On Saturday I ran 14 miles. It was exhausting. Then, I came home and took an ice bath. I have been trying to think of something profound to say about my experience this past weekend, - what a huge accomplishment 14 miles was, how I persevered, to come back after a miserable run the week before, -- but instead, I keep coming back to the ice bath.
For weeks I have heard from my pace group leader about how great ice baths are for recovery. She assured me that once we reached a certain amount of mileage, I would go home, jump in the ice bath, and feel awesome all afternoon - as if I hadn't run at all. I talked to a variety of people on this topic most of whom sang the virtues of the ice bath. Every now and then, there would be a naysayer, someone who admitted that they just couldn't do it. But, those folks were few and far between. So, I assumed that at some point I would try the ice bath.
I knew going into my run on Saturday, that I would be biking on Sunday, it was CicLaVia. CicLaVia is a yearly event in Los Angeles. Ten miles of city streets are closed down for the enjoyment of cyclists. There are a few roller bladers and pedestrians out too, but the bikes get to rule the streets for the day. When we ride, I pull Oliver along behind me in a bright yellow trailer. The trailer itself weighs about 20 pounds. Add on top of that Oliver's 33 pound frame and all of our stuff (snacks, water, sweatshirts, diapers, wipes, three different types of sunscreen) and it's a heavy load to pull. But, Justin rides a vintage (read: ancient) Schwinn that he refuses to part with, so my bike is the only one that can pull the trailer. Anyway, I knew we were going to ride, and I didn't want to take any chances that I would be in pain, - so I decided it was time for the ice bath.
After I got home from my run, Justin ran down to the 7-11 to buy ice and chocolate milk (it's a great recovery drink!). When he got home he filled the bath up with cold water. I pulled on a sweatshirt and Oliver's owl hat and made myself a large cup of steaming hot tea. I started to get in the water and knew it was going to be trouble from the moment I dipped my big toe. Justin egged me on. Finally, as I sat down in the water, Justin dumped a bag of ice over the top of me, -- scratching my leg I might add. I screamed. I screamed like baby, - a baby being put in an ice bath. I found it excruciatingly painful. Justin, on the other hand, was gleeful.
Oliver came into check on me. He understood this bath was different and asked me why I was taking a cold bath. I explained to him, that the cold bath was like a boo boo buddy. Mommy, I explained, had an owie and needed the ice. He seemed to get it and thoughtfully said "Mommy has a big owie."
On Sunday I did ride through the streets of LA. I don't know if the ice bath actually helped or not, or if I would have been able to ride without it. I do know that after my ride on Sunday, I had an even bigger owie than I did the day before. This time, however, instead of slipping into an ice cold bath, I decided to slip into a nice glass of wine, - or as I explained to Oliver, a glass of Mommy juice. He, again, thoughtfully surmised, "Mommy has big juice."