Anyone who runs marathons knows that icky feeling your legs get after long, hard runs. A little bit Jell-O, a little bit sore, a little bit twitchy. Just plain weird. Well, yesterday after my hilly 15-miler, I had none of the above! The magic solution–Recovery Socks.
Ever since reading about the great results other runners have had with compression socks, I had been dying to give these bad boys a try. The idea behind Recovery Socks is that by lightly compressing one’s lower legs, they improve circulation and prevent blood pooling and swelling in the legs, thus reducing ickiness and speeding up recovery time.
Marco from Recovery Sock told me to try them after a long, hilly run, so I’d say yesterday’s workout qualifies. I have to admit I was skeptical; the idea does seem sort of gimmicky. Knee-high socks are going to help me recover? Come on. But you know what? The socks felt so great, I didn’t want to take them off! Every time I did, I started to get that weird-leg feeling and I put them right back on. As I got into bed last night still wearing them, Erin suggested that perhaps sleeping in them would be going a bit overboard, so I did eventually take them off before they became one with my skin.
So they absolutely made the day-of more enjoyable. The important question, though, is “How do my legs feel today, the day after?”
The answer: If aliens had abducted me in the night and erased my memory, I’d never believe you if you told me I ran yesterday. Of course, if my mind were erased, I might have bigger concerns than whether or not I ran. But the point is that my legs feel that good. Certainly not sore, and surprisingly, not even tired. I don’t know where the tiredness went, but it’s not it my legs. In fact, I’m going to do my track workout tonight and be right back on schedule. And I have always needed a day off after long runs.
There doesn’t seem to be a concensus about when and how long to wear the socks. I know that a lot of people are even wearing them during runs and races, with great results. I’m not sure if I’m ready to make that kind of fashion statement, but maybe I’ll give it a try one day on a long run and see how it goes. If it helps, I don’t think the people I’m passing during races will have much to laugh about!
As I said, I wore the socks for most of the day after my run. Some people say they wear them for an hour, some say for a few hours, some say they live in them. If you have any experience with these socks, how long do you usually wear them? Do you race in them? And if you’ve never tried them, get your hands on a pair.
30-Day Challenge Wrap-Up
My 30-Day Challenge ended successfully last weekend. 30 days, not a drop of caffeinated coffee. I’ve tried it a few times since then, and I did note one interesting thing. Each time I had it, I got hit with a wave of fatigue around 5 p.m. You might call it “hitting the wall.” Just a sudden urge to go to sleep or lie down and watch TV. This really isn’t surprising, since when I get all jazzed up on coffee, the energy isn’t coming from this nearly calorie-free beverage (I drink it without milk or sugar). It’s borrowed energy, and if you borrow something, you need to give it back.
So my plan with coffee is this. I’m going to drink it when I believe that energy in the morning is more valuable than energy later, knowing that I might crash in the evening. So if I have a something fun planned at night, or a big workout or lots of school stuff to do, then coffee in the morning isn’t smart. Or if the extra energy in the morning will be wasted, like if all I’m doing is driving or running errands, then what’s the point? But if I’m working on an exciting project or meeting with friends or just alone with a great book, then what’s wrong with a little java jolt to make fun times even better, as long as I’m willing to hit the wall later on?
But that’s enough about me. What about your 30-Day Challenges? I know a few people succeeded, so congratulations! And I also know a few who didn’t. What about the rest of you, did you make it? Have you tried going back to your old ways yet, to see how it feels? I can’t wait to find out.