This is an ironic running tip. While much of the (U.S.) running country is covered in snow and ice, this blog tip takes advantage of the frozen tundra by-product. I have to admit that I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to recovering from a long run...I often seek coffee instead of a more healthy recovery drink and far prefer jumping into a hot bath (spiked with Epsom salts) vs. doing the polar bear plunge. Like many things in running, I know that ice is recommended over heat for recovery and injury. For injury, there's the adage of R-I-C-E; rest, ice, compression and elevation. You can add a fourth ("S") if you have a chiropractor/therapist or home version of "stim" or stimulation--I do both.
With nine weeks and 272 Boston training miles under my belt, my body was "barking" after last Saturday's 20 mile run and a somewhat aggressive tempo run yesterday (see them on my DailyMile profile.) After the eight miler, I spent the rest of the day sporting my Skins compression tights to help with the recovery. Aside from the run stress on the body, I am also dealing with the bursitis in my left heel and some reoccurrence of some muscle issues in my stress fracture area of my lower left leg. I checked out both with my running PT and a podiatrist before I got into the full swing of training (see "Turn your Head and Cough" blog.) I tweeted in the afternoon that my hot tub was calling my name to calm all the negative action in my left leg. A fellow running tweet mate, @LWong76 reminded me to "ice bath first" so I set out to ice down that bad boy last night.
At my last running PT session, I'd remembered a tip my PT passed along which was to start with cold water (not ice water,) and add ice to bring it down to the right therapeutic temperature. I put a kitchen bag into a rubbermaid garbage can and filled it with cold tap water to just below the knee (see the video in the embedded Vimeo clip.) I took advantage of Mother Nature's white stuff and filled a kitchen pot full of Colorado snow and ice from my courtyard. As the recipe called for, I scooped in the white mixture and before I knew it, I had a leg slushy which was wicked cold, but I was comfortably able to handle it. I soaked for several minutes and decided to remove my leg when my skin was tingling and beet red.
Today, I have my leg wrapped in my McDavid compression wrap and things feel much better. Today is a recovery/cross training day so I will likely get some cardio on the bike or eliptical. Nine weeks down, and nine weeks to go for Boston. I see more leg slushies in my immediate future.