So by now hopefully you’ve been outside
whether it is on the road, on some local trails around your city or (my favorite) miles into a forest away from all signs of man-made creation immersed in all the sounds of nature! You’ve been stretching and listening to your body and letting it decide how fast to go (there is a fine relationship of compromise between your mind and body, letting your mind push your body every day while knowing when enough feels like enough). We have all felt those aches and muscle pains after a good work out which is just fatigue initially but then (like in the case of 33 miles, hard to stand on your own in the shower!) can turn into soreness, which typically, when done right, is your muscle rebuilding itself into a leaner, (not necisarily meaner!) stronger YOU!
While I love being active and experiencing my life in a way I never thought imaginable for the past 30 years – I, in no way, ifs, ands, hows make any claims to being a fully functioning rheumatologist; I just love using my body, listening to my body and trying to learn from my own experiences of aches and pains, what they mean, why they happened, how can I prevent injury from happening in the future, and so on. And with that little disclaimer now out in the open, it is safe to say that I have learned a lot and read a whole bunch on how the body functions and why it does what it does so well! 🙂
One thing that I have learned over the years is that taking care of your body will come back around many times. The best way (not sure if I even need to say this…) is to eat healthy, take rest days when you feel like you need to, or you struggle to put one foot in front of the other – rest! Otherwise, your run will be crap and you will more than likely land wrong and muscle fibers will be so tired and not ready to absorb the abuse you want to give them, you’ll twist, pull or even worse tear something, now you have some real recovery on your hands. So most important bit of advice – listen to your body for fatigue, aches and pains!!
Flashback to 2017 when I was the new bearded guy
running harder, longer, faster (don’t tell anyone, but I still am!), I found out about this company based out of Glendale, Arizona, side note: Ciara and I had fallen madly in love with the Flagstaff area, hiking, running – anything to do with the outdoor culture out there, so naturally I had a desire to look into, and see what the heck these folks were up to! So, what happens when you take a genius wife who is also a herbalist/RN and mix her skills with an ultra rad ultra-runner? Turns out you get a product called Runners High Herbals, that is superb for your body and muscles, not just another product with a laundry list of false claims.
One glance at the side bar of their snazzy packaging and you can see why I naturally gravitated toward these products
as opposed to something found in my local pharmacy that sounds like it belongs in a 55 gallon drum!
I am always skeptical of spending money on over-priced claims stuffed into tiny packages, but with real ingredients like arnica flowers, eucalyptus, comfrey root, ginger root, piñon pitch (collected themselves!), cayanne pepper (used in their Some Like It Hot muscle rub, and yes..it is HOT!!), cinnamon bark, essential oils of peppermint and wintergreen (for their line of cooling muscle rubs, Chill AF), there is nothing in their products that doesn’t sound like I could not grow myself, while I understand that I am on the East coast and much of these herbs are not native to this area, they are all oh-so-natural!
They even have a line of natural mens and womens deodorants, despite hearing numerous accounts of ladies reaching for their manly mans Runners High deodorant, I gotta say “hands off mine!” This amazing husband and wife team pack in cedarwood, piñon pitch, rosemary, cocoa butter and magnesium hydroxide (check their website or ask me for a full run down of their ingredients!!), somehow they pack all of this into a convenient little jar of putty for all your stink! I can also say, having been using solely their My Two Scents deodorant for 8 or so months, and having it nearby for several road trips, back country get aways and 50Ks, that I know my body demands something that works – I happily report (I think my girlfriend can agree also, she uses it too!) that this amazing concoction really works, and I mean for days at a time.. and I’ll just leave that there..!
