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18 and Ice

on April 22, 2011

Happy Friday!  (So anybody relate the title to an 80s hairband’ song?  ha ha)  I decided to change up my schedule since it’s Easter weekend and we’ll be busy.  I took my rest day on Thursday and decided to run my long run, which was 18 for this week, on Friday morning instead of the weekend.  I can plug in the other runs on the weekend days because even though we’ll be busy Saturday and Sunday, those runs will be significantly shorter and easier to fit in. 

I got up at my usual time and since there is no school today, I didn’t have to worry about getting home and ready to leave.  I started out feeling good, kept my pace slow at first.  It was one of those beginnings where you just know it’s going to feel good.  I had my Gu Chomps and ate those at about an hour in.  Even though I went into these 18 thinking I didn’t really have a “goal time”, I was starting to toss numbers in my head.  I was thinking…Okay, if I get to mile X at X time, then my finish time would be….I didn’t want to start doing that, but it’s not that easy to stop!  So when I started thinking that, I decided that I wanted to get to 16 miles in 3 hours and then put my sweatshirt over the part on the treadmill that gives your distance, pace, time etc and decided not to look until I had been running 3 hours.  My pace felt great, and I knew I could increase or decrease the mph if I needed to.

Three hours came and I was a little nervous to check my mileage.  What if I was going a lot slower than I thought?  I did check and I was right on….16 miles at the 3 hour mark.  WHEW!   I finished the 18 actually stronger than I thought I would…I increased my pace for the last half mile and it felt really good.  I had a couple stops along the way…one quick potty break as I had brought a big Powerade, and I stopped quick to stretch out my legs and calves.  Otherwise, I kept a nice steady pace and hung in there. 

After long runs, I have always gotten in my big bathtub with cold water to help heal my muscles and not be so sore the next day.  My cousin Kean told me in an email, in capital letters, that I need to ADD ICE and stay in there for 5 minutes.  Augh.  I KNOW that cold water immersion  promotes the healing of muscles by reducing swelling and tissue breakdown, produces a longer lasting change to tissues, and is more effecient at healing than individual ice packs, (not that ice packs aren’t beneficial, but the tub is better after runs like today’s) but I was really dreading this.  So this morning I chugged down my chocolate milk, made a cup of hot tea to take with me and began the tub-filling process.  I had stockpiled a large bag of ice and I grabbed that out of the freezer and headed in.  I first sat down with just the cold water, no ice, and got myself organized.  I had set the alarm on my phone for SEVEN minutes, had my got tea next to me.  I had on my shorts and hooded sweatshirt, so I was bundled up!.  It was time for the ice.  I grabbed the bag and just let the ice fall into the water.  OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!  I couldn’t believe it.  What a shock.  I thought the cold water alone was bad.  I sipped on the hot tea and made it the full seven minutes.  It felt so good when I got out and I sure hope that those seven minutes pay off!

All in all, I feel very good about my 18 miler, about the ice bath, about having it done before the weekend.   We’ll see how my legs feel tomorrow and more importantly Sunday, but I have a feeling they will be okay.  One more “milestone” down!

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