Hot & Cold

11 miles can be checked off my new marathon training plan. I scaled back these last two weeks to make sure I wasn’t over doing it in the milage department and risk injury by the end of the summer. I really felt like injury was right around the corner for me had I continued to rack up milage as fast I was.

I took a week off, reevaluated my training plan, got back to morning runs and have slowly been finding my happy running place again.

It was the best decision I could have made for myself.

Now, all I need to figure out is this darn summer heat. June was hot don’t get me wrong but literally on July 1 the heat index went from an average of 90 to 100+.. mehh

Knowing I had 11 miles planned for yesterday I should have paid more attention to this. While I was out the door by 6:45 am the humidity was already as thick as ever. I knew I was in for an interesting run.

I started out this morning run like I would any other. Laid out my clothes, drank a cup of coffee, ate half a luna bar, and read a few running blogs for inspiration. Thank you to: Hungry Runner Girl & The Singing Runner

I drove to campus, my old dorm to be exact, and started out on my old running route. It was basically downhill for the first 2 miles to the trail where I ran another 4 before turning around.

I have to start out by telling you all that starting this run off was hard. My legs felt super heavy and didn’t really loosen up until mile 5. I attribute this to the 2 mile run I did the day before in the afternoon 107 degree weather. I know, I know what was I thinking running in 107 degree weather. I wasn’t. It won’t happen again. Running in that kind of heat takes a lot out of you.

Anyways, here’s how my run went down:

  • Mile 1: 10 minute pace – Told ya my legs felt heavy!
  • Mile 2: 10 minute pace
  • Mile 3: 9:45 pace
  • Mile 4: 9:30 pace – Loosening up, slowly but surely
  • Mile 5: 9: 20 pace
  • Mile 6-8: 9:30 pace
  • Mile 9: 9:20 pace
  • Mile 10: 9:40 pace
  • Mile 11: 10 minute pace
*Times are not accurate. I watched my time throughout my run and these are all rounded up. The one down fall of my polar watch.* 
Yep, not my fastest or favorite run out of the bunch but I’m still taking it. 11 miles done fast or slow is a pretty great accomplishment in my book. I learned a few things during this run too. I know where I went wrong and what I’m going to work on next week.
For one, I’m NOT going to run in the afternoon heat the day before. Dumb dumb Sarah. I’m also going to have to wake up earlier. While, I thought 6:45 was pretty stinkin early I was clearly mistaken. Next Saturday, I’m going to have to wake up at least an hour earlier to beat the heat and humidity. It makes a huge difference in my run.
Early to bed early to rise makes a runner healthy, wealthy and wise 😉 
Did you see my July goals yet?! Well, I knocked out two of them already. One being an ice bath!
Have you heard of an ice bath before? Runner’s swear by them and I’ve read about them forever but I had yet to try one! Here’s a little info about why the ice bath’s are so great for you after long runs. (Taken from runaddicts.net)

Why should I take a bath with ice? It’s freezing!

Yes, it is chilling. Although most of us don’t like a cold shower, an ice bath right after an intense running session can actually do wonders for your body. It’s a fact that right after an intense activity, like a long run or a set of short sprints, your muscles experience microtrauma. These are small tears in the muscle fibers, which are perfectly normal for runners. You’re probably feeling some of it when your muscles hurt after an exhausting run, but you won’t feel every tear since they are, as the name implies, micro.

Because of the very low temperature, ice bath also becomes a great treatment for muscle soreness, strain, and inflammation. It also prevents the breakdown of muscle tissues. The cold water will stimulate muscle cells to start repairing the muscle tears.

As you immerse yourself in the ice bath, you’ll get relief from your sore muscles, let’s say your calves. The good thing about the ice bath is that your other leg muscles are also being treated in the process, like your hamstring, gluteus, and quadriceps. Thus, it gives your body optimal conditions for recovery.

Determined to figure out why runner’s love this fun activity so much I drove straight to the gas station after my run and bought two ice bags so I could torture myself aid my muscle recovery.
Here’s how it all went down: 
After pouring in the ice bags along with some water I felt it out for temp testing. I’m more of the toe to heal kind of girl. I’m not one to just jump in to anything without feeling it out first. This works goes for both figuratively and literally 😉

Slow and steady..

