Monday, February 4, 2013

Take Care of Yourself...

It's official. I finally got registered for the Cowtown Marathon today. I figure it will be easier to convince people to come with me if I am actually registered for the race. Plus, with it being 20 days away, we probably need to seriously talk about hotel reservations. Oh yeah, and I am terrified. It seems so long since my last marathon, and I really am running this one on my own.

I have one more long run to go this weekend before my taper starts. One more post long run Saturday doing all I can to take care of myself. Along with all the yoga I have been doing I really have tried to make sure my long run recovery has been a priority.

Most importantly has been the ice bath.

If my mileage has been in the double digits I have been pretty good about taking an ice bath afterwards. Seems like this could be used as some sort of torture device, but I am a big believer in the benefits of the ice bath. When I took my first ice bath last spring, right around when I had my stress fracture, I did it all wrong. I filled up the tub, added the ice and just jumped in. There was quite a bit of screaming that day.

If you are gonna do an ice bath you have got to do it right.

  • Fill up the tub with cold water.
  • Put on a sweatshirt, scarf, hat, whatever will make the top half of your body warmer.
  • If you have a space heater, turn it on. I recommend making your bathroom as warm as possible.
  • Get some coffee or hot tea. (I prefer Tazo Zen green tea, but everyone's entitled to their own opinions.)
  • If you are going to set your space heater on the side of your bathtub, please make sure it won't get knocked into the tub. Or better yet, don't do it. It is a bad idea, really. Mine only stayed there for a few minutes and then I set it on the floor and it fell over and then turned off and I thought it was dead.
  • With your bag of ice on stand-by, get in the cold water. (This always reminds me how weak my skinny arms are as I try to lower myself slowly into the tub.)
  • After you have adjusted to being in the cold water, add the ice. I am convinced that Josh likes this part way too much.
  • No sit back, try to relax, sip your hot beverage, check out twitter and facebook and try to forget that you are sitting in freezing cold water.

I always feel like the more I move, the colder the water feels. The things I have read online have said you should not just jump into a hot shower right after an ice bath. I have tried to wait, atleast a little bit, but there is nothing that sounds better than a hot (Read: scalding) shower afterwards.

Then it's time for some compression. I got my CEP Compression socks in December and I am very happy with my investment.

The color is awesome. The first time I put them on I didn't realize they had a Left and Right. I put these on after I shower and they usually stay on all day. Okay, sometimes I wear them until Sunday. What can I say? I think they help. Is it all in my head? I don't think so.

I am never usually very hungry right after a long run. If I drive to where we are running from, I always have a water bottle full of Nuun waiting for me in my car.

I love my Nuun. I can't wait until the new flavors come out this spring.

I know protein is important to long run recovery, but since I don't usually want food, I have tried some of the Gatorade protein drinks.

I like the shakes better than their regular protein drinks, and they come in chocolate and vanilla. It's like a post LR milkshake, but with 20 grams of protein.

Oh yeah, and there is the foam roller, that I have been seriously neglecting.

It looks so sad just stuck in the corner like that. Nobody puts Foam Roller in a corner. Well, except for me. We really need to work on our relationship.

So that's my LR recovery routine. I am not a doctor, and I would never claim to be. This is what I have found that works for me, but it's not for everyone.



  1. Where do you buy the Gatorade protein shakes? I always want a smoothie after running but I am usually too lazy to make one.

    1. I find mine at my local Super Target. Just with the other Gatorade. They really don't taste bad.

    2. I bought the last two at Super Target last night. I will try one on Saturday after my long run.