Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘olympics’

Why I’m Sticking With KT Tape

“Disclaimer: I received five types of KT Tape as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

This month, I got the chance to try out KT Tape and it could not have come at a better time! My sample box came with 5 different types of KT Tape: Cotton, Pro, Gentle, Extreme, and Wide.

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Last summer, I rolled my ankle while training for the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon and THEN I rolled it again on the 4th mile of the actual race and kept on going (which maybe wasn’t the best decision)…so ever since then, things haven’t been quite the same with my left foot. I did go to an Urgent Care the day after the race and nothing was fractured.  After RICE’ing it for a while, I wore a compression wrap for a bit, but it got kind of bulky and annoying so I pretty much gave it up.  A couple of people recommended KT Tape to me over the last few months, but honestly, I was a bit skeptical of it.  I didn’t understand how “tape” could help me.

So what exactly is KT Tape and how does it work?

Per kttape.com:

“KT Tape is an elastic sports tape designed to relieve pain while supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments.”

“When an area of the body is injured through impact or over-use, the lymphatic fluid builds up causing inflammation and swelling. This accumulation of lymphatic fluids may cause increased pressure on muscles and tissue which can cause significant discomfort or pain.
It is believed that when applied correctly, KT Tape lifts the skin, decompressing the layers of fascia, allowing for greater movement of lymphatic fluid which transports white blood cells throughout the body and removes waste products, cellular debris, and bacteria.”

In other words, KT Tape does some fancy science-y stuff in your body to relieve discomfort. 😉  Also, Olympians use it so it must be pretty rad, right?? Well let’s see!

Since I am new to any type of taping of anything, the first thing I did was watch 47 YouTube videos on taping techniques.  Okay, maybe not 47, but it was quite a few.  I also read through all of the tips and tricks on the KT Tape website.  They have some great instructional photos and videos on there!

When I first started taping, I had no clue what I was doing and made a few mistakes. I started out with the basic Cotton KT Tape…

As you can see,  I didn’t properly apply the tape…which meant it didn’t last very long.  I’ll list my tips for success a little later on.  Then I tried a bit of a different technique with the Pro tape…

This ended up lasting longer and I felt like it was a more beneficial taping sesh. And in case you’re wondering what the big differences between the Cotton and Pro are:

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Then I tried out the Gentle tape…

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Surprisingly, I actually really liked the gentle tape.  I don’t really have any skin issues, but I thought it was flexible and supportive and I could remove it with no pain or skin-pulling.  Then I went on to try the Extreme

The Extreme is a bit thicker and supposed to last longer, so I really liked the idea of using it for my feet since it’s a sweaty and flexible area.  Then something life-changing happened! I got on #BibChat (It’s like a Twitter party/Educational session for runners every Tuesday) and I discovered that you can mix up the tapes! Whaaaattttt?  I can wear three different tapes at once?  Did I mention that I’m really new to taping??  Anywho…so I decided to put the Extreme under my foot, then use the Pro on top and then wrapped the Cotton next to that one (where I didn’t need as much support)…

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Since I’m not sure what my ailment is exactly…I sort of combined the wrapping techniques from both the ankle stability taping instructions and plantar fasciitis instructions.  I have pain in my arch (first thing in the morning and then while running) and since I rolled my ankle, I like having extra ankle stability.  After messing around with some more taping, I finally figured out a good wrapping method that’s been working for the last week!

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And now, after a few weeks of taping, I’m feeling more confident in my methods!  And what about the pain?  Well, it hasn’t completely gone away and I’m not sure that it ever will…but it has decreased during and after my runs.  I think I would need to use it consistently for a few more weeks to see a bigger difference.

How ’bout the Wide tape though?  I tried out the wide tape on my hamstring because I do get pain/soreness there sometimes.  I definitely need more practice with the Wide, it was a little tricky to apply since it’s so big.  Also, removing it was pretty painful (like a lot painful).  So next time, I plan to try the Gentle on my hamstring since it’s a sensitive area and use the Wide on my lower back because I have issues there as well.

So here are my tips for beginners!

  • If you have severe/chronic pain, see a doctor (common sense, y’all)
  • Clean the area first
  • Apply 1 hour before your activity
  • Don’t pull too hard on your anchor points or else it will create an “accordion” effect and basically the strip is ruined.
  • Don’t pull too tight on the middle part.  The KT Tape website recommends about a 50% pull for many of the methods – just don’t pull 100% – you still want flexibility and blood flow!
  • Putting on too much tape is not going to help you.  Again, you want flexibility.
  • Rub the tape after you apply it because it’s heat activated.  This is a really important step to get the most out of your application!
  • There really isn’t a wrong way to apply KT Tape.  I highly suggest watching the videos and reading the instructions…but you can also test out different methods to see what works best for you!

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my KT Tape experience and I will continue to use it in the future! Here’s what I liked most about it:

  • Pre-cut Strips– The strips are already cut and easy to pull off.  The backing is super easy to pull off too, with no sticky residue.
  • Bright Colors – They are available is super fun colors!
  • Flexibility – I like the support and flexibility they provide without being too bulky, like a traditional brace.
  • Confidence – Something about wearing the KT Tape makes you feel a little bit more hardcore.  KT Tape lets people around you know that a little pain isn’t going to stop you from reaching your goals!  Also, Olympians use it, remember??  You are using something the best of the best use!  How cool is that?
  • Containers – With the exception of the Cotton and Gentle tapes, they come in reusable containers!  So when you are done, you can save them for tiny things around the house, small toys, etc…it’s especially great for travel!

