Ice Baths and the Niners

ice baths

Julie, Matt and Jeff enjoying an ice bath in the pool in Alabama in January. Don’t knock it until you try it

So far I’ve largely been reporting in on the objective nature of Marathon Madness with some light commentary along the way. There have been two additional side stories that deserve their due though, our road to recovery each week and the San Francisco 49ers game and everything we went through to fit it into Marathon Madness.

From the moment I’ve crossed the line during the past four marathons, the first thought that’s gone through my head has been recovery. I’ve immediately begun thinking about showers, ice baths, ibuprofen, food, water, and a place to be horizontal. Sometimes situations have been very conducive to my recovery plans, other times, not so much. Mississippi was a good example of an ideal setup. After getting thrashed by the continuous hills of the course (my quads are still having some issues from this one), the hotel was less than a 200 yard walk from the finish line. I immediately showered and cleaned up my chaffage issues. I also hit up the ibuprofen and rested in bed long enough to start feeling better but not miss Jeff and Julie’s finishes.

Alabama was not such a good story. While we did have showers available nearby thanks to the YMCA, my knees were a bit achy after the race so I made my way to the medical tent. I asked for some simple things, ice and ibuprofen. They had neither. They had some medical supplies, gauze, bandages, and such, but nothing very fitting for post marathon doctoring. Thankfully it was a nice day. I got cleaned up and lay in the grass listening to the post race musical performances.

And we have ice baths! Our fellow resort goers all look at us strangely as we stand thigh deep in the outdoor swimming pool each day. They tell us how there is a warmer pool indoors and then they ask why we’re only in part way into the 50 to 60 degree water. We explain how we’re running lots of marathons and the cold water helps us recover quicker. We then get to talking about where they’re from, usually from somewhere in the Midwest: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, or Illinois. We have fun chatting with them until our 15 minutes are up and we can get warm again. Our Swedish friend Anders has also really taken to the ice baths as we have gotten reports from him making it a daily routine. And it showed as he ran a 3:12 marathon in Baton Rouge this past weekend!

Lastly, we have my beloved 49ers. Many know I’ve been a diehard fan, loving the Niners since I was a little kid, and as a result, I have received texts, emails, and other messages about the amazing game on Saturday afternoon where we took out the New Orleans Saints. However, we were in the midst of a 9 hour drive and weren’t getting into Louisiana until 11pm without breaks. We figured the game would be on AM radio. I was riding with Chris at the time and was devastated after spending nearly the entire first quarter scanning the radio with no success. But oh modern technology. The iPhone came to the rescue with an app that cost $0.99 and had us streaming the Bay Area radio station, The Bone, with the play by play. It was such an exciting game and we punched in the winning touchdown with 14 seconds left to play sitting while we were sitting in the Walmart parking lot of Mobile, AL as we were doing our car swap. It was a truly memorable game and experience.

So along with all the running and driving, there have been numerous memorable experiences thus far. We hope for more and are thankful to all the people that have helped make it possible so far.

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