Ahhh… Recovery…

Silly me. I thought I recovered well from marathons. Ran a PR at Boston, was walking fine the next day, same thing at San Diego.

Tucson kicked my little tail. I don’t know if it was the wind, the hills, or what, but I literally felt like a truck ran me over twice. Maybe even three times. I took a full week off (!!!) and ran 20 miles total the next week. I *may* have run those 20 miles a bit faster than advised by my new, wonderful, coach. Just *may* have done them at around 7:14 per mile rather than 8:00 or slower. I couldn’t help it! I swear!

So here I am three weeks later with my legs still achy when I run. The obvious thing would be to slow down, I know. But it is hard. I have a lot of energy! So, what’s a girl to do?

These are some of my favorite recovery tools, and I am hoping that they continue to work so that I am ready and speedy for my next race.

Ari’s fantastic [some weird] recovery musts:

1. Ice bath. I try to ice bath after every run longer than 12 miles. Usually it involves me simply jumping in our pool. However, on days like today, where I swear the pool water could have been frozen, or in the summer when the water is 90 degrees, I fill the bathtub with the cold water, take all of the ice out of the freezer, dump the ice in the bath, put on 3 sweatshirts, a hat, make some hot cocoa, and make a huge production out of getting in the tub. This involves screaming, whining, and other general merriment. I sit in it and call whomever I can to make the 15 minute ‘soak’ bearable. Ahh, ice baths. My lips are usually blue when I get out. So not normal.

2. COMPRESSION SOCKS!!! I love, love, love my CEP compression socks. They were a gift from my most lovely friend Shannon. Every runner should have these things. ( And a friend like Shannon!) Mine are black, but I am thinking I *need* the white ones too…oooo…or maybe hot pink! They are so fantastically tight and make my legs feel so good. I wonder if they make a compression full-body suit?

3. Magic Mountain Witch Doctor Cream. Ok, ok, I kid. It is actually Winter Crest Cream. But it has been blessed by a spiritual healer or something totally nature-y like that. (which I love! :D) This stuff is so amazing. A little pricy, so I need to save my pennies to get some more, but it is fantastic!

4. Badger Balm– My second go-to cream when I am out of wintercrest. Note: DO NOT put on legs after shaving. Wait 24 hours, at least. Holy cow, that hurt. (There is Cayenne pepper in it!)

5. Phiten necklace. I have to admit here that I purchased one because Kara Goucher wears them. If they are good enough for her, they are good enough for this girl! Turns out she purchased them because Paula Radcliffe wears them. So… not quite sure if it is working or not. Maybe I need more than one. But apparently, they are covered in titanium to aid in recovery. Who knows, like the article in the link says, athletes are superstitious!

6. Foam Roller– Very painful, but does the trick. Must. do. tonight.

7. Matt’s famous Smoothies. My husband makes me a great recovery smoothie every day. He puts in yogurt, Trader Joe’s Omega-3 carrot juice (it is cinnomon-y, so good!), rice or whey protein, flax oil, and frozen fruits. Perfection!

So, what are your secrets for recovery? Do you wear Phiten? If so, do you think it works?

Runningly Yours,


  1. I wear Phiten! I started for basically the same reason you did and cause my awesome friend Joe wears it too! Who knows if it actually works? maybe its just a mental thing?

  2. Do you wear just one necklace? I don't know about that Joe though… 😀

  3. Since I'm pretty much new to running (only a year)I don't have any recovery tips or tricks. But, I'm grateful to hear yours and will eventually try them all out!

  4. I just wear one as well. I don't really feel any different, but maybe I will when I get into higher mileage again. Who knows! 😀

  5. I just ordered the wintercrest cream. I have a quad issue going on right now. I was wondering how much you use and how often. Do you only use the cream or do you also ice along with other things? Please let me know.

  6. Been a Wintercrest customer for several years (my husband discovered it 8 years ago at the St. George Marathon expo) and it’s amazing for much more than just sore muscles. I’ve used it on toothaches, bruises, growing pains in my child’s legs, a toe infection after a pedicure, etc. We CANNOT run out of it and buy the largest jar they have. If you call the 800 number on the jar, ask Judy or Jerry for a free sample of the small size – they usually give me a few when I get the large size. You really have to rub it in and don’t be stingy with the product when you are hurting. Also, don’t put it on over other lotions, sunscreen, etc. because the DMSO is what makes everything penetrate deeper (or so the guy at Wintercrest tells me).

    The secret to using it for races is to rub down half-way through the race whether you are hurting at that point or not (use a ziploc, turn it inside out like a glove when you are ready to apply – then you don’t get it all over your hands). This increases circulation and leaves you ship-shape for the second half of the race. Plus it’s nice and refreshing. Be sure to use plenty after the race also (at least twice with a few hours in between applications) to prevent lactic acid build-up. It’s better and far more enjoyable to get someone to give you a light leg massage and rub it in for you while you just lay there and relax. Using in lieu of ice – not in addition to – yields a better result.

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