If I knew exactly how I am able to recover rather quickly from one race and move onto the next, I would bottle it, put a nice label on it, and sell it at marathon expos all over the world. I do know, however, that there are certain things I strictly adhere to which have undoubtedly helped me continue to run and race healthy for five plus years now.
I remember where I was sitting: a sandwich place in Bellevue, WA with my friend Todd in 2006. It was the day before the now defunct Seafair Marathon. My cell phone rang and I recognized the area code but not the number. I answered and was put in touch with a massage therapist, Terrel Hale, who was donating his services for the rest of the year in order to make sure I was able to complete my 52 Marathons in 52 weekends. Now, I had already been aware of how important massages is to overall health and fitness and was getting one about every month prior to this phone call. It was all I thought I could afford at the time. However, after getting the massages from Terrell for the remaining five months of that year, I changed my tune. Massages were no longer luxuries- they were necessities.
The knock on massages is that they are too pricey. Now living 2000 miles and four years removed from the massages I received from Terrel, I can understand that rational, being that they are no longer donated. But people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on orthotics, hospital trips, doctor bills etc., when a simple $60 massage can help prevent many of those problems. We spend so much money maintaining our cars but so little money maintaining our bodies. When I moved to Salt Lake City, I made it a point to find an inexpensive massage place. Fortunately, I found a school where both practicing students and licensed therapists work together. Are the massages by the students the best in the world? No. Are they very inexpensive and still far better than nothing? Yes! In fact, I can get a massage for three straight weeks for the price of a regular massage elsewhere. That constant maintenance and care to my tired body has paid dividends.
I have been injured in every sport I have ever played. While I have had aches and pains and soreness abound from what I do with my body in the running and triathlon world, I have now completed 129 marathons and continue to run injury free. Is some of it genetics? I have no doubt. Is part of it my diet, which I talk about here? No one can rightfully question that. But I also know that taking care of my body not only means fueling it properly from within but also making sure it is cared for from the outside.