I have sworn by the effectiveness of taking ice baths after double-digit runs (and marathons!) since late 2007, after marathon #2. I didn't take one after marathon #1; perhaps I had not yet heard of this phenomenon. But, after #2, I was hooked. That's five years of ice baths! When we moved and needed to purchase a new refrigerator, I insisted on one that made ice. Believe it or not, not all do.
On Saturday, after marathon #10, I did not have the opportunity to take one (as I barely had the opportunity to get cleaned up, period, prior to my long drive home). I dreaded the aftermath of NO ICE BATH like nobody's business! They have always helped to make me feel better so quickly. In terms of a double-digit longrun, I'll feel "perfect" the very next day. In terms of a marathon, I'll feel "perfect" three days later. I spent serious time pondering how long I'd be sore after not taking one.
I know the suspense must be killing you, so I'll get right to it. I am absolutely fine after three days without an ice bath. I assure you that I am IN SHOCK. What does this mean?
Does this mean that my body has acclimated to the perils of running after ten marathons? Or did I just get lucky? Or have I been freezing my nether-regions for no good reason?
Whatever the answer, I can tell you one thing for sure: when logging long, hard mileage, my legs absolutely CRAVE the ice... and I am not going to stray if I can at all help it. I'll just have confidence the next time I can't get one that life will indeed go on.