Saturday, March 19, 2011

first ice bath - and I live to tell the tale

I took the plunge this week and signed up for my first marathon. I chose Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN which looks like a nice flat course and great for a beginner like me. And then with all my confidence about the race I had one of those achy-painy runs 2 days later. Maybe it was just coming off the fast 7 miles I had done the day before but my knee cap felt like it was sliding back and forth for the whole run. I have launched into injury prevention mode and went straight to the running store for a knee strap and decided to take the plunge today.

The plunge into an ice bath that is. I've always been an icer and ice my knees and shins after every run but have never been brave enough for an ice bath. Last night we bought the requisite bags of ice - which seems a bit like an oxy-moron - kind of silly to actually PAY for ice.

Post run I stretched, drank my protein shake, and then did the most natural thing ever (NOT) and put on my bikini bottom and a parka. And got into a tub full of cold water. And then allowed my daughters to pour 32 pounds of ice on top of me. Lord have mercy was it terrible for those first few minutes - but then the numbness set in and the shaking (and possibly a couple tears) stopped and it was ok. And then it was over.

I promptly hopped out and had no feeling in my legs and they were lobster tail red so I decided to hop in the shower. I don't know if that's ok or not but I think I may have had hypo-thermia. :) I managed to get my fluffy socks and robe on and promptly fell asleep. Not sure if it was the 12 miler or the ice that kicked my a$$ but  I was out for 2 hours.

So I want to know - do you ice bath?

If  you ice bath - do you shower after or does that negate the process?


  1. ive never done an ice bath.... the thought alone scares me, lol. You're a brave soul to attempt it

  2. This is funny because I just wrote about ice baths tonight too. I had no where near as many cubes as you did, though.

  3. Congrats on your first icebath!! They never get easier, haha! I want to run Grandmas one day...congrats on signing up!

  4. arrrgghhh.....those dreaded ice baths, but they do work and you feel better after. Congrats on the Marathon sign up.

  5. I took an icebath yesterday, too! I forced myself to stay in for 20 minutes. My legs still hurt today, so I'm not sure if it helped or not. Maybe they would REALLY be sore if I hadn't done it. Instead, they are just moderately sore?...

  6. I fear my first ice bath. But know the necessity. Go you for getting it done!

  7. Wow! You're a brave gal. I've never had a full ice bath. I come home and get into the swimming pool up to my knees or if I'm really sore to my hips. The water is too cold to swim in but not enough to make my skin red and it seems to work - I definitely climb into a warm bath afterward.

  8. I don't do full on ice baths but I do take very cold baths after a long run. Still works, I think. You probably don't need as many ice cubes and no more than 20 minutes. If you do feel you need more, then do 20 minutes, get out and warm up, then go again after a bit.

    I do shower after because I want to get clean and warm, but I've also showered first and then did the ice bath. I'm not sure if it negates the process to do the shower after, but I know I feel better. If I shower after the ice, then I usually follow up with ice packs on my problem areas (knees primarily).

    Have fun in Duluth! I've had a few friends run it and they seem to like it. Take it easy on the cobblestone areas!