The Ice Bath

Wow, I look a little crazy in that picture, don't I? It's fitting, I guess, since I was about to hop in my first ice bath.

I suppose you're wondering why anyone in their right mind would sit in a tub of ice...as you should be. They claim it's good for reco
very. It stops the inflammation caused by a hard workout and speeds up the recovery process.

I filled the tub with cold water, dumped my bag of ice in and then grabbed a copy of Marathon & Beyond so I could read the article about running an ultra marathon in the scorching heat of Las Vegas.

You would think the worst part of an ice bath would be....you know. But it wasn't, really. The whole thing is equal torture and it was so friggin cold at first I could hardly breathe. Talk about a shock to the system. It was clear that reading was out of the question. Remaining conscious was the new goal.

After a minute or so, you basically go numb from the waist down so the initial shock goe
s away. And that's about the time you realize you forgot to find out an important piece of information: How long does one sit in an ice bath? A minute? 10 minutes? An hour? I decided to wait until the ice melted, which probably took about 5 minutes but it's hard to say since I may or may not have blacked out.

So why did I need an ice bath in the first place? Cheri and I did 2 laps around the arboretum, our last big training run before the Madison Half Marathon in 2 weeks. The arb loop is a great training run for several reasons. 1. The university created a 10K route around the arb and marked all of the miles and quarter miles. 2. It's kind of hilly - no brutal climbs, but it's non-stop rollers with a couple of decent climbs. 3. Very little traffic. 4. Lots of runners.

There were quite a few runners with water bottles and fuel belts and you got the feeling that everyone was out there preparing for the marathon. My plan was to run 5K at my long run pace (about an 8 minute mile) then 10K at race pace (about 7 minute mile) and the last 5K at my long run pace. The run, I figured would take about 1 hour and 36 minutes. Cheri said she was going to go at a slow, comfortable pace so I should take a magazine to read while I waited for her. I figured she would be out there for about 2 hours and 5 minutes.

My run went well, although I struggled a bit in the middle, and I finished in 1:33:19. Cheri finished in 1:55:30. Pretty impressive for someone running at a "slow, comfortable

After dinner, we decided to go to a movie. We wanted to see Run, Fatboy, Run but it wasn't playing anywhere. So we went to go see Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Based
on the previews, our expectations were really low, but we figured we've seen a lot of bad movies so chances were that this wouldn't be the worst movie we've ever seen. Not the best reason to see a movie, but we felt like going to the theater.

This was one of those rare cases when the previews don't do the movie justice. It was hilarious. One of the best comedies I've seen in a long time. Lately comedies are so lacking in material they give you the good stuff in the preview and then the movie is a complete disappointment. Some of the scenes in the preview weren't even in this movie. Go see it.


Anonymous said...

You have to love a good ice bath. Last year while training for my first marathon I took the frigid dip after every Sunday long run.
I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago while looking up the results of a race, the 10 miler you did. I've been keeping up ever since. I'm not sure if you will remember me, but I used to work with you at UPS on the night shift. I also used to golf with you and Cal. It's Jim Tessmer. I've been running consisitently for about 3 and half years now. I will be running the Madison Half and Twin Cities full in October.

Burrito Eater said...

That movie is quality...a little too much in the dong department but otherwise great!

Mike said...

Hey Jim-

When Cheri and I were in the Capitol before Crazylegs trying to stay warm, I saw you walk by. I thought, "I know him from somewhere." A few minutes later I said, "Jim Tessmer." Cheri said, "huh?" I said, "I think that was Jim Tessmer. I used to golf with him when I worked at UPS." By then you were gone so I didn't get a chance to say hi.

Thanks for keeping up with my blog and good luck with your running. Maybe I'll see you at the Madison Half.

~Robyn~ said...

I use to take ice baths after really hard land workouts in college (i was a diver)...and even sometimes after practice, because I had so many ongoing injuries, and they didn't want to make more than 4 ice bags for me. So I'd go sit in the cold whirlpool all the way up to my neck!! It was torture! Also, probably at most sit in the bath for 15 min. It won't be as cold as say a cold whirpool, b/c your body heat will heat the water up, so you can stay in longer (15 min).

Anonymous said...

how was it? did your toes freezed? i've been thinking about it but am afraid of cold. i have a marathon in two weeks and my body is sore from all the mileage i did