As runners we all know about sprains, strains and sore muscles far too well. And at some point we’ve all had to have a heaping helping of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Well, today’s nugget is brought to you by the letter “I.”
I’m going to give you a little insight to help you in a post-race pinch and probably piss off the manufacturers of sports ice packs in the process. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve used many types of ice packs and they all basically work… it is pretty hard to get cold wrong, isn’t it?
Wear your vegetables!
I’m here to tell you about the best ice pack value for your buck and it’s not at the sporting goods store, running specialty shop or on-line.
It’s in your grocer’s freezer.
Let me tell you a story. After a recent race, I was driving a friend home and she was in pain. After limping the final mile of the race, her knee was sore as hell. She said she either needed some Advil ASAP or a samurai sword to commit Hara-kiri.
I pulled into the local Ralph’s and laughingly told her she could wait in the car if she wanted. The look she shot me I can only describe in temperature terms as “absolute zero.” Remind me never to piss her off.
I ran into the store and came back with a couple of PowerAdes, a “mondo-gi-hugic” bottle of Advil and my present to her aching knee… a large bag of frozen peas. Before she could question my sanity, I laid the bag on her “wounded knee” and there was an immediate sigh of relief from her.
I had bought her a little slice of heaven at Ralph’s for only $1.69. It would have been a $1.99, but fortunately I had my club card. Score!
See the great thing about a bag of frozen peas (frozen green beans and corn work too) is they wrap around your knee, ankle or body part of choice and stay flush against you. On top of that, they are always at hand and ready to rock, as supermarkets are everywhere. And when you’re done you can always stick ‘em back in the freezer to use again.
And they do taste far better than those chemical ice packs; although if you ever serve me peas that have been wrapped around your ankle, it’s best you keep that little bit of information to yourself. Yummy.
Bon Apetit…and Run on!