Running conditions update: still ridiculously cold. Trying to navigate between patches of ice, packed snow, and powder snow is no picnic. This winter, I've had just a handful of runs that made me feel exhilarated and amazing when I finished. More of them have been a slog. I'm proud to have gone out in the cold and done something challenging, but the running itself was not the fun part.
In cases like that, the best part of my cold weather run is being done. My recovery routine can actually create a runner's high in a way that the run itself can't always do.
The very first thing I do when I get home is take off my sweaty clothes. I have a nice warm sweatshirt right at the back door, ready to go. Time is of the essence - if I wait too long, my body temperature drops too rapidly and I spend the next couple of hours shivering.
Then, while I do some gentle stretching, I heat up a mug of hot chocolate. If chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink, surely it has the same properties when you heat it up, right? Let's just call the marshmallows extra carbs.
The hot chocolate tastes better than any hot chocolate I've ever had, and the warm, dry shirt becomes the most comfortable thing that I own. It probably goes without saying that the hot shower I enjoy afterward is pure bliss.
But the best thing of all is the way I feel for the rest of the day. I walk around knowing that I did something challenging, something that most people would never consider doing. Even if it wasn't fun and easy, I did it.
What about you? How do you recover?