Thursday, January 14, 2010

And the blood runs crazy with giant strides

Yesterday was the first, though not the last, Birthday Triathalon™. It was mostly a relay though there were 3 of us who dared to go the whole distance.
First leg: run in Central Park. Ok, I dont know who set that pace but we were trucking. It felt good. I'm not quite ready to run that fast on just my every day runs, but close. Just under 6 mile. (Ishii, I'm sorry we missed were actually early, the time screw up was totally my fault).
Leg 2: trip to the russian baths. Dont let the name fool you. It's not really baths, but steam rooms. Also, dont let that description fool you either. It's in a basement. And you can tell. Sure you never feel rushed to book a massage because you'll be hounded the minute you walk in. But that aside, I love this place. It is completely lacking in glamour but is a true New York experience. Since it was my birthday, I got a Platza. Here's how is a platza is described: Lie down while in the Russian Room and a platza specialist will scrub you (actually beat you) with a broom made of fresh oak leaves, sopping with olive oil soap. The oak leaves contain a natural astringent, which will open your pours, remove toxins, and actually take off layers of dead skin. Some described the platza as "Jewish acupuncture".
What it feels like: lay down on your stomach on the top row of the russian room, which is a very hot radiant heat room. A large russian man will cover your head with a wet towel and then will beat you like you're in a car wash. You'll get to the point of feeling very very hot, he will know this then add more soapy water to your person to cool you off. He was also poor cold water on your head as you good. Having seen this done, it kinda looks like you're being waterboarded but it doesn't feel that way. He then massages you and stretches you out. Your rolled over on to your back and the process is repeated. Then, he sits you up, and washes you off. Usually afterwards, you're placed in the cold plunge. They had just rechlorinated it and it smelled terrible, so he stuck me in a shower and rinsed me off (believe me, at this point, you can't really do it yourself). I was then covered in towels and a robe and sat down. Now this was new, my fellow bathers did not have this experience during their beatings: he covered my face in honey. It was a slightly odd experience, as was the desire to lick my own face which is not really possible (not for lack of trying). Voila: noodle body, pudding brain. It felt awesome. I highly recommend it. These guys are incredibly strong and I can not imagine spending my day in a very very hot room doing that to people.
Once I was able to speak in complete sentences again, we headed to the final leg.
Leg 3: SUSHI. Funny, this leg had the most people...hmmm. I picked a place close to the baths so I could just stumble over. Fu Sushi. I had never been there it was close by and had really good reviews. Man, it was amazing. The service was quick and the food was really really good. Melt in your mouth sushi.
Over all, a total success. I hope for the next one some of you will hike up the skirts and do more than just the last event!
Special shout out to Sharon and Sandi who completed all 3 events.


TiredMamaRunning said...

That beating-er-bath house treatment sounds awesome. My massage lady is probably the closest thing to that in my city but really not even playing the same sport. I'll be asking you to point me in the general direction of the Russian bath house if I get drawn for NYC in order to get a good post-race azz kicking.


DogPound said...

yes, it is a post marathon tradition to go to the baths, totally worth it!

Girl In Motion said...

HAH!! You had me laughing out loud with this one. Car Wash and Waterboarding. Hilarious!!! Glad to hear you got the full treatment, complete with honey. Happy Birthday again, girlie.

L.A. Runner said...

Okay. I have one burning questions (um, two actually). WHY honey? How did it come off? Also, did he actually beat you with a BROOM? Surely not. Why did he 'sit you up"? That guy sounds a little perv to me, really. Was it weird?

The sushi, on the other hand, sounds AWESOME! I love the stuff, but given my current location, never get to eat it.

One more thing, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

DogPound said...

why honey? Not really sure, though it made my face really soft. I left it on until I went into the steam room again then I just wiped my face.
It looks more like a feather duster than a broom.
It wasn't weird at all. I've had all kinds of body work done, professionals know how to act professional. He is actually very good at what he does.

Black Bear! said...


1. Happy Birthday (a couple days late)!
2. I never heard of russian baths, but that sounds INCREDIBLE! I love sauna (sowna) so that'd be right up my alley. Is it really expensive?

DogPound said...

it's $30 to get in and stay as long as you like. Though I go enough that I bought a 10 pack or something like that for much less.