In January, I plunged into the cold 0C water of Lake Ontario for the Polar Bear Dip. I have done several long runs in snowstorms, windstorms and, if I’m really “lucky”, a combination of the two. Recess has become my favorite time of the day because I can escape from the warm school walls to the chilly outdoors for my run and return feeling awake, ready to take on the rest of the day.
However, there is cold and there is cold. Every time I heard my running buddies talk about their ice baths, I shivered. Dipping into ice cold water and sitting in it – for approximately 10 minutes – just doesn’t appeal to me. I tried it in the summer and lasted two, perhaps 3, minutes and I vowed never again.
Last weekend, when driving back from Hamilton, the boys talked about having yet another ice bath at night to help recover from their 34K run (I ran 27K). I listened and said nothing, but I banked the idea for later.
Little Ironman was bathed, his hair was washed and the tub was drained. Then, he ran to put on his swimsuit. Already in mine, I pulled a bucket of ice from the freezer, filled the tub a few inches deep (I don’t like cold, remember) with cold, cold bubbly water – bubbles to make us think it was going to be rather comfortable. I got in and LI followed. We shrieked, giggled and emptied the ice bucket only to laugh some more.
Little Ironman is a tough little dude. When I asked if he wanted to get out, he replied, “No, I just want to eat an ice cube.” And he did – several soapy ice cubes. I’m surprised there aren’t bubbles coming out of his mouth in this picture.
Ten minutes later – and, believe me, I was watching the clock – I emptied the tub and pulled on some warm clothes. Little Ironman? He wanted to fill up the tub again, but with warm water. Apparently, he didn’t have enough playtime in the bath.