There are pros and cons about running long distances. But sometimes the cons come before the pros.
After the 15-miler with Jill on Saturday, I got back in Mr. T’s black Malibu and started the 8-minute drive home. I had to stop first to get gas because I coasted to the trail on fumes that morning. I was determined not to be late to meet Jill since she had a much longer drive than me and that would not be very nice if the person who lived way closer showed up super late.
Anyway, I had plenty of gas to get to a gas station afterward, but I still wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. My legs were aching like never before.
It wasn’t just a soreness, they were tightening and I was worried they would freeze up and then I would have stick-straight legs like Kramer in that Seinfeld episode where he puts on those really tight jeans that make him teeter when he walks, like Frankenstein.
I cursed the red lights. Aw, c’mon! I cursed sub-speed-limit drivers. Aw, c’mon! I cursed my shoelaces when I couldn’t get them untied at one of the stop lights. Aw, c’mon!
I started pounding on my thighs with my fists at the lights, and was relieved when I got out at the Chevron station and my legs worked. I also remembered I had some Ibuprofin in my running bag. I took a couple hoping they kicked in sooner than later.
After filling up, I drove the mile home knowing full-well what I was going to have to do.
First, I stretched long and slow on the living room floor. I should’ve stretched more right after the run, but I’m always trying to minimize the amount of time I am away from Mr. T and T Junior, so sometimes I don’t stretch enough right after. T Junior “stetched” with me. The Ibuprofin kicked in, too, and I was already feeling better.
But I had one more trick up my sleeve. Well, maybe it’s more like a remedy, not a trick. This would be the first time I tried it, although I’ve seen other running bloggers, like Chic Runner, do it. (Here’s her brave post.)
An icy bath. Like a polar bear.
Okay, not with ice because I didn’t have any, but I filled the soaker tub up with cold water (and a little bubble bath because, hey, I’m a girl and even cold baths are better with bubbles). I put my bathing suit on — the tankini I’ve had since my Honeymoon (ahem, 8 years ago), which fits (booyah!). T Junior stood by. I felt the water. “That’s cooooold,” I told him.
Then I just stepped in like it was normal. I shivered and crossed my arms over my chest. Then eased into a sit. Oh yeah, that was cold. I thought about another blog post (sorry I don’t recall who) in which the author said she sips hot tea in her ice bath. Next time.
The cold felt good and bad. I had to turn on the faucet again because there wasn’t quite enough water to cover my thighs.
T Junior’s never seen me in the bath before. I think he enjoyed this turn of events. “A Mama a baff.”
The cold was most painful for my toes. They burned and I was worried I would get frostbite in them. I kept scooting my tootsies above the surface to make sure they weren’t hard, white and waxy. I don’t know if you can get frostbite from cold tap water, but I didn’t really want to find out.
I lasted probably 5 minutes. But it was enough.
I got out. No more pain! Ahhhhhh. I turned on the warm shower, then got in to wash away 15-miles of sweat and stink.
But the benefits of the bath lasted and my legs felt awesome. I could walk down stairs like a normal person! My calves weren’t tight. It’s the best I’ve felt after my half marathons or any other long runs. And because we did the Galloway walk/run theory I didn’t feel totally wiped out. I had enough energy left to do family activities, which usually means a trip to Costco, except we didn’t go there this time.
No, I felt like having a date night. I found a last-minute sitter and went to Seattle with Mr. T, although we couldn’t decide/agree what to do and mostly ended up driving around, then landed at Claim Jumper for dinner of all places. I didn’t feel too guilty, though, putting away a beer, a hefty slice of meatloaf and half of my thick, lumpy mashed potatoes.
After all, I burned 2,000 calories that morning.
Oh you are a brave soul. Don't think I could do it regardless of how much pain I was in.
You are a brave brave woman. The thought of an ice bath just scares me!
Woman, you are my HERO. Not only bc you survived a cold bath, but because of all the miles you are running! Hello, 2,000 calories?! I am not worthy! 🙂
I swear by ice baths! I took my first one after disney and I couldnt believe how awesome my legs felt (I walked around universal for 5 hours after the half!).I took my 2nd ice bath yesterday after 10 miles. It really is brutal. I actually lose my breath when I sit down and I feel like I'm going to die. BUt in the end the pros of a ice bath outweigh the cons!
I've taken 2 ice baths. One after a 10 miler and one after my half marathon. They do work wonders but man do they suck! 🙂 Glad you tried it!
It made me shiver just to read about it! Brrr!
To make you feel better, you burned more than 2000 calories. Keeping the body warm uses up tons, I mean TONS of calories so an ice bath serves more than one purpose. Next time you try it just keep thinking of all those fat cells vanishing. 🙂
I just read your account of your 15-mile run and I really agree about a running buddy spuring you on. I had a terrible 15 miler a couple of weeks ago, and it was only my friend's encouragement that kept me going (I posted about it on 27th March).I'm preparing for my first marathon too, and got up to 18 miles yesterday. Good luck!
Brave woman! Glad it worked and I guess maybe one day I'll be doing the same 🙂
I love ice baths; one you get in it's okay but it is hard to get in there initially! Glad it worked for you!!!
Ice baths are painful, but wonderful! I didn't have a chance yesterday after my big run. Booo! I always sip hot tea in the cold tub… you may have read that from me. 🙂
I gave up ice baths. I just can't bear to do it anymore. It sounds silly that I'll walk around in pain for 2days but not take a 10min ice bath. But that's how I roll.
gah! i don't want to think about ice baths!ooooo – Claim Jumper. How I miss it. We would eat at one in Las Vegas when we were stationed there. My faves were the beef ribs and the chocolote chip calzone and the strawberry lemonade. I'd get those every time. So good, so good! Now I really really want to find a Claim Jumper and go visit the magic land that holds those restaurants.
That is so awesome! Way to go! I've just started training for my first marathon…October 3rd. It's going to be awesome I'm so looking forward to it!Great tip about the hot tea though…I know I'll be needing some ice baths coming up soon…I'll have to remember that!
You are quite brave. After the trail run I did last year, I should have done this. I'm hoping I'm brave enough to do it this time.
Great job! Yeah I was amazed at the feeling after my first ice bath! I eat hot oatmeal during mine. Works wonders 😀 Oh and I put on like 7 sweatshirts that helps too 😀 oh… and like 3 pairs of socks because yes my toes hurt too. The socks work kinda like a wetsuit and help a little.so… oatmeal, sweatshirts, and socks! 😀
I hate [with a passion] ice baths. But they work – so I keep coming back for more. running & ice baths. 😉
Wow so it really helped…good to know. IT so doesn't sound fun though. But if it makes you feel better…maybe it's worth a try.
ice baths feel sooo good… after the fact. not while in progress of course! they are great in the summer when you are extra hot from the run – i am not too good at enforcing them in the winter, 'whoops' :)too cute about tj enjoying the “flip-flop” of events!
Oh man! Brrr…..!!! I remember taking ice baths in high school after x-country and track practice, 20 min in a 4 ft. deep tin tub with a seat in it FULL to the top with that stupid ice machine ice and water!!! I wish I had one of those ice machines nowadays! I am a believer in the ice bath!!! It may be cold but man it sure does help!!Great run!! What is your next run!?
Wow! I haven't done one yet. The thought makes me shiver. You're a brave woman!Winks & Smiles,Wifey
Woo! Yeah for first ice baths! I took my first one this weekend too and I was amazed at how great my legs felt! I should've done this months ago 🙂