Monday morning I woke up with one thing on my mind: massage.
I scoured the web for every massage therapist that specialized in sports massage, and as soon as the clock struck 8am, I started calling everyone to try to get in ASAP. Of course everywhere was booked out except for the most expensive option in town. Uff. But I've already invested time, money, and so much energy into my upcoming 26.2 that getting healthy takes precedence over having $$$.
I went in and let her know about my knee pain, I shared my usual tight spots: IT bands, piriformis, and QLs. I guessed that something in my back/butt/hips was the culprit with the recent lower back pain, and something in that same boat was likely pulling my knee out of whack as well. She told me she'd concentrate on those and then reminded me that this would be very uncomfortable.
Well, so is running 26.2 miles with knee and/or hip pain. Trust me.
I got destroyed.
She started with my back/QLs which were tight, but not nearly as painful as the last time they were worked. She then moved to my glutes. It was during this part of the massage that she told me to tap into my yoga practice and implement some deep meditative breaths to get through the pain. I was *that* knotted up. I was practically in tears and hoping that 60 minutes had already past.
She then went to my calves. Which never give me problems. And of course she found a huge knot in the top of my calve, likely pulling my knee off. More excruciating pain. Yay.
Next up was my hamstrings. Also, NBD, right? Wrong. Remember after my 3k XC race I had some hamstring tightness? Well I had forgotten. I was smart and rested extra and foam rolled it out until I couldn't feel it anywhere. Well apparently it was still there. Can you request an epidural during a massage? Because I'd pay extra for it at this moment. I had a giant knot in my right one, and my left was ok.
She did some hip opening leg swings before moving on to more torture.
She flipped me over on to my back and did some work on my shoulders/neck and finally told me that she's never seen someone so asymmetrical as me. One shoulder was way higher, my hips were off, and what would be super tight on the left would be not so bad on the right, and vice versa with all the muscles she worked.
Apparently she saved the worst for last because I told her I needed a second while she was working on my IT bands and she was shocked because she was only doing the "muscle warm up" portion before she actually worked them. Oh Em Gee.
She also wanted to work my adductors since those are usually tight with hip tightness, and again I couldn't hack the pain. I apologized for being a wuss with an apparently low pain tolerance, and she said that most people would've been crying with what she put me through. It made me feel better for having my eyes full of tears for 80% of it.
I drank and drank and drank and drank for about 48 hours after the massage to help my body heal. And really I've tried to keep up that excessive drinking beyond that 48 hours because I could really stand to drink more water daily anyway. I felt incredibly nauseous most of Monday after the massage. At work. It was a treat. Tuesday I had worst DOMS than I've ever had from a race, marathon included. My whole body just felt wrecked.
Wednesday I still had quite a bit of soreness, but it's definitely subsiding. I had toyed with going for a run Wednesday after work, but instead decided to do some stretching and yoga to further help my muscles along.
My current plan: an easy 2-3 miles Thursday morning with hopefully no knee pain. Friday, I'm going to try my hardest to knock out my last major long run before taper. I hope to run somewhere between 3 hours and 20 miles, legs dependent.
I also plan to get in weekly for more massage/torture up to race week. Based on the pain I wasn't even able to bear, there's still quite a bit of work to be done, apparently.
So please cross your fingers my body behaves and I can make it to the start line in Bemidji ready to tackle 26.2 miles. I'm not looking for another marathon hobblefest. I've had enough of those to last a lifetime!