Runners: Stop Running through Pain

Patient of the Month: A Runner Who Stopped Pushing Through Pain...

"I've learned a lot about the differences between pain, soreness, and discomfort."

Meet Judy! This early bird is the first patient in the clinic and never stops working until she walks out the door at 8am!  As an avid runner Judy knows how to push her body through training and races, but when her hip started to bother her after the Chicago marathon, she knew it was time to get help! 

Judy constantly works hard and never complains! Since starting PT, she has gone from being nervous about running to loving being out on the road! Watch for her to complete the NYC Marathon in 2015!

In her own words…

Three words to describe me...

Dedicated, Focused and Committed

What brought you to PT? 

While training for the Houston Marathon, I started to experience pain in my left leg. I finally hit the point of not being able to run without pain. My coach suggested I come to IronPT.

I've learned a lot about the differences between pain, soreness, and discomfort. This has been crucial for me to learn as it will help me going forward to know when to reach out for help. 

How have you benefitted from PT? 

I cannot believe how much better I am doing. Not only am I physically improving, but it has helped me feel more secure again in my running and enjoy my running. The environment you create at IronPT is great. It's very personalized and there's no "can't". 

What are you most excited about getting back to? 

I am looking forward to being able to take some cross-training classes that involve jumping and jump roping. My goal for 2015 is to run the NYC Marathon pain free and happy! 

Runners: Physical Therapy NOT Just For Serious Injuries

How One Runner Incorporates Physical Therapy

Paige is one of our favorite patients of all time! She is an outstanding patient (commited, hard-working, optimistic and compliant), but more than that, she is fascinating. It's not everyday that we meet a runner, knitter, entrepreneur, designer, writer and more who makes us belly laugh and inspires us to embrace who we really are.

She's also a master at using her resources. Paige understands the value of using a coach/expert in different areas of life to keep her focused and moving forward. In PT, we do that literally. Instead of waiting until her pain gets out of control, she comes in for just a few visits to ensure a proper diagnosis, quickly resolve an issue and be directed regarding self-treatment. We love that!!



As I mentioned, Paige is also a talented writer. You can read her fantastic blog here

In other exciting news, Paige just launched a running apparel company that fittingly specializes in wool designs. Here is a sneak peak at some designs that will be available next fall:

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In her own words…

Three words to describe me...Quick-witted, Big-hearted, Loyal

What brought you to PT?I initially came to Iron PT to resolve a lingering hip issue. At that time I had been in PT (elsewhere) for over a month, but felt stymied and frustrated as there had been no improvement. I remembered seeing Dr. Mayes' blog through the Essex Running Club's website, liked what I saw, and figured I really had nothing to lose.

At my first appointment, Dr. Mayes did the most complete assessment I have ever had, either from an MD or any other health professional, and we got to work with a variety of strengthening and stretching exercises and then the dreaded GRASTON and ART therapies.

For this injury, I saw Dr. Mayes about twice a week for a few weeks, and sure enough, the hands-on therapies and the strengthening/stretching routines he prescribed kicked the injury to the curb.

How have you benefitted from PT?

I had always thought that PT was reserved for folks with very serious injuries or those recovering from surgery; I never considered it as something I could (or should) incorporate into my routine.

Ever since my hip injury, which required about a month of regular PT, I've used Iron PT when different areas flare up. I've learned to feel the difference between something I can work out for myself (with a foam roller, stretching, icing, and/or resting) and when I need something a bit more hands on. Dr. Mayes has helped me combat some stubborn tendonitis, IT Band issues, and most recently some bursitis in my knee, and I think he's been instrumental in my being able to train consistently.

When you're forced to take a break from your sport and training, there's a huge physical and mental void to fill. Rest can be hard, but being diligent with my PT helped me because it gave me goals and made that forced rest feel more productive.

What would you say to someone who has the same injury?

I am very vocal about including PT as part of recovery from any injury. Our body parts were meant to move, and PT helps them move better and correctly. I think PT is also a necessary tool when healthy. I continue to see Dr. Mayes when I am unable to work through a niggle satisfactorily--and I feel as though this has been so instrumental in keeping injuries at bay.

What are you most excited about getting back to? Running is my poison, and I had two goals for this year, a sub 2:00 half marathon and to remain injury-free. As the year finishes up, I'm happy to report that I've come really really close to both: I ran a 2:03 half marathon and have only missed about a week's worth of training runs with my most recent set-back (knee bursitis).

I think for the future, I'm going to step away from time goals and focus more on experiences. I'm involved with a group of relay runners, and I expect to take 2-3 trips with them in 2015. This doesn't mean I'm going to slack off in my training, though. This group is extremely speedy, and I really want to pull my own weight.

Best Sports Bra.

By Meri Mayes


I am active.

I have real breasts that have ranged from 34C to 36DD.

I have had two children.

I need a good sports bra.

I am tired of  trying on hundreds of sports bras that are labeled "high impact", but do nothing. I had resorted to buying size small and wearing two at a time which looked and felt miserable.