What I didn’t like:

The only issue I had was that I couldn’t get my strips to last 4-7 days.  Mine lasted about 1-2 days. I’m still new to taping so it could be that I haven’t gotten the technique down quite yet.  Or it could be that my injury is in a spot that gets wet, oily, sweaty…that it’s not meant to last very long on my foot.  But if YOU know of a way to make it last longer, please let me know!!!!

Are you curious about KT Tape?  Pricing ranges from $9.99 to $45.99 depending on which product you are after.   The Pro, which was my favorite, runs for $19.99.  And as a bonus, you can score 30% off your order with code, “BIBRAVE30”!  So if you’re interested, now is a great time to try it out!

Go ahead, add a little Joy to your life! 🙂 🙂

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Have you used KT Tape before?  What did you think??

~SM

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Chula Vista Community Fun Run

Earlier this month I participated in the 8th annual Chula Vista Community 5k.  The first thing that drew me to this run was that it’s held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.  How cool is that?!  You get to run around a venue where actual Olympic athletes have spent several hours training for the grandest athletic event in the world!  Now, you can come at certain times during the week for a free audio-guided tour; however, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to actually run around the training grounds and pretend to be an Olympian myself!  The second thing that attracted me to this event was that it was only $10!  I like cheap – so a 10 buck run is right up my alley.  I did have to pay a two dollar online fee (those pesky fees), but the price included a custom bib with my name printed on it and a t-shirt.  Also, children 3 and under were free although they don’t receive a bib or t-shirt.

You could choose to pick-up your packet either the day before or the morning of – I had someone grab mine the day before and from what I heard it went pretty smoothly.  The parking situation was interesting.  I arrived to the venue about 10 minutes early (it was a fun run, not a timed race – so I wasn’t worried about being exactly on time.) But much to my dismay, I was met with a long line of cars waiting to get in and find parking.  There were a couple of parking attendees, but they didn’t seem really prepared for the amount of cars that morning.  By the time I got close to the parking lot, I was informed that it was full and I needed to turn around and drive back to a church I had passed earlier and park in a dirt lot behind the church parking lot.  This was a little frustrating because it did make me a later than I wanted to be for the start of the race.  I wish that there had been better communication between the parking lot attendants so that I didn’t waste time waiting in line and driving around in a circle.  But, eh whatever, 10 dollar race – you live and learn.

 

 

It was kind of a bummer that I started the run 10 minutes late, but I caught up pretty quick to everyone and it was a cool and misty morning (thanks, marine layer).  It was really amazing just running through all of the different event areas and imagining all of the athletes that have been there displaying their talents. There were plenty of volunteers at the start and end of the run and a couple of water stations.  Here are some course pics!

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My favorite part of the race was getting to run on an actual Olympic training track!  It was not only inspiring, but insanely soft and springy – it felt like running on a cloud!

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There was also a bounce house about 3/4 of the way into the course which was a nice touch for the kids!  The finish line included water and fruit and there was an optional $5 pancake breakfast.  Afterwards, we headed up to visit the sponsor tents and see the torch!  A few athletes were signing posters and Sea World had a big table with activities where they brought a few small animals for everyone to meet.

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The DJ looked lonely as usual until the raffle started and then he was surrounded.  I didn’t enter the raffle this time, but I did hear him announce a few restaurant gift cards.

Besides visiting the vendors and checking out the torch, there was also a gift shop and BMX bike museum to checkout and a podium to pose on.

olympic_bikesIMG_5807IMG_5804IMG_5806IMG_5552P.S. I don’t know those people ^^^     So what was the SWAG?!

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  • I already mentioned the t-shirt, although I will add that it’s a tech tee, so bonus!
  • A signed poster by a few athletes (although I had no idea who they were)
  • The Hubert’s strawberry lemonade was pretty good, I would probably drink it again
  • A custom bib as previously mentioned
  • Bottle of water
  • Tote bag
  • Magnetic clip
  • Flash light keychain
  • Free trial coupons from 24-Hour Fitness
  • Toothbrushes
  • Lots of toothpaste!

I will also say that I didn’t get a chance to hit up every vendor as I brought my squirmy baby-toddler with me this time and he doesn’t have a lot patience for swag shenanigans. So the haul could have been greater, but I really was just taking in the scenery and enjoying roaming around the facility.  Also, race photos were available for purchase a few days after the event.

I really enjoyed this event and since it is super family-friendly I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun run.  I will warn you that dogs were warmly welcomed to this event, which is great because I love dogs; however, I had to swerve and dodge a lot of them so you really have to pay attention to your path.  I also liked that the proceeds went to help afterschool health programs in the area.   My only recommendations:

  • Better preparation/communication for the whole parking situation.
  • Offer medals/awards so we could at least pretend to be winners of the day!  I would have paid a little extra in registration fees so that I could add an “Olympic medal” to my collection. 😉

Overall, it’s a great event especially for the price – so check it out!  Go Team USA!!

 

 

~SM 

 

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