My marathon training is great.
I am to the point where I can run over 13 miles without any complaints. As long as my nutrition is okay — and by okay I mean not just grilled cheese and ice cream — I feel fine. No major aches and pains.
Earlier this year, I strained my psoas and my inner thigh muscles/adductors. I hustled up the John Hancock building despite knowing better, which made things worse. At the end of April, I had to lift my leg with my hands to get it in/out of the car.
My improved condition is directly related to the hours spent recovering — and not running.
My body needed a break.
When I do run long distances, I try to take ice baths to hack my way to a faster recovery. The pain from the ice bath is always intolerable. I can’t stand more than a few minutes, even when I’m only submerged up to my hips. But an ice bath relieves aches and pains in a way that is so much better than naproxen.
That’s why I took a hot shower, this morning, and tried to localize my torture — and cash in on slacktivism in the process.
I attempted to stick my feet in an ice bath for fourteen minutes.
Clearly, it didn’t go well.
I did manage to get my feet into a bucket of cold water for five minutes and soak my tired and weary dawgs. (The ball of my right foot is pretty sore.) It was a painful experience and I said a bunch of vulgar things that I don’t want shown on YouTube, but it was what I needed.
We live in a culture where many of us suffer nagging, chronic pain. Some people take opioids to ease the discomfort. As long I continue running long distances, I will try to be more mindful about my body. I want to distinguish real pain that means danger from the ancillary pain of being alive and moving.
One thing that I’ve learned? Sometimes the best relief from pain is the thing you think might cause the most pain: movement.