montgomery.
Four years ago, the 37-year-old Columbus resident couldn’t run more than four miles without experiencing pain in her knee. Considering she wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon, she thought agony would be a part of the experience.
Then she sought help.
“The first marathon I tried to run, I dropped out because of the pain in my knee,” Foster said. “So I took time off.
“What I found was the pain was more about alignment.”
When she visited Montgomery, who since has moved to Hays, Kan., she found that the pain actually was originating in her hip at the sacroiliac joint.
“My upper body and lower body were moving at two different paces,” Foster said. “I didn’t have the same rotation in my upper body that I had in my lower body.”
She learned that she needed some education about her posture and how her foot hits the ground during running.
“Aches and pains become expectations when you run,” Foster said. “After working with Carol, my expectations changed.”
Montgomery gave Foster a set of “small” exercises to do.
“I had to learn how to walk again,” Foster said.
On April 15, Foster ran her first Boston Marathon. She has run three marathons since going to Montgomery for help.
“Initially, I fell into a trap,” Foster said. “I started to think, ‘I need Carol.’ It was like she was doing some Voodoo magic. I found out that it wasn’t so much what she does, but over a long period of time, what I do.
“You have to be aware what is happening while you are running. That when you do get help for pain, you can give your doctor or therapist enough information that they can get to the root cause.”
Sometimes even finding the root cause won’t mean complete relief.
Meyer: Discomfort takes toll
Melanie Meyer, 56, knows that running the Mill Race Marathon is going to mean some discomfort.
“I have plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connective tissue on the sole of the foot) that started last month,” said Meyer, who has run two previous marathons. “When I get done running, it tightens up. I went to the doctor and was told to use ice and massage. I wear a foot splint at night. He told me, ‘I’ll keep you running.’ We have a plan.”
Even with a plan, she knows she will have to get through some pain.
“That goes through your mind,” she said. “But I have made a commitment. There always is some kind of discomfort when you do a lot of running. When I run, I run with a group, and they talk about their children and other things. I just listen.”
Jones: Not going to stop
Brian Jones, 43, isn’t going to listen to his doctor.
“I have tendonitis in my right ankle,” he said. “I have been fighting it for a couple of years.
“The pain is intermittent. It can bug me while I am running, or maybe in the middle of the day when I check the mailbox. The doctor says I am running too much, but I am going to keep running.”
Brinksneader: Get it checked it out
Julie Brinksneader, 30, said she runs with aches and pains for about a month.
“You try to run through things, but usually after a month, you know it is time to have it checked out.”
Brinksneader has had four stress fractures, one in her femur and three in her foot.
“My femur, I needed four months rest,” she said. “I wasn’t allowed to do anything.”
The Mill Race Marathon will be her fourth. She said pain is part of the equation.
“I’ve never stopped in a race,” she said. “Just slowed down. You keep telling yourself, maybe it will go away.”
Henry: Compression pants
Some runners can go to more extreme measures to compete in the sport they love.
Max Henry, 59, has had two knee surgeries to fix cartilage damage in his right knee. That pain can prove tough to conquer.
Henry wears compression pants to help the blood flow and to eliminate lactic acid buildup. That goes along with Advil and ice.
Those approaching their senior years say that aches and pains simply go with the territory.
Palmer: Stop when it hurts
“I’ve been fortunate mostly,” said Neal Palmer, 50. “I’ve never had any running-related problems, but I do get aches. I think age hurts me. Getting old (stinks). So when something hurts, I stop.”
How 10 treat the pain
Melanie Meyer, 56
Pain: Plantar fasciitis
Treatment: Ice, massage, foot split at night
Kim Nelson, 40
Pain: Knee, hip
Treatment: Better foot striking, or if pain continues to slow down, walk
Samantha Steele, 34
Pain: Patellofemoral syndrome (contact of patella and femur)
Treatment: Use of rocktape (kinesiology tape), which helps increase blood flow
Julie Brinksneader, 30
Pain: Stress fractures
Ashish Paliwal, 43
Pain: Knee pain
Treatment: Strengthen hamstrings to work more in balance with quadriceps
Paul Malone, 45
Pain: Knee pain
Treatment: Strengthening muscles by doing leg extensions, curls and squats to take stress off the joints
Jose Buono, 32
Pain: Knee pain, shin splints
Treatment: Focus on not heel striking, Glucosamine (to support the joint function), brace for shin splints
Max Henry, 59
Pain: Knee pain
Treatment: Advil, ice, compression pants (aids in blood circulation, eliminates lactic acid buildup)
Christy Tam, 50
Pain: Plantar fasciitis, achy knees
Treatment: Uses a tennis ball to rub on arches while sitting at computer, Ibuprofen
Neal Palmer, 50
Pain: Minor aches and pains
Treatment: Stops running
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