Spartan Shape-Up, Day 245:
Finally, my legs felt about 95% okay today, BlogLand. WOO! Sometimes, you just need a recovery day. That said, I got some good sleep last night (that's almost miraculous), and it was another beautiful day here in VT. Although I did not get up and run in the morning, like I probably should get back into doing, it was alright - I had running plans for this evening:
Tonight would be another buddy-run! YAY!
First, I would like to express my extreme joy about having to only wear capris and a light top to go out running at 8pm. SO NICE to actually feel a breeze on the extremities. And really, even in that little bit, I was hot. Temperature wise.... I am not a "pretty" runner. hehe
Up the hill again, to head up to my buddy's house... this time, I had spectators. They were sitting on their porch, mid-hill, so they got to watch my effort the entire way up the hill. Being the competitive sort, and not wanting to look like a slacker, I pounded up the hill, looking as badass as one can look in a reflective vest.
I then proceeded to get to the top, die just a little bit, and continue a slow jog over to my friend's house.
We did our usual loop - there's nothing like going off-roading around a muddy cemetery, in the dark!! - and got it done with great speed! It is SO motivating for me to have a buddy. My legs have been tired and overworked, and they didn't really *want* to move themselves any faster today... but then my buddy was ATTACKING this run. It was awesome. She hasn't been running as long as I have, but her enthusiasm was showing mine exactly how it was done. We busted up a few hills, had a couple of fun sprints in there, and kept up a respectable pace. I know that I wouldn't have had such a steady good pace, without a buddy. My legs were feeling whiny today.
I rounded out my mileage at 3.9, in about 46 minutes - factoring in time for the world's longest crosswalk and one or two short walk segments. We had a nice long steady hill during our run, as well.
It felt really good to get my legs under me again, and feel like I had accomplished something, not like I had survived it.
However, I did decide that tonight was the night. Ice Bath Time. It's been a while, and I know how much they had helped me... they just suck particularly bad when it is cold out, so I've been avoiding them all winter. But it was warm (er)... and my legs really felt like they needed it after the last few days. So, I ran the tub.
Let me tell you, BlogLand, getting in a tub of freezing cold water is a test of will, for sure. You stick a toe in, and every fiber of your being is like OH. HELL. NO. I stood in it with both feet, fighting my inclination to jump out and climb under a blanket. It was EFFING cold.
I tried to ease down into the water and was suddenly really thankful for the amount of arm stuff I've been doing. It was way easier to 'ease' oneself into an ice bath, when one has some shoulder/tricep strength.
Having said that, at some point, you just have to drop. It's like pulling off a bandaid. You know how much it's going to suck, but you know it needs to be done, and going slowly is just going to prolong it.
I splashed in.
I made the most ridiculous set of noises ever. I probably sounded like I was in labor, by the way I was breathing and groaning. Here's something they don't tell you, BlogLand: Ice baths HURT for the first minute or so. As the cold tears up your legs, and through your feet, it is not comfortable, at all. Thankfully (?!), you soon go numb, so it gets a little easier (just don't move around too much, or it feels real cold, all over again). Once I'm in, past the hyperventilating breathing, and the worst of the cold, it is just sheer endurance at this point. You get raging goosebumps, your legs get pale, you are acutely aware of how not-pleasant this is, and how you would give anything for a hot shower right now. It is usually at this point, while I'm counting down the minutes until 15-20 have gone by, I try and engage in something to keep my mind from focusing on how cold it is; Facebooking or Tweeting is wonderful for this. You can kill time like no one's business on there, commenting and Like'ing things, and before you know it, you've done your 15-20 minutes.
Now, I will admit, I am sitting here in hot pink calf sleeves, with long fleece socks over them (mostly because my toes were soooo cold!!!), helping the recovery. It is an awesome look. hehe
That said, tomorrow I will wake up and my legs will be fresh and ready to go. Aahhh yeah. A little CrossFit in the morning, I think. The last big WOD before resting up for Saturday's RACE!! EEE!
Lesson of the Day: There is always something to be learned (or re-learned) from a workout buddy, even if they are at a different point in their journey than you.
And also, Ice Baths Suck. Embrace It. Get in one. You'll thank me.
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