By a girl no less. I finally caved and decided that nearly a year without a massage was enough. I had been putting off going to see a local massage therapist of whom I had heard rave reviews, but I decided now was the time. See, my last 2 massages, almost exactly a year ago, had left me less than satisfied (and I mean that in a totally non euphemistic way so don't go getting ideas about my recreational activities). But I decided to take my chances and $100 and try again. So Wednesday at lunch I went over to see Renee Avis, the aforementioned masseur. WOW!!
Renee specializes in sports massage and used to work primarily on local professional athletes (Kings, Lakers, AVP...). Due to their unpredictable schedules she opted to cater a little more to the general public. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I told her I was an athlete and at her prompting, ran through a little of my training racing schedule with her so she could get an idea of the punishment I put my body through. Then the fun began!!
OHH MAN!! This was pain! The good pain, but still pain. For the first 20mins Renee focused on my calves as I had informed her of their recent up-rise in response to the training demands. Now, lets get one thing straight, by no means am I a person who thinks he has a high pain tolerance. In fact I think people that openly assert they have a high pain tolerance often turn out to be the biggest pansies. Those who truly have a high pain tolerance, don't know they do, cause the pain doesn't really bother them. I feel pain, it hurts, I don't like it. That is not to say however, that I am a total puss. But, I will readily admit I was on the verge of tears for much of the hour & fifteen. I almost asked her for a stick to bite on.
I have never had a massage where you are put in all these different, contorted positions so the masseuse can access different "concealed" muscles and tissues. Having my joints manipulated while under extreme pinpoint pressure was an entirely foreign and enlightening experience.
Basically it came down to this: My body was JACKED from almost a year of rather intense training without any real maintenance or TLC. This session helped a great deal, but I know I need more.
When it ended (the best part), I felt strangely beat up and renewed at the same time. Renee told me not to be surprised if I felt a little "off" after the massage, because she had likely released a bunch of toxins and acid into my system. FLASHBACK: Last time I had a massage it was right before Wildflower. I had the massage at 6pm, the girl told me to drink LOTS of water before bed and through the night. I went home ate dinner, had a glass of water, and the next morning I promptly began feeling as if i had the flu. I had to leave work. I went home, did not leave for Wildflower as planned, and laid on the couch all day feeling like I'd been on a 3 day Tequilla bender in Tijuana, chasing it with nothing but the local water. I didn't leave the couch, for anything except the all to frequent... uh hemm, bathroom visits. BACK TO THE FUTURE: Sure enough, about 2hrs later I felt the same feeling coming on. But this time I was prepared. I had been drinking water and immediately upped my intake, popped a few tums and some Advil and willed myself resilient. A bit later... the ill effects (pardon the pun) passed and I was home free.
When I was leaving Renee told me not to feel guilty if I didn't want to work out that evening, but it was track with the club, and I wanted to go. I wasn't sure how I would react, especially with the calves in their current unappeasable state and only a few days removed from Oceanside, but the proof of Renee's effectiveness was, "in the pudding." 1st 1600 = 5:32; 2 X 800 in the 2:40's; and 2nd 1600 @ 5:26. I was surprised.
The only disappointment of my visit to Renee was her revelation yesterday in a follow up phone call, that the strange numbness / tingly feeling I have been having in my calves is likely from a impinged disk in my L4 or 5. I am not happy to hear this. Not one bit. While that issue will need further thought and decision making, I have already decided that I need to implement more of this therapy / suffering into my training regimen. Thus, I am committing to another session before Wildflower.
Speaking of Wildflower, I am leaving in T minus 6hrs and 45mins to head up to Lake San Antonio and ride and run the course. Can't have too much experience with that beast. A solid crew (Sean, Ryan, & Bill) will be joining me. I think I may have to give Bill a road map as he is likely to leave us all behind even before Nasty Grade. My goal for the day will be to keep him in sight, or at least within cell phone range. I think I actually have a shot at the latter.
Adios & Happy Easter