Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ice baths?

Today my legs still felt pretty sluggish and I was so frustrated in yoga. Although I felt pretty alright after my run Sunday, I'm just not recovering well from it.

Which led me to, of course, do a handy internet search. The suggestion that kept coming up for recovery from 8+ mile runs was.... ice baths. I find that usually has great articles and advice, so I'm a little dismayed that they also support this tactic (see this article!). I'm starting to like running more and I'm really pleased with my progress, but I hate, despise, loath being cold. My car's seat heaters are always on, I have about 4 or 5 throw blankets in a one bedroom apartment, and my winter heating bill is embarrassingly atrocious. Therefore, the idea of lowering myself into a bath with ice sounds appalling. However, it seems like there is a whole lot of support behind it and marathoners and ultra-marathoners swear by it. (And then there is little ol' me, huffing and puffing behind.)

Plus, the science of it makes sense. When you run, the blood vessels in your legs open up to deliver extra oxygen to your muscles. By cooling them, you are helping to restrict the vessels which keeps blood from pooling in your legs and helps in the healing process. (Can I tell you though, just the idea of blood pooling anywhere, even in my legs, is enough to make me squeamish... Ick)

Have any of you actually done this ice bath madness? Did it result in hypothermia? What kinda of really really exciting reading material did you have to take your mind off of the numbing of your extremities? Sigh. I'd like to think that I'm willing to do anything, within reason, to help my running process along, but I wonder if this is outside my boundaries of reason. Burr.

Yoga was shockingly unenjoyable today. I think much of it was because my legs were so tight and my body felt crappy. We also were working on peacock pose, which involves resting on your chin a little bit in order to get your balance to go totally up. I can't put any weight on my chin since I broke my jaw a few years back (more on that soon, I'm sure) so I found it exceedingly frustrating.
Peacock Pose in Yoga Journal

Oh well. There will always be hard days. I suppose that getting through hard classes and difficult days with grace is always a bigger accomplishment, but that didn't stop me from cursing under my breath. At least, I got to gorge myself on sashimi afterward!!

Sigh. Onward and upward, I hope.

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