As I write these words, I wear two ice packs: one on my lower back and one on my left hip: 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. On my neck and shoulders, I use both ice and heat pads. When I’m not icing or heating a body part, I’m sending electrical impulses via a portable Tens-unit, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation unit, a device with electrodes that I apply to the parts that hurt.
While sitting at the computer, watching TV or at dinner, I roll a tennis ball under my feet to massage the plantar muscle inflamed by the running. After exercising, I use a foam roll to stretch the tired side muscles of my upper legs and my glutes.
I have a sports doctor and two chiropractors, one in the town where I work and one in New York, who are trying to heal a left hip pain and prevent my body from falling apart until the Boston Marathon on April 20. I have a husband who massages my feet, back and shoulders after long runs; patiently listens to the laundry list of my ailments and events that happened while I was on the road (I once ran past a man being handcuffed by two policemen); picks me up at the gym and folds the laundry while I am on long runs.
I am a high-maintenance ice-pack woman.