Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recovery and Portable Ice Baths

Thanks for the encouraging comments post-Mt Si. I'm doing my best to recover at the moment and build myself back up into better fighting form for the Redmond Watershed Preserve 12-hr run on May 17th (Ugh, wish the Cascade Running Club would get an AthletesLounge.com or Active.com account for payments! Even Paypal would be better than mailing in the app!)

Anyhoo, as I said - so far, so good. Quads are not as sore, but my feet are still doing that knuckle-joint cracking sound, but that'll pass like it always does. I am more stoked on the next event and the training I'm going to stick to like glue.

King Arthur made a comment in my last entry regarding the ice bath I brought to the race, so I figure to let everyone in on the weird logic that filled my head for this idea.

After my experience at Mt Si in 2006, ice baths were one thing that would have been great to have. The Snoqualmie River is nearby, but not in a good way as everyone knows. Running that last mile to the finish, you see the pretty water looking all calm and cold...and you know that you just can't stop and jump in since you got a mile left to the finish line! After my first and so far only successful 50 miler, I was hyper-sore for 5 days straight and walked like a croquet hoop. It wasn't until after crossing the finish line at the Tacoma City Marathon in my pacing duties that I understood why ice baths worked so well. I jumped into the tub and soaked up the chill like nobody's business and I was fine in under 48 hrs.

Then seeing several pictures of various folks dipping in lakes, rivers, buckets, and storage containers - I figured that having something deep (and long) enough to soak in for races that were sans-ice baths but really need it...it just made sense. Most of us are able to get through a marathon or a 50k without having to jump into any kind of body of water, unless there is a need to recover quickly (e.g. MultiDay/Back-to-Back races).

So the question was, how big of a container? I needed to get a good size storage container. The largest size I found for cheap was a 45 gal container with little wheels. It was big enough to sit in, but your legs couldn't stick straight out (you are mildly bent at the knees.) But it was a trade off. Any longer and I wouldn't be able to put it in my minivan without removing more seats!

Now that I had my bathtub container, I had under-estimated the amount of water I needed at Mt Si. I only brought 4 gallons of water and purchased 5 bags of ice from the local QFC. Thankfully, I was able to use the school's water via the custodian's closet that was open and I filled the tub up (well, OVERFILLED) with another 15+ more gallons. Ten would have been plenty.

Note to Shawn: I'm taking the tub with me for NB2V. I'm sure that after a 108 mile slog, people will look forward to jumping into an ice bath at the finish in Vantage. :-)

1 comment:

Nic said...

What's that old internet saying? "Pictures or it didn't happen!" (j/k)

I too swear by the ice bath, after Mt. Si I told my wife 'I think I'd rather run another 5 miles than sit in the cold bath...' of course I was lying through my teeth, and here I am, 2 days later, feelin' pretty limber!