After realfeel temperatures ranging from 9 degrees to 21 degrees this past week, I savored today’s 59 degree temperature and knew I would need to take advantage of it since Pittsburgh weather is so fickle.
So off I ran – my plan was for the Birmingham Bridge and back. However, in the location of my new apartment, running all the way to Birmingham, crossing it both ways, and going back to my apartment is a whopping 8.5 miles compared to the ~5 it once was. And once you’ve committed and run one way…you have no choice but to complete it.
My run felt GREAT – negative splits for a bit, a sub-9-minute mile at mile 7 (which further underscores my need for distance vs. sprinting), and generally just feeling great. The addition of new running music also helped.
Since I’d only run distances ranging from 2-4 miles in the previous weeks, I knew I would want to ice bath – just in case I was sore. I have parent teacher conferences tomorrow, which are stressful and involve lots of running around. I can’t afford not to be able to walk tomorrow.
So this is my ritual for ice baths: since I’m still gross from a run, I shower in tepid water (hot water only makes the cold worse), then put my hair up, put on a hoodie, and put the hood up. I’ve also already prepped by bringing in a snack, hot coffee, and my phone – these three things are indispensable, as is the hoodie.
After I sit down in the bathtub, I put a little bit of warm water in the tub…then crank it to cold and immediately distract myself with coffee. I spend 15-20 minutes eating and playing on my phone while I freeze. I don’t have an ice maker at this apartment, so cold water generally suffices. Some people put on socks and keep their feet out of the water since it’s only your legs that benefit…I have enough trouble trying to keep my hoodie out of the water. I’ve FALLEN ASLEEP in ice baths before (who does that? Me apparently) and my hoodie absorbed plenty of water. Cute.
A little ice bath discipline brings a great reward – much, MUCH less soreness the next day. We’ll see how it works with just cold water!