Ice Bath Haiku

ice bath haiku

As I have been training for middle distances, my mileage has increased as expected.  When I sat down to write down my training schedule, I wrote the word ICE next to each run that was longer than 8 miles.  I had heard from one of my BRFs, Real, that 8 miles was the distance that brought out the aches and pains during trains.  Anything more than 8 miles and you really feel it.  However, Real trained for her first half-marathon during the summer and raced it in the Fall.  I’m training for Spring races in the Winter.  The thought of coming in from a frosty (20-40 degrees) run and getting into an ice bath just didn’t fly with my brain.  The last thing I wanted after running next to an ice covered lake or pond was to come home and get into ice water.  No way, not me!

In February, I started doing runs longer than 8 miles but did I ice bathe after?  Nope!  I ran 9 miles the Saturday before my birthday.  On my birthday, I had a therapeutic massage.  The masseuse commented on how tight my calves were.  She is a runner herself and spent extra time getting the knots worked out.  I ran the RRCA 10 Miler a few days later to celebrate with no ice bath.  Then, my mileage dialed back a bit for a few weeks.

Fast forward to this month, I ran 9.5 miles 3 Saturdays ago and 10.3 miles last Sunday.  Following both of those runs, I came in and took my warm shower.  I wore my ProCompression Marathon socks to recover.  I made sure to stay hydrated, paid attention to the macros and micros of my diet, etc so that I would recover well.  However, for most of last week my calves were TIGHT!  My speedwork was more like slow-work.  My 7 mile easy run was cut short to 5 miles.  I did Bikram Yoga on Friday with the hopes that the heat and the stretching would help.  It didn’t.

So this Saturday’s long run of 10 miles – the last long run before the Cherry Blossom on my schedule – was BRUTAL!!!  Instead of my calves loosening up after the first few miles, they felt tighter.  I do 1:1 run/walk intervals.  I mostly walked the last 3 miles.  I finished in my worst time ever since February.  I knew it was time to embrace the ice bath.

If you haven’t taken an ice bath before, check here for some Do’s and Don’ts.  I climbed in to my tub filled with cold water, sat down and winced.  I stayed in for a little over 10 minutes.  When I climbed out and warmed up, not only did my calves feel better but aches in my hips which I had only just begun to realize existed were gone as well.  Even more important to me as a hysterrunner, the aches in my lower abdomen around my incision which I have felt since I started running again were also going away.  I thought that they were a permanent ache to deal with.  Turns out they too were just muscle aches due to running!  I’m a believer – cue The Monkees!

The Monkees–I’m A Believer

Have you ever taken an ice bath?  What do you do to recover from intense effort?

Half-Marathon Training Check-In

This year I am aiming to complete 13 races in 2013.  Key among these races will be my first half-marathons.  I will be running the Iron Girl Columbia in April and the Frederick Half Marathons a week apart which will make me a Titanium Girl.  Yeah, this Hysterrunner goes BIG! LOL!

halfcrazytshirt

Ever since I started running again in November, I have been going one step at a time.  I am not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination.  My first run back was barely over a mile long.  Even before my surgery, my long runs were 4 miles.  So choosing to go BIG requires a plan.  I couldn’t go from 1-2 miles a week to 13.1 overnight.  So here is what I have been doing.

I spent November 2012 getting myself back to being comfortable with running again.  It was a slow and frustrating process to get back to 3 mile long runs.  There was a lot of internal struggling and crying.  But, I kept at it.  At the end of November, I joined the Road Runners for additional training in addition to my regular runs with Black Girls Run and the Resolution Run training I had started to work back up to 3 miles.  The Road Runners of Baltimore are doing a middle distance training program to get members ready to run a 10-miler in February.  I felt that working with these awesome runners was just what I needed to get my base up in a supportive environment.  It’s because of RRCA Baltimore that I learned how to properly do speedwork.  Books and online training plans are great but sometimes you need to learn from other humans.

Over the past few months, with training from RRCA and support from Black Girls Run and my other running buddies, I have built my weekly base up to 16 miles and gotten down to a 14 minute mile.  I am well on my way to a less than 12 minute mile by the time of the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in April which is my aim.  My long run is up to 6.5 miles! This lines up perfectly with the Train Like A Mother Half-Marathon Finish It Plan.  After I finish at the RRCA 10-miler in February, I will be able to pick up the TLAM plan and keep going right to the finish line! WOOHOO!!!

Unfortunately, life is about to get in the way.  In my non-hysterrunner life, I am a prevention research scientist who teaches at a University.  My class for this term is on Thursday evenings which conflicts with speedwork evenings with the RRCA.  I’m  not giving up on speedwork, however.  I hate gyms BUT the gym on campus has an indoor track complete with a track only membership.  I have paid for that and will be doing my speedwork on the track as well as using the track for occasional indoor runs when the weather is really yucky this Winter.  In order to not take too much time away from my family, indoor track runs will be done at lunchtime.

Next week will mark my first 7 mile long run, I am hoping to do it in about 90 minutes! Wish me luck!

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15, 2013
Aiming for a PR!