For months people have been extolling to me the benefits of having a sports massage. So I did some research and went along to a highly recommended physio pretty close to where I live. I have the big race this weekend and having a massage five days before seemed about right.
I met Anna, my masseuse, and after a quick chat I lay down on the massage table. It all started quite gentle as she felt my muscles to see what needed doing. She explained everything quite clearly as she went along and I started to relax. And then it began.
“Try to relax” Anna said. “I may be able to if you take that knife out of my calf” I thought to myself while willing my body to relax. This lady had fingers of steel and time after time they thrust into my legs. “Try to relax” became a mantra and momentarily I think I managed it a bit. At times I was actually unable to talk through the pain but I knew from what I’d been told that the pain would reduce as my muscles relaxed. And slowly the pain did go but of course that just meant moving those fingers onto the next area.
Calf, Calf, Hamstring, Hamstring and Glutes. Each area received the fingers of steel treatment and survived. My IT band had been bothering me over the last few weeks so she worked on that too.
30 minutes later and it stopped. The fingers of steel stopped prodding me and it was all over. I stood up on shaking legs, put my trousers back on and stumbled out.
As I write this 3 hours afterwards my legs still hurt, as I was told they would do, but it’s a warm kind of pain, I sincerely hope that this helps a little bit at the weekend. The last time I had a massage this painful was in Thailand 20 years ago when a Thai lady walked up and down my back but I think that was more about being drunk than for any therapeutic value.
I won’t know whether this massage has done any good until after this weekend but it has put me in a great state of mind which may help me through 24 hours non stop racing, 15 hours of which will be in the dark.