Hurts So Good

Yesterday afternoon I set off to run 14 miles as part of my Chicago Marathon training plan.

The farthest I have ever run in my life.

Before this long run I had only ever run a half marathon – 13.1 miles – so every step after that mile marker on my Garmin was a new PDR for me.

It is an exciting feeling going distances I never really thought I would conquer. Before signing up for the Chicago Marathon (and then getting accepted in the NYC Marathon lottery a few weeks later), I never really thought I would run a marathon. It was always something I wanted to do, but not something I thought I would actually be able to do. But here we are!

The 14 miler yesterday was way better than last weeks 13 miler in terms of heat. It was a beautiful day to run. I had some pain in my quad 7 miles in, at which point I was 7 miles from home so I had to keep on trucking. I wasn’t sure if the pain was because my quad was tight or pulling, but I believe it was just a tightness. I have been focusing on lots of stretching.

It was a good run. I had fun and enjoyed myself. When I got home I felt strong, confident and SORE!

I decided around mile 8 that I would be needing an ice bath after this long run (and every upcoming long run after), so as soon as I got home I let the cold water flow.

I love a good ice bath. It really makes a difference in how you feel immediately after the long run. You can check out my first ice bath experience here

I believe I have perfected the ice bath after taking (and suffering through) quite a few of them!

Here are my Ice Bath Tips

1- Fill the bath up with cold water before you leave for a run and let it sit while you are getting your run on.

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2 – Add the actual ice after you are already comfortably in the cold water. Let your body adjust before bringing the temperature down farther.

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3- Add the ice slowly

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4- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Fiancé is always a big helper when I take ice baths after my long runs. He is a big help with pouring the ice, I love when he takes care of me!

Part of me thinks he enjoys watching me suffer! Haha!

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Jackson was there for the ice bath party too!

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5- Another big helpful hint was that fiancé put a towel in the dryer to heat up for me while I was adding more ice. Keeping the upper half of my body extra toasty made me feel loads better.

I also swear that wearing the towel like this totally kept the heat in my head. I felt really warm! I look like a crazy person, but I was warm sitting in that freezing bath!

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Jackson looked at me like I was crazy…

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But eventually puppy kisses were given to make me feel better.

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I usually sit in the ice bath for 10-20 minutes and then I am all about a hot shower!

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Have you even taken an ice bath? Do you have any tips to share? If not an ice bath, do you have any post long run rituals?

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  • Reply Lexi July 31, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I trained for a half marathon but never took an ice bath. I'm wasn't really sure when I should start, plus it was winter, and the thought freaked me out! I'm one of those people who never get sore. Maybe I will try it when training for my next race.

    Congrats on the new distance!

  • Reply Becky July 31, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Great job on fourteen miles! I've done an ice bath and loved the effects. Yesterday I ran a half-marathon training run and considered the ice bath, but didn't do it. I kind of wish I did! I'm thinking now that long runs are in the teens, I'll have to add this to the post-run routine. I always stretch, foam roll, and ice my knees after long runs.

  • Reply Jes July 31, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    As much as it hurts to get in at first, I love the ice bath! I have found that putting a space heater in the bathroom and eating warm oatmeal really help! (I would eat oatmeal because I would run early in the morning and the oatmeal would be my breakfast before work…. but I'm sure a hot beverage would do the trick too!) Good idea about filling the tub before the run!

  • Reply ladypurpl August 3, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Boy, that ice bath experience sure makes me cold! It does look like the whole process is working for you, even Jackson got in on the party. The most important thing is to take care of yourself so you don't get hurt or sore. Keep up the ice baths, especially as you increase your distances each week! Give the Jersey Boys big hugs and kisses for taking such good care of you too!

  • Reply Jarod Shipe June 23, 2013 at 5:28 am

    There have been traditions of people ice swimming in the middle of winter on a lake for short stretches, sometimes as part of a Polar Bear Club. Sometimes people taking short swims for thirty seconds or so have felt invigorated afterwards.;”::

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