Almost there..

Ahh cold, cold, cold!

Completely submerged.. 

Burrr

I wasn’t sure how long I was supposed to be in there so I think I lasted about 7 minutes? At the most. This probably isn’t enough time to properly recover all of those muscle tears.. but it was cold!
I’m a wuss.. better luck next week! 
Since I woke up pretty worn out this morning today will be spent doing some pilates and going on a walk to stretch myself out a bit.
I hope everyone has had some great runs this weekend!
How do you deal with the summer heat? Early morning runs, late night runs or treadmill runs? Have you ever tried an ice bath? 
Happy Sunday!
~Sarah
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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Hot & Cold

  1. Ahhhh…you braved an ice bath! With all this heat it is tempting, but I always opt for an ice cold shower instead. I am a wuss too 😉

    • Smore

      It was freezing! But I am pleasantly surprised at how great I feel today. My legs are tired for sure but not sore!

  2. Erika

    Great run, Sarah! Congrats on tackling your 11-miler…and the ice bath. I hate ice baths so much but take them anyway because they are so good for the muscles.

    • Smore

      Well thanks Erika! The ice bath was definitely not fun but I feel great today. It will definitely become a part of my long run routine.

  3. oh you are so brave! ice baths are hard but SO SO WORTH it!!

    • Smore

      I would have to agree! My legs were definitely tired yesterday but not nearly as sore as they have been in the past. I felt a huge difference!

  4. I am going to start training for my half marathon when it’s all snowy outside… maybe I should just roll around in the snow after my runs! hahaha.

  5. Oh man, I used to HATE ice baths when I did track! It seriously kills but it’s so worth it.

    • Smore

      Agreed! I got a comment on my daily mile account about ice baths. She said if you can train for a marathon then you can take an ice bath. So true.

  6. I am such a chicken with ice baths! I have never done one before despite running 3 marathons and all the training I put in for those and other races. I just hate hate hate cold water 😦

    • Smore

      They are definitely not fun but I really did feel a huge difference the next day. I’m only training for my first marathon though. With 3 under your belt I’m sure you have a pretty good routine going.

  7. Thanks for the shout out! 😉 And great job on the run. I know how HOT it is and how the heat sucks all energy out of you! Hopefully the weather will be better come October in Chicago. 😉

    As my runs increase in distance, I am going to have to get up earlier and earlier to beat the heat! I’m already planning to start my 14 miler in two weeks at 5am! I’m so ready for the winter!!! 😉

    Haha! Trust me! Ice baths become more bearable the more you do them. When I first started doing them, I couldn’t last more than 5 minutes. Now I can sit for 20 minutes while eating breakfast and reading blogs on my phone. 😉 In fact, when I am running my long runs, I actually crave the ice bath because, you know, it’s like 100000000 degrees here!

    • Smore

      Yayy! This makes me hopeful for my next ice bath. I totally might steal your idea about breakfast and blog reading. I might even bring my book and catch up on all that reading I’ve been slacking on. Multi-tasking and productivity.. two or my favorite things!

      The weather is Chicago will definitely feel amazing compared to these summer runs. Fingers crossed!

  8. Erika Houston

    I have never tried an ice bath, they look so scary! I do always stretch after my runs while sitting in front of my fan (on high, of course).

    • Smore

      I was totally intimidated by them too but am soo glad I tried it out. I’ve been insanely sore and exhausted after my long runs lately so I decided to just go for it! I’ve noticed a huge difference in how my legs have felt these last couple of days.

  9. I have yet to try the ice bath. As of now I am not running long miles, longest run being somewhere between 5- 6 miles.
    I always have such a hard time deciding if I want to run outside verses the TM. I would always run outdoors, but I love running on the TM because when I am finished I can hit up the weights or cycle to cool down.

    • Smore

      5-6 miles is some good milage for sure. I try and limit my treadmill use to the winter months. I have the worst running ADD and haven’t been able to run past 4 miles on it. Being able to have different options for a cool down is always nice though.

  10. Pingback: Oh Hey! | Running On Smores

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