recovery and a PSA

I love running races.

I love the adrenaline before, the mental battle during, the endorphins after.

The next morning, however is a bit of a struggle, especially when I had  given it my all.

Because I totally did.

This morning I woke up with very sore calves, which is to be expected since the race was mostly down hill. And the funny thing is that I never really notice how much I use my calves until I kick their asses and then have problems taking the stairs thereafter.

Then I took those stairs while holding Maelie.

Mae’s a trusting individual.

Last night, I tried my usual post-race soreness prevention. I stretch, do some yoga and use my accupressure mat.

Some people try relaxing bathes or massages, and I use a modern-day torture device.

The mat is comprised of thousands of little spikes that basically prick your skin to simulate accupuncture. It’s recommended in the beginning to wear a thin shirt, but honestly, unless I stuck something heavy on my chest for added weight, I couldn’t feel it. So I bare skin it.

At first, it hurts like a sonofabitch.

Then, after a few minutes, it gets really warm and tingly.

Then, after 20 minutes, you don’t want to get up because it feels so nice.

Now, for how often I use it, it feels wonderful all the time. And I never get headaches anymore or back pain. And if I do get a headache, I stand on the mat and – BAM – gone.

I can tell you with certainty that my back is sore-free this morning because of the mat. My feet are, too. For the past few weeks my foot has been bothering me, to the point of almost limping, but when I stand on the mat, the pain goes away for hours, or even days. I was positive that my foot would be so uncomfortable all day yesterday, but it wasn’t.

(I swear, on my headstone, it’ll say “Epsom Salt, tea tree oil and Accupressure Mats are a cure-all.”)

I believe that some pain can be cured without medicine. For me, at least. Cramps? I do crunches. Sore back? I use my mat or stretch. Strained ankle? Chiropractor. Frustration and depression? Exercise. Mentally exhausted? Yoga.

I’m sure it’s not so simple for all, but how do you know if you don’t try? Alternative medicine has been around since the beginning of time. Percoset has not.

*stepping off my soapbox*

Today is Monday, which means Angelica my favorite instructor and her military-approach training will work me hard this evening. This translates to my muscles will numb in submission.

Now where’d I leave that mat…?

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on September 26, 2011, in Cassie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I hate needles and have it in my mind that the mat will hurt. Therefore I can’t see me laying or standing on that thing. However, I may get to the point sometime that I really want to try it. Because I hear a lot of people swear by acupuncture. Crunches for cramps? Owe! I got this tea tree oil stick for blemishes. It really helps!

    • It doesn’t feel like needles…it’s more like a dull sensation rather than sharp like a needle. And after a while it feels amazing. I can’t describe it.

      Tea tree oil is amazing. I use it for all the kids scrapes and what-not.

  2. I want your stomach. Seriously.

    I’ve seen an acupuncture mat and had no idea what to make of it. It just looked painful.

    Also, I put the knee brace on yesterday before my walk, and actually pushed Mark to go further than usual. And guess what? My knee felt great!

    I also pulled out the yoga video yesterday, got it unwrapped and was putting it in the player when Sarah woke up. Oh well, maybe today?

    • I had no idea what to make of it, either, but then I read everyone’s reviews on Amazon. I couldn’t believe it. So I figured, (at the time it was 20 bucks) I can’t beat it. Best decision ever.

      I’m so glad to hear about your walk! I’m going to wear my knee sleeve for the half marathon just for extra support. It was starting to give me issues yesterday during the race, and so I’d rather be safe than sorry.

      Yay for yoga! (Well, when you get to it, that is.)

    • Yoga is honestly one of the best things that’s ever happened to me (I’ve been doing it on and off since 2002). Since I’ve been pregnant, it has definitely helped with sacroiliac joint pain, my strength is as good as – if not, in some ways, better than – it ever was and my stamina is still decent. If I make it through NCB, I will owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to yoga. Unless my doctor specifically tells me to do otherwise, then I have my last prenatal class scheduled for two days before my due date!

      Once you get the hang of it at home, try some classes! To me, it’s more fun to practice with other people, although it’s every bit as beneficial when you do it on your own.

  3. You are such a beast… Viking Woman to the core.

  4. I love chiropractic. I have no time to go to a chiropractor. It’s driving me buggy, especially since I am actually exercising again (can I get a Hell yes!), and I know I need me some aligning.

  5. When you posted that mat on Facebook a while back, I had it open in a Firefox tab for WEEKS. I ultimately decided that I never really feel any pain (likely because I never really work out hard), so I decided to wait and buy one when I really need it, but I love alternative mediciney kind of things like this. Milk for cramps is my favourite one.

  6. In Medieval times, they just called that thing a bed of nails.

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