Something Old, Something New

by klassman

Last weekend we went to a friend’s wedding.  As a result, I missed out on the all-important long ride of the week.  I didn’t use Sunday to “make up for it” but I did mix things up a bit by doing a ride of 2:10 with some relatively short intervals sprinkled in followed immediately by the long run of the week.  Running close to 10 miles off the bike was a real confidence booster as to the healthy and overall worthiness of my legs.  Was it fast enough or full of hills?  No.  But it was a good, solid, long and hot effort and a step in the right direction.

For whatever reason, this morning while commuting I remembered a trick that I tried for the first time during the Raleigh race two weeks ago.  I picked it up watching Rinny Carfrae on Kona last autumn.  During the run I took a cup of ice every few aid stations and dumped it unceremoniously down the front of my shorts.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Pain, shock, relief — these reactions all crossed my mind before the first time.  The objective is to do what you can without slowing down to keep your body temperature under control.  My guess is that unlike dumping ice in my shirt which falls out the bottom very quickly, stuffing ice in my mouth which makes it hard to breath, this technique puts the ice near the femoral artery yet doesn’t affect the running stride in any way.

It worked.  To my surprise, there wasn’t much of a physical reaction.  There was neither shock nor awe.  It didn’t hurt, or feel awful like a cold shower.  It was simply okay and then as the ice melted and cold water dripped down my legs, there was a bit of relief.  Going south of the waistband with any sort of shock — thermal or otherwise — is a risky proposition.  There are a lot of nerves and sensitive bits in the region.  Nonetheless, this is a technique that I can endorse for scorching hot days.