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?

No Hysterrunstreak for Me!

Last night, I made a decision to end my runstreak after 18 days.  I have run or walked at least a mile daily since Thanksgiving.  I intended to keep this streak up until Christmas – a total of 40 days.  Last week Wednesday, I barely made it.  I got the mile in through my 1/2 mile back and forth to my car.  My body was feeling rundown so I didn’t make it to Water Aerobics that day and I LOVE Water Aerobics.  I kept up with it through this weekend.  I got 8 miles in between Friday – Sunday! Great for my training goals; bad for my recovery.  I exceeded my monthly goal to hit at least 10 miles a week for December at the expense of my health. Freezing

Every runner knows that it is essential to build rest breaks into your training schedule.  Your body needs to rest and recover between workouts so that you don’t risk injury.  (For more information about rest from training and why you need it, click here.) 

rest day

I’m still recovering from major abdominal surgery.  I not only need time to rest because of my training but also because of my hysterectomy.  Only a few weeks ago, I needed to nap after conquering the stairs between my first and second floors or walking to the corner.  I may be able to run 3-4 miles at a time again but I am not fully healed.  So that being said, I will not be running today.  I will be going back to my 3 day a week running schedule plus one cross-training day.  This gives me 3 days of nothing but normal activity – family, work, friends, etc.  This will still net me more than 10 miles a week and help me reach my training goals.

For my other goals, I am still doing ok.  Today’s Elf for Health challenge is to drink your weight in ounces of water.  I’m aiming for half of my weight as drinking my full weight in water is not healthy for my kidneys.  I have noticed that a lot of people tend to not drink enough water during the day.  So I would encourage you to drink at least the recommended 8 glasses of water today and every day. 

drink a glass of water

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

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