If you read my training updates you’ll know the last few weeks have seen my legs tire and stiffen… a lot.. ..I’ve been running for bloody weeks now, I mean I kinda feel like Forrest Gump..except I go home and go to work…so nothing like Forrest really, haha. A combination of increasing the long run mileage and spending 9hrs+ completely sedentary in the office, throw in my lack of stretching/foam rolling…. stiffness is to be expected.
A friend in my running group suggested I try a sports massage, there’s a place in town doing a marathon runner package, 4 treatments for £100 – 3pre and 1post marathon treatment. She’d had one and said she felt like she had been given new legs. I decided to take her advice, because new legs!!!
After a couple of Facebook PMs back and forth… On Monday evening I found myself in the waiting area of SMART (Sports Massage And Remedial Therapy) in town. It had a clinic crossed with a spa feel about it. The walls proudly displaying awards, certificates and pictures of Olympians and Commonwealth athletes who’d had treatments by the girls at SMART. Actual athletes… why the hell I was here? I mean I’m barely even a runner… just at that thought, Caroline, my therapist, popped out of her treatment room, apologised for running over her time and asked me to fill in a form with all my details, describing any pains or injuries.
Before I could change my mind Caroline was in the waiting area introducing herself properly and welcoming me into her treatment room where we discussed the treatments, my stiffness and any pains or niggles. She had me do a couple of movements on the massage bed to test my hip flexor tightness, range of motion etc. My hip flexors were TIGHT, desk job struggles!!
Caroline began by lightly massaging my hamstrings to warm them up before getting deeper and turning masseuse to masochist, haha just kidding but I won’t lie it was painful. I think I have a pretty high pain threshold (I mean I smashed my face on concrete once and didn’t feel a thing!)
Every muscle was really tight (according to Caroline) and hurt when she tried to massage the deep tissue. I could have asked her to stop but I guess I thought the firmer the better, no pain no gain and all that, right? My glutes, well, I think they are actually dead, (I need a new job, the desk and chair is killing me!). I can’t explain the pain of having an elbow pushed into your butt cheek with someone’s full strength but believe me when I say this…it hurt like HELL!!! A forearm rolling pin run up your quad muscle, OUCH! The strongest thumbs in the world flattening out your calves….my eyes were watering and my teeth were gritted but 15 minutes over the scheduled hour and Caroline was finished torturing me.
After the massage she explained some excercises for me to do and talked me through a few things she recommended I try with a foam roller. Which she then also sent me via Facebook when I got home so I didn’t forget.
I drove home feeling like my legs had been brutally beaten up, does anyone tenderise their steaks with a mallet?…that’s what happened to my legs!
In bed that night my legs actually felt really loose, light and floaty. Result!
When I got up in the morning though my legs felt badly bruised and sore to touch, there were actual bruises on my upper thighs on both legs (the photos didn’t do the bruises justice so I haven’t shared them). I was advised not to run for 24hrs (48hrs if I felt really sore) so I missed my 5 mile run on Tuesday. On Wednesday though I met Mairi and Emma for a 5 miler and it was tough, my legs were aching so bad I had to slow right down at the end.
The bruising is fading and the my legs feel good today but I haven’t been for a run since Wednesday and I’m running a Half Marathon tomorrow, here’s hoping I feel the benefits to make the pain worthwhile ….eeek!
Have you ever experienced a sports massage? … please tell me you felt the benefits after the pain…even if you didn’t just tell me you did!!
Thanks for reading😊
Have a great day ❤