March 1, 2013

My top five recovery tools and a Cheribundi giveaway

Did I mention that after trying to set a personal marathon record two weekends in a row, I was pretty beat up? Only a hundred times?

This pic is from a supposedly easy, slow three-mile run after Mercedes Marathon. Turns out that slow did not quite equal easy for me on this day. Those three miles felt like I was running in quicksand. Plus I was trying out the new Newtons. New shoes on tired old feet.

Even though it wasn't always pretty in the race recovery period, I had a little routine going that eased the hurt on my beat up legs (and shoulders and ears and tear ducts and everything else that you are surprised gets sore during a road marathon). If you're wondering what I did, welcome to recovery sharing time.

My top five recovery tools:

1. Compression gear. I use compression socks and shorts after races. As soon as I can hop in the shower (or as soon as I can safely bend without falling over), I like to refresh my socks. When I'm prepping for a marathon road trip, I pack about five pairs of compression socks. Remember that time when I wondered when I would use all of the million compression socks I ordered? No? Well, my husband does. Turns out that post-marathon is the time. One pair immediately after the race, one pair after the shower, one pair the next day. I only have one pair of compression shorts, but those don't get dirty if you wear them over your underwear. For five days in a row. Kidding. Not kidding. Um, look at that giant bear over there. Distraction, distraction.

2. Physical therapist and chiropractor. This is something I've been doing a lot of lately because of hip issues I had beginning in the fall and my back troubles that knocked me out of running for a couple of weeks this winter. When I first visited my chiropractor, he told me he had no idea how many visits I would need (and that he thinks it's a load of stuff when chiropractors prescribe a certain number of visits -- that's me paraphrasing). Instead, he told me to just come as often as I felt like I needed it. I really liked this idea of just listening to what my body needs (ommmm, just like in yoga) and deciding my visits on my own. Before I even knew how I would feel after the back-to-back races, I decided that I wanted to visit either the physical therapist or chiropractor in between just to help line up anything that got crooked during the races. Turns out they can't fix brains. 

3. Foam roller and Theracane. These are my BFFs of recovery for working out knots, kinks, and tight muscles. I take them with me on car trips. We watch TV together. They sleep under my bed in case I need them during the night. My coach even writes them (or at least the foam roller) into my schedule. And you guys know that if it's on the calendar, you can either do it or your Type A personality (even if it's just a small chunk of who you are) will give you grief about it for at least a few days afterwards. Plus, if funds are tight for physical therapists or chiropractors, these are good self-help tools. 

4. Vitamins and herbs. My chiropractor recommended a set of four herbs to help flush lactic acid post races. I tried to find them all in one container, but I had to buy three bottles to get all four. I took them at least two hours after eating and one hour before eating again so they weren't just a really expensive way to digest my food.

Papain, turmeric, quercetin, and bromelain.

Also, I continued to take my multivitamins and brewer's yeast, both things I like to take on a regular (or when I sporadically remember them) basis. 

5. Fluids. Water, water, water. I drank a lot of it. Smoothies. I may have worn out the XL smoothie button on our blender. 

Plus I received a shipment of the new Cheribundi line in the mail and was able to test out some of their new products. Check out my original review of Cheribundi here. They are starting to build products specifically around added recovery assistance. Triple cheer. With the new product line, they stuck with the simple great taste and anit-inflammatory effects of tart cherries but, for example, added whey protein to the Cheribundi Rebuild to make an improved replacement for your post-workout chocolate milk.

New products from Cheribundi

The Cheribundi Restore added B-vitamins and electrolytes. I drank this version post-race, but I would also consider it a Gatorade replacement during runs.

On the night before my marathons, when I usually have a tough time sleeping, I chugged a Cheribundi Relax to get some ZZZZs. It includes the ingredient L-theanine which is supposed to compliment the natural melatonin levels in tart cherries. I very occasionally take melatonin pills when I can't sleep, and this was a good substitute for those. 

And for the purists, they still make their straight up Cheribundi and their Cheribundi Skinny, sweetened with Stevia.

If you'd like to try a case of the new line of Cheribundi, including the Relax, Restore, Rebuild, original and Skinny varieties, Cheribundi is offering a to send a box to one of you for free! (U.S. residents only)

To enter: 

In the comments of this post, tell me your favorite way to recover from hard workouts. 

For bonus entries (These are completely optional! But if you do them, make sure to leave a separate comment for each so I can count them all.):

* Follow Cheribundi on Twitter. Leave a comment telling me you do.

* Follow (or already follow) Yo Momma Runs via Google Friend connect. Leave a comment telling me you do.

* Follow (or already follow) Yo Momma Runs on Twitter. Leave a comment telling me you do.

* Like Cheribundi on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me you do.

* Like (or already like) Yo Momma runs on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me you do.

* Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your blog. Leave a separate comment for each share!

I'll pick a winner on Friday, March 8th, with a random number generator. Why is it already March? I just barely started remembering that it was 2013, and it's already one-sixth vanished.