This is the second entry of Donna P’s Blog. Donna won the drawing for Free Running Shoes from Fleet Feet Sports Montclair and Free Massages from Elements Therapeutic Massage, and will participate in the 31st Annual Montclair Run on June 2.
Handling the Tight, Achy Muscles
As a novice runner, I have felt pain and soreness that I have never felt before. I have learned a couple of things -- Hydration, Massage and Stretching the muscles are essential in running. Hydration is key with exercise. If you become dehydrated, you tend to lose concentration and form. For me, my muscles become really tight. So, I have been trying to drink water, as a substitute for juice and soda, for some time now. I walk with a bottle of water all of the time. Whenever I run, I carry my Nathan's water bottle which has gel packets to keep me hydrated as well. (I talk about the gel packets later.) I am starting to really loathe plain old water. I have been drinking sparkling water, seltzer water and even putting lemon in water bottle to give it some flavor. Not only have I been drinking water, Gatorade G2 for electrolytes during and after runs, I have also picked up drinking coconut water. Coconut water is great for electrolytes and hydration purpose. I do believe that not every coconut water is the same. I tend to like the coconut water with a splash of fruit (like the Naked brand).
I can't even bring to tell you how much I yearn for massage after a long run or after race. It is actually my treat after a race. So, I made an appointment with Elements Montclair. I was paired with Kelly who specializes in deep-tissue and sport massage. Let me tell you I was in heaven. It was probably one of the best massages I ever had. (I am not exaggerating). First, I received an email and phone call to remind me of the appointment, I was then asked to arrive 15 minutes early so that I could complete a questionnaire that is used as a reference for my massage. Now, when I arrived, there were two friendly (smiling) receptionists. One of them gave a questionnaire for me to complete. Next, I met Kelly who was extremely nice. We walked to Room 4 for the massage to begin. She told me that she could adjust the lights and music to whatever I wanted (I never went to a place which would do that). Kelly also said that she could apply whatever pressure I like. After the massage, she told me that she used different massage techniques on individual body parts. For instance, Kelly performed deep tissue on my calves and neck and Swedish on my back. I appreciated that this was not a cookie cutter - one size fits all kind of place. Rather, there was individual assessment of my need for most appropriate massage for my body. She also gave samples of BioFreeze to me and stressed the importance of stretching, massage (whether with foam roller or with regular massage) and hydration. Kelly told me that all of this would aid in loosening my tight calf and hamstring muscles. One of the things that I like about Elements was that they were not pretentious. They were extremely pleasant to me. They were also not trying to bombard me with a pitch for their membership (like other places). They let their work speak for itself. I am now off to stretch.