Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's better than a run in the cold?

My group run was cancelled again this morning due to the cold weather. On the plus side, I was able to sleep in some, but on the other hand, that meant doing my 12 mile run by myself. The temperature wasn't necessarily the problem this morning, but the wind chill definitely was. Luckily by this afternoon it got up to almost 40, so I headed out for my run around 3:00. It was still chilly out, so I had lots of layers, including my fleece-lined pants, hat and gloves, but it was comfortable once I got started. I had a little bit of a challenge when I ran into a section of trail that was closed due to road construction overhead. There was a big detour sign that took me out into a neighborhood and it looked pretty straightforward - go out of one neighborhood, cross the street through the adjoining neighborhood and get back onto the trail on the other side of the construction… unfortunately, once I crossed the road into the second neighborhood, the detour signs disappeared! I wandered around the neighborhood for a bit and even went back to the entrance to the neighborhood where there was a map that showed the detour, but the map didn't actually have street names on it, just the main road was listed. So, after just meandering through the neighborhood for awhile, I went back the way I came and just ended up doing an odd out-and-back loop.

The parts of the trail I was on was nice though there were a few sections with a bunch of gum tree balls - definitely don't want to step on those!! I ended up doing 12.7 miles and went straight into an ice bath. If you've never done an ice bath before, it's definitely interesting. I've found that it seems to help me and there's some easy logic behind it - cold constricts your blood vessels which reduces swelling and can lead to faster recovery. Of course, there's always more than one side to a story so, if you feel they help you, awesome, if not, you can always leave them out of your recovery plans. I've found that if I can get past the initial shock of the cold water, then I can handle it. You can always start with just cold tap water to get the idea of what it's like if the idea of ice is a bit too much - most of the time I put in a couple trays of ice and they melt within 5 minutes or so.

Have you ever tried an ice bath? 

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