I was recently shopping for running shoes at a local specialty store ( and saw a sign that said, "Are you wearing the right sports bra?" I knew the answer to this question and asked the salesperson for help. She led me to the rack of sports bras where I saw the usual "high impact" tag dangling. I was skeptical but headed to the dressing room for my fitting.

To my surprise, I was able to put on the bras without pulling my shoulder out of the socket, and the girls stayed perfectly in place as I jogged around the store.

Victory!!! I brought two different styles of Moving Comfort sports bras (Maia and Juno) and have been test driving them with running, cycling, etc. over the last two months. They have held up perfectly. The straps do stretch a bit, but they have that covered because you can adjust them to be shorter to keep everything high and dry.

So...don't give up but if you actually NEED a sports bra, but you will probably going to shop at a specialty store.

Anybody else find a sports bra they love?

Harrisburg, PA Marathon Recap

After learning the NYC Marathon was canceled, I took a few days off to "mourn" the loss, drink a few beers and enjoy the release of such a huge commitment. However, I quickly became anxious about "wasting" the precious time spent preparing and training. It was hard for me to think about running a marathon that was not NYC, but my four year old  daughter Callie gave me the inspiration I needed.

Callie was looking at a picture of me and my brother in our NYC marathon shirts and she said to my wife, "i'm so sad because I didn't get to see daddy run the race." As soon as I heard this, I was freakin' fired up! My wife reinforced her support for me to finish this commitment, and so I decided to run the Harrisburg, PA Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 11th, 2012.



It was a beautiful, sunny morning in Harrisburg with temperatures starting in the mid-40's and rising to the mid-60's. Just over 1500 runners lined up and took off at the 8:30 am start.

I felt great for the first half of the race and with the 3:35 pacer which was much faster than I had anticipated. Over 90% of the course was flat and "fast", but I hit a hurdle around mile 18 when there were a few steep hills as the course went around Wildwood Lake Park. My pace slowed and my quads burned like crazy as I navigated the hilly terrain.

When my body finally recovered from the shock of the hills, my left quad began cramping with no mercy around mile 22. I began questioning myself and thought I might need to walk, but gained inspiration as I read some signs of supporters cheering us on:

 "Pain is temporary, pride is forever"


"My daddy runs faster than your daddy"

"Embrace the suck"

"You get stronger when you go longer"

"You trained longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage" - this wasn't really inspiring, but I thought it was funny.

So, with all the encouragement from supporters and thinking of my precious daughter's face,  I had to keep running.



After some gatorade, GU and mental toughness, the discomfort and cramping subsided. The serene view of the Susquehanna River was magnificent and made for nice company as I made surged to the finish.



So how did I do? My time was 3:40:23.37, average pace of 8:24 per mile. I was 417th out of 1514 finishers and 64th out of 138 in my age group.

I was extremely pleased with my result as this was a PR for me by more than 15 minutes,  yet a part of me wishes I could've broken into the 3:30's.....there's always something to shoot for.

There weren't exactly 40K runners with miles of screaming fans, but it was definitely a meaningful race I'll always remember.

Many thanks to my wonderful wife for encouragement, my father-in-law for coming to cheer me on and to my beautiful daughter who inspired me!!



NYC Marathon 2012 Weekend Recap

Well, it's been a wild and crazy week. Hurricane Sandy ravaged our NJ and NY coast causing damage to lives, homes, property and left us without power.I was fortunate to only lose power for 5 days and escaped without any personal damage.

I was still excited, yet with mixed emotions, after Mayor Bloomberg confirmed that the NYC Marathon would indeed be held. Over the next 24 hours, my brother along with thousands of other eager marathon participants, would fly in from all parts of the world only to learn that the marathon was cancelled after because too much controversy and negativity surrounded the race.

While I was in favor of running the marathon (after he initially said it would go on), I agreed with the decision to cancel it even though it should have happened  earlier. With the decision final, I was ready to use my energy for good.

After learning about a couple volunteer opportunities through New York Runners in Support of Staten Island and Renaissance Church, my brother and I packed up our supplies and went to Staten Island. Seeing the homes devastated by the storm, streets filled with garbage, boats blown inland, downed trees and people scrabbling for basic necessities was a true reality check.

It was humbling working alongside individuals who had lost practically everything. We met up with other NYC runners and pitched in where we could; unloading supplies off trucks; carrying supplies to people's homes; organizing relief items as they came in; cleaning garbage out of homes and just being there for those who had lost so much.

We were received with great appreciation and were thanked more than we deserved.  While volunteering, I was interviewed by ABC News:

View Video Clip of My ABC News Interview on Sunday 

But the true "marathoners" are the people who have lost everything and those who have been helping others clean and survive for the countless hours since the storm on Tuesday.

So, you might be wondering if I was disappointed about not running the marathon.....of course....and I think that's ok. I dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to training. So, yes it was disappointing not running.

However, what I witnessed in Staten Island is what life is really about: people coming together and helping each other regardless of their differences.

Here's to runners and our great state of NJ coming together!