Good Times In the Ice Bath
by Serena Burla on June 20, 2012
Today I filled Boyd’s little kiddie pool up for him to “swim” in and I couldn’t help but have flash backs to the previous kiddie pool filling two weeks ago. It was my teammate Amanda's last day down in D.C., and also the day of a seriously gut-checking track workout. If she had stuck to her original plan of leaving the previous Sunday, I would have begged to have her company for at least a few more days. However, upon hearing of the workout's intensity, she decided to stay, citing that there is "strength in numbers"- my thoughts exactly. It was a good workout for all of us and one that had us thinking about an ice bath as we switched from our Wave Ronins to our trainers for the cool down. On the drive home we decided to celebrate the workout and our time spent training together with a special ice bath. We purchased four sixteen pound bags of ice from my friends at 7-eleven who eyed the bags and told me, “you better get some jelly beans today”. Jelly beans were a previous cash register grab that occurred a few months back on the very day they inquired about my massive ice purchases. Having explained the whole ice bath for recovery/ runner thing, they too knew this ice bath would be epic.
When we arrived back at my house we got Boyd’s pool out and turned on the hose. A while later in went the ice, all 64 pounds, and in went the two of us. Start the timer. There we sat side by side, back to the street, goose bump covered, red legged, laughing rather than letting our teeth chatter, trying to capture the moment with Amanda’s phone camera ourselves.
Three minutes later our legs are numb. We chat and laugh as if we are 10 year olds at a pool party, but there is no splashing allowed here. The neighbors are probably spying and wondering what in the world the two of us are up to now, having witnessed us doing either form drills, strides, or supplemental training in the yard or street on some other day. Fortunately from prior conversations we know they support us and even seek advice from us every now and again. If they were looking at us in the makeshift ice bath however, they might now seek another’s opinion.
6 minutes: the ice is completely gone and we start wishing we had some tea to at least keep the core from freezing. Rats, no one is in the house to call to and place an order. Oh Amanda has her phone does anyone deliver? We comment on how much colder this ice bath is in comparison to the ones in the bathtub and how “cool” we are. People we don’t know walk by, they more than likely do a double take and talk about this at their dinner table. Note to self, maybe next time wear a suit rather than long sleeves in the pool, may look less strange. Also, I should put an umbrella into my recovery drink, and face the street.
At 8 minutes we continue to talk about running, family and friends, events: past, present and future, how we are going to solve half the world’s and our own personal issues. But when I realize and announce that 12 minutes are up, Amanda moves just as fast as she did on one of the repeats to get out. She is just learning to love the ice bath, but I consider myself an ice bath veteran. As long as I have someone to talk to I could stay in all day (hence the catch up phone calls that take place in the ice bath on a weekly basis). It’s the getting in part that is the hardest part, kind of like the first step out the door to get a run in when you are in the heaviest part of training. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the warmth of the sun as we defrost.
Six hours later Amanda comes in from outside and announces the ice bath is still cold if I’m interested in icing again. I decline. Three days later we call each other states away while in our own ice baths just to pass the time and reminisce. Oh, and in case you were wondering, getting soaked by Boyd today while he swam in his pool/ ice bath vessel wasn’t so bad since there was an absence of ice cubes floating around.