Monday, September 12, 2011

An 8-miler, Jelly Beans and a HOT Bath

I finally got out for a run today!

After biking on Wednesday, and doing my upper body work, we ended up at the driving range and then golfing on Thursday, and then golfing again on Friday.

We had planned an 8-miler for Saturday, but then when I found out my sister and her husband were going to be on the Island for the day Sunday, we rearranged things to be with them...  I spent Saturday doing food prep.... baking 2 kinds of cookies, preparing a picnic and snacks, and also getting some things ready for Sunday dinner here at the house, for the 4 of us.  A labor of love, for sure, as I adore my sister and wanted to really make sure things would be special.

I also spent a lot of time on the phone and the internet, findin a nice place, not too far away from us, where they could park their motorhome for the night.

Sunday we met their flight at 8:25 a.m. and we spent the day touring around the area. We took them to the marina so they could see our boat, picked up their mortorhome and then we led them to the RV park on the beach where they could park it for the night and had our picnic there... then off in the car for the day in the City... we packed in as much as we could, stopped for snacks, did lots of walking, a bit of hiking and had a blast.  It was so much fun to have them in my little corner of the world... then we came back to the house for a barbecue, and finally took them back to the motorhome and visited a bit more there till about 8:30 p.m.   A whirlwind and fun-filled 12 hours and I think we were all pretty wiped out.  My sister was nodding off in the car on the drive back to the RV park... and no wonder!  They had been up since 3 a.m., local time, to get to the airport.

So today we ran!

I had mapped an out-and-back route along a trail that we have been walking and running...  mostly flat and paved and very pretty as it winds its way through the woods, a couple of parks, and along a stream, before it gets to the Gorge and to the Inner Harbor of Victoria.  I took along some jelly beans and a bottle of water for the 2 of us to share. I was estimating a very conservative 2 hours for the 8 miles as I wasn't sure if I would need to walk at all.  Not having run since last Monday, I was a bit nervous about the distance.

The first 4 miles 'out' was pretty easy.  I made sure to run slow and we chatted about the weekend most of the way.   For some unbeknownst-to-us reason, there was a banner streaming at the turnaround point... one of those plastic ones that you see on car lots, made of colored triangles and tinsel.  It was almost as if it was meant for me!  At this point I was really sorry not to have had the camera along.

After the turn we both ate a couple of jelly beans and washed them down with water.  The next couple of miles were slower and I could start to feel a bit of soreness in my left hip socket....  a couple more jelly beans and water. 

I told The Captain that if we were doing a half-marathon, that it would be like turning around at the starting point and going back to the turn... plus a bit.  I said I hoped I could do that by May, and asked if would be able to, too.  He replied that he could do it today.... and I had to agree.  I am pretty sure he could!

Mile 7 was tough - getting achier in the hip, and my left calf was a bit sore too.  The last half mile was a killer.  We were running on an incline.... on a concrete sidewalk beside a busy street and there were lots of driveways on it so it wasn't very flat.... and because it was so busy with traffic there was no opportunity to run on the road.  At every driveway dip my hip hurt more and I was pretty glad thrilled to finally get to the finish!

We ate a few more jelly beans on the walk up the hill to the house.  And it felt good to walk!

We ran the first 4 miles in 48 minutes and the second 4 miles in 60 minutes so 1 hour 48 minutes in total... 12 minutes under the 2 hours I had allotted.

W4 R108 W4 no walk breaks
stretch 8 minutes

I drank 2 glasses of water after we got into the houes and then I made us each an almond butter and banana smoothie to drink while we stretched.  I made sure to stretch my calves out as this is the first time I have ever noticed any discomfort in my calves during a run... and I am thinking that we need to be taking more water with us on these longer runs.  Think I need to find The Captain's water bottle belt.

A while later, I soaked in a hot bath for about 20 minutes and it was wonderful.  I cannot imagine doing an ice bath, although I know that my favorite tennis player does them and other athletes do too...  but I get cramps in my toes and in my shins just from letting my feet get cold, so I am afraid of cramping right up in an ice bath.

And lots of the research that I am reading about it is very contradictory, too.  Some studies recommend it, others don't.  I just found this on

It's clear that more research is needed before a real conclusion can be made, but so far the information that is available indicates the following:
  • Cold water immersion after a hard workout won't hurt and may, in fact, help recovery.
  • Alternating Cold water and warm water baths (contract water therapy) may also help athletes recover.
  • Ice baths are not necessary; cold water baths (24 degrees Celsius) are as good and perhaps better, than ice baths.
  • Active recovery may be as good as cold water immersion for exercise recovery.
  • Passive recovery is not an effective way to recover.
  • Hot baths after hard exercise may decrease recovery time.
All I know for sure, is that a good stretch, and a hot bath FEELS great.

And yes, I am very VERY loosely considering running the Oak Bay Half Marathon here on Sunday, May 13th.  I have commitment-phobia so will have to mull it over a bit more!

Thanks, Vanessa, for the jelly bean tips.  I think they did help.  I was a bit worried that the sugar might upset my stomach, but it didn't and I am going to keep experimenting with them.


  1. Great minds think alike! I use gummy bears sometimes, cheap and yummy! Although they can get a little sticky in the pocket!

    Nice job on the 8 miler!

  2. ahhhhhhhhhh!!! this post made me incredibly happy! so so so excited for your 8 miler and I KNOW you can do that half in to just "bite the bullet" and commit ;) easier said than done though right!?! ahhh! congrats!

  3. Great job on your run, and for coming in WAY under the allotted 2 hours!Glad the jelly beans worked for you as well. I have heard so many different things about ice baths--but I do feel like at this stage they work for me. I agree that passive recovery does little to help my aches after a tough workout though!

  4. i use cold baths...they aren't fun but i think they help! i don't use ice--too much work!! haha.

  5. Great run! That last half mile gets me every time. And I so agree that a hot bath is way better than an ice bath, I don't care what any expert says!

  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful day with your sister.

    I've been debating the ice bath a lot lately. It's hard to imagine submerging myself in ice.

    Congrats on the 8. Now, commit to the Oak Bay half. You know you can do it :)


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