Monday, February 18, 2013

Ice, Ice Baby

If I had to create a haiku to describe my 20 mile run, it would be this:

Oh the thighs they burn
No fuel and I hit the wall
Thank god I have Graham!

Granted that makes the run sound terrible and it wasn't...well, the whole thing wasn't anyways. The route was stunning with practically all ocean vistas -for Santa Cruzians, I ran down to the water then did the Wharf to Wharf course and back (with one deviation where I missed a turn) and up the canyon home. Yes, my thighs burned and I hit a distinct wall with two miles to go...okay, and I was pretty sure that someone had slipped a small dagger in my shoe that was stabbing into my arch for the final mile...and I got side aches any time I attempted to eat the gummy chews I dutifully toted along...all true...

...BUT, there were two major high points:

1. I ran 20 miles for the first time ever
2. (and much more importantly) My husband, Graham, was my onsite medic/trainer, cheerleader and mobile support crew

If anyone has been reading my blog for a while now, you might recall my blog entry "Selfish Runner Syndrome (SRS)", which detailed my not insignificant slide from proper perspective into "the world and my husband especially, must revolve around my marathon training" mindset. I won't rehash it (mainly because it's embarrassing for yours truly), but suffice it to say, my off-kilter viewpoint made me a bit of a witch and Graham didn't have much interest in getting involved with my long runs in particular. I really couldn't blame the guy.

So maybe it wasn't quite like this...
but it was close!
So with that background taken into account, his awesomeness on the day of my 20 miler was even more endearing. He met me at three different points along the run (probably around miles 9, 12 and 17) with water and Gatorade in Dixie cups, anti-cramping lotion, chapstick, gum (anyone who has worked out with me knows I MUST have gum while completing any kind of physical activity...I don't know why), sports beans (not that I was able to f-ing eat them), bananas, my backup water belt and goodies that we didn't even get to. It made the run so much more fun and particularly his final aid station location was a frickin godsend. I was beyond parched and had downed the water I was carrying with me and with at least three miles to go, I saw "my wall" looming. Then *ta da* I see my glorious husband set up with another surprise aid was awesome. I slogged up to him and he immediately starts rubbing the lotion on my knees and calves while offering up encouragement, hydration and snacks. Besides maybe letting me get in the car and be driven home or running the damn thing for me, he did everything to ease my pain and up my fun.

When he informed me that I was going to be taking an ice bath when I finally fell through the front door, I decided that yep, no one was that nice after all. While I fussed, moaned and complained my way through 10 minutes in the bathtub of ice (no wonder I was b*tching!), I decided that my husband wanted me dead. I thought my toes were going to explode with cold and whenever I wrenched my legs up out of the ice, Graham would kindly, remind me "put them the hell back in the water." After the requisite 10 min had dragged to its conclusion, I hobbled down the hall and into the shower, where incidentally I thought my toes were going to explode again. When they finally adjusted to the steamy temps, I took stock and realized that my body felt, amazingly...pretty good. 

I had just gone through 2 hours and 44 minutes of being fairly uncomfortable followed by 10 minutes of really bad (damn ice bath) and now, I felt good? This was weird. The two days of happy legs since the 20 miles has without question, proven the merits of the Graham-enforced icy dip and I've had to retract my assertions that G was trying to give me frostbite...or death. :) It helped that he had a fat shrimp burrito from my favorite taqueria waiting for me after I showered. The way to any woman's heart is definitely a forearm-sized burrito.


  1. You're such an inspiration! I haven't had a run long enough to warrant an ice bath but I know that it's in my future. I'm not sure I'm looking forward to it.