January 31, 2009

Frozen Redsicle

Icky run today. Was not fun in the least. It was cold, it was windy, and I battled with my Fuel Belt the first half of the run. I finally figured out how best to adjust it, then all I had to deal with was the cold and wind and a constantly drippy nose. :(

As if all that wasn't bad enough, I also came across a poor old man who had fallen out of his wheelchair and into the snow. He was with a younger lady (his daughter?), who was unable to do anything to help. She seemed to have issues herself. I stopped to offer what help I could though how much help a little squirt like myself could give, I'm not sure. I didn't even have a cell phone on me. Fortunately, I had just passed several people who were getting out of a truck and the man said they were on their way to help and he waved me on.

That brings me to my final issue with today's run. One that comes up every time I do a coooold weather run. I want to stretch after my runs. I've learned from experience and the wisdom of others the benefits of post-run stretching in reducing soreness and preventing injury. The problem is, when I finish a cold weather run, all I want to do is jump in the car, turn on the heated seats and heating vents full blast and allow myself to melt! Though I'm usually relatively comfortable during the run, as soon as I stop, I freeze up very quickly. Very, very quickly. Trying to stretch before getting in the car and heading home may very well put me at risk for hypothermia! That may be a little exaggerated, but the constant shivering and extreme discomfort makes it hard to concentrate on stretching. Quite frankly, I'd rather take the risk of a little soreness, tight muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. than put up with cold.

I'm wondering what kind of a time-frame I have post-run where stretching does the most good. It takes about 30 minutes to get home from the park. I definitely feel soreness setting in by the time I step out of the car. Then I need to get out of my damp clothes, shower (for the heat as much as the cleanliness aspect!) and put something warm and dry on. (I know a hot shower is not recommended immediately post-run but remember, I'm frozen!) By then is it too late to stretch? Would it do me any good after so much time has passed?

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