Post-race, post-stress recovery

This runner’s recovery remedies: Hot-cold baths, bath salts, leafy greens, and oodles of comfort chocolate!

For the past two days, pretty much from the second I lifted myself out of bed yesterday morning, my body has been at war with me. I walk, it hurts. I laugh, it hurts. I lift the freaking water jug out of the fridge, it hurts! A good hurt, a fatigued, holy crap you pushed us well beyond our limits kind of hurt, the best kind of hurt, but hurt nonetheless. Apparently, my “oh-so-fragile” body doesn’t like that I jumped into a race with hardly any training at all. And for those of you who don’t think you need to train for a 10k, or run more regularly than I was running the last few weeks, think again. My calves are so tight, they’ve lost their jiggle factor; my abs are so clenched, it’s a strain to cough, to laugh, to even bloody well breathe; and my shoulders, oh man, they are in great need of some good, solid, Ironman-like fingers digging deep. But without Robert Downey Junior (le sigh) at your fingertips (or his), what do you do?

The second I got home from Sunday’s race, I plopped myself into an ice-cold bath (yes it is torturous) which is supposed to help flush out the built-up lactic acid and reduce inflammation a lot quicker than simply putting ice packs all over your body. And it’s not so bad, after the initial shock of climbing in, holding your breath, trying not to move once you’ve fully immersed yourself for fear of another heart-attack-waiting-to-happen shocker, you pretty much go numb and are good to go for 20 minutes.

Today, however, I opted for a much hotter bath filled with a whole bottle of Lavender Woods bath salts, made specially for me by my favourite soap gal, who has a huge selection of scents at her oh-so-creative fingertips – creamsicle scent is next on this princess’s list! Epsom salts are great for relaxing the muscles … although, someone once recommended mixing them with apple cider vinegar, but my gawd that was just far too putrid a smell for my liking.

Leafy greens are also great for recovery as they contain phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and ward off muscle damage brought on by tough workouts – like a 10k race! And oh man, have I ever been mowing down on them. I had a superb salad with Sunday night’s dinner (stocked full of strawberries and pumpkin seeds and yummy balsamic!) I had another salad with last night’s dinner, and then I had a salad for lunch today and an amazing salad concoction with tonight’s dinner … I’m surprised I haven’t yet turned green!

And if none of the above works, chocolate always does – even if only for comfort 😀

My body wasn’t the only thing waging war on me today, my blood sugars took a few swings as well. And at first, I couldn’t figure it out, they appeared to be fine. I woke up with a perfect 5.7 reading, and two hours later – snack time – they were 5.9. I gave myself 1.05 units of insulin to cover the 19 grams of carbs in my granola bar, and figured I was good to go. But, three hours later, when my lunchtime BG reading blinked up at me, I was flabbergasted – they were 14.8, yikes!!! I had no idea why they were so high, the granola bar wasn’t a new brand, my infusion site wasn’t irritated, food was not somehow being stuffed down my throat without me knowing about it. But stress and nerves were. My morning was, you could say, a little bit uhmmmm, nervous-wreck, jittery, stressed-to-the-nines filled – and, as I had always somewhat suspected, but only recently had confirmed, stress can, in fact, wreak havoc on a good little diabetic’s life! It took the rest of the day to get them back to normal. Ugh.

Tomorrow is National Running Day, are you running?

3 thoughts on “Post-race, post-stress recovery”

  1. robert Freeman

    You gotta be kidding: National Running Day? Not a chance that I will be commemorating the rapid placement of one foot after another 🙂 Which, after all, just brings on episodes of feeling all hot and sticky. BTW, not to be CRITICAL or anything, but your blog mentions stress and how it can “wreak havoc on a good little diabetic’s life,” but then you don’t reveal WHAT was causing this ungodly stress!! I guess that’s nobody’s business, really, but don’t you think good little writers would avoid setting up readers’ expectations and then just leave’em hanging there!!?

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