Going back to what I would love to claim as my favorite,
I can’t exclaim that because everything has different uses, many of their products can overlap in use, I have found their Super Herb Plus+ to be easily my most used anything from Runners High Herbal!! I keep some in my medicine cabinet at home for when I come home and need to dab some on, there is a tin always kept in my running vest (which is small enough that it has never gotten in my way while on the trail!), I even keep a tin in my car for when I get back from a run, although this time of the year (December as I write this!) it takes a minute to warm up and coax back to life on these 2 degree mornings! The Super Herb Plus+ is “listed” as a muscle rub, but honestly, I gets crazy with it.. during long runs or hikes I have been known to use a pinch to keep chafing at bay, I’ve rubbed in a dab on a muscle that is giving me grief mid-run, the best part – its not greasy as heck leaving your hands a slippery disaster for the next 10 miles dropping your lip balm every time you get it out! Speaking of ‘lip balm’, their Super Herb Plus+ comes very conveniently in a tin (which I prefer because I’m an OG to the tin-life..) or it also comes in a stick form – screw the bottom and you’re good to go! I think from my longstanding experience with Super Herb Plus+, my most favorite trait my memory constantly recalls comes from the brilliant combination of menthol crystals, eucalyptus, arnica flower, perhaps even some from the genius addition of hemp extract: seconds after applying not only does the skin feel more alive and instantly degrees cooler and back to life, but the aroma is in the air, brightening and rejuvenating the senses for hours to come (ever put peppermint oil on a buff? I used to hike with someone who would not go into the mountains without peppermint oil, anytime anyone got tired or didn’t want to press on – sniff the peppermint oil and instantly the senses and muscles would wake up – amazing how the mind can react to particular scents!).
Those who know me, do not know me without a beard.
I have had some form of facial hair since I was about 18..which is too many years ago to count. I’ve been a member of all those beard clubs (I hate to say but you pay $1 for product, you get product that is of a $1 value, or so it seemed, pure garbage according to my standards!), I’ve paid out the wazoo for specialty this-and-that’s, I have to admit though – I love my beard oils and balms and mustache waxes (I think twice now I’ve grown a mustache necessitating morning taming!), I was a wee bit skeptical of a muscle rub company dabbling into the ‘beard care’ category. But, my hat is off (once again) to Adam and Andrea over in the kitchens of Runners High Herbals, they freakin’ nailed what a beard balm should be, seriously (and no, I am not paid to say this! Ha!). Labeled as Shaggy MF, ironically this name is quite possibly the most fitting name I have ever come across for a beard product! Very affordably priced at $6/.5oz tin, or what I prefer is the 1oz tin for $10 – which actually lasts longer than I ever expected when I first opened my first tin of Shaggy MF so, so long ago! I swear the magic that they jam-pack into this tin (all you need is a dime-sized dab warmed up in your palms and you & your man-mane are ready to tackle anything the day throws your way!) makes the hair feel fuller and adds just the right amount of shine without those drippy, greasy BS messes that so many products bring along. And possibly the best part? Real ingredients, no preservatives or used motor oil additives that will eventually make all your hair fall out. Yay Runners High for taking care of my beard!!
If you are looking for all the thickness in a balm or salve, however, look no further and set your sights to their Wildcrafted Piñon Salve. Harvested with care from their local piñon trees that dot the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (I’m not going to try to sound like an expert on their ingredients – so please check out their website for all the real muscle, body and mind benefits of the ingredients they choose for their balms and salves, or ask me on here and I would be more than thrilled to share what I’ve learned from them!!). I originally purchased their piñon salve with other uses in mind (of which, it has many!!), I have decided that one of my most favorite uses that I have found so far has to be on my feet after a long run where my toes are in sweaty shoes for too many hours (haven’t we all sunk a foot unexpectedly into deeper-than-expected streams during trail runs, or hiking?), clean the mud off from between the toes, massage on some Piñon Salve and throw on your favorite pair of Darntough wool socks and let your feet be in heaven throughout the night, feeling refreshed and ready for a new beating all over as the sunrises the following day!
At the time of writing this, they have a fairly new muscle recovery powder out for all of us pavement pounders, track stars, mountain folks – basically anyone who moves their body can benefit from a little turmeric root, ashwagandha, ceylon cinnamon, maca and hemp extract! Their RecovHERB Plus+ makes for a marvelous smoothie additive or the best, creamiest cashew milk drink post-workout. I’ll do another write up on that some day soon, but again, feel free to message me with any questions, of course you can also head over to their website to learn more in the meantime!
And as a Thank You for taking the time to read this, and sharing an interest in taking care of your body and mind – please feel free to treat yourself to 10% off your entire order by using my discount code EHAMILTON10 when you check out!!
Until next time, keep on running, hiking, recovering, repeating and eating awesome, fresh fruits and veggies!!
As always, much love and Happy trails!!