Saturday, January 24, 2009

well, my skin is moisturized

dear legs,

i know you are still going to be pissed at me even though we went for a "massage". i still upheld my end of the deal, i just didn't realize the massage would not be adequate for our needs.

my sincerest apologies,
me & my wallet
i called for a massage appointment this morning and went in for it this afternoon. actually, first i called the place i wanted to try out, but when they didn't answer either time i called, i settled for another place i had a flyer for from a recent local race. i feel like i've heard some not-so-positive things about deep tissue massages for runners, so i opted for the swedish massage with firm pressure (vs light).

according to their website, they also offer trigger point therapy, deep tissue, sports, reflexology, and cranial sacral. in my opinion, trigger point and reflexology is for working on specific issues, and i wanted more of a general rub-down for my back and legs. the "sports" massage intrigues me, but i've heard that some places use that term loosely and just charge you more. since this was my first-ever official massage (vs having j put pressure on my troublesome shoulders) i didn't really know what to ask for and i figured a swedish massage would be sufficient. i assumed it would mean some pressure, but not too intense, and that my whole body would get some attention.

essentially, i got to relax and have lotion applied for an hour. my masseuse and i definitely talked about the two hard races i ran recently, but did he spend extra time on my legs? no. did he apply any sort of pressure while rubbing my legs? no. i also told him about my shoulders and their tendency to have knots. did he spend extra time on my shoulders? no. did he apply any sort of pressure to them? not really. at times he'd actually do more than just rub but it didn't last long enough to feel like a real massage. my forearms were the only part that i felt were actually massaged well. yeah, those are probably the most fatigued part of my body...

maybe i should've gone for the deep tissue? i was just afraid they'd really put pressure on and end up hurting something, if that makes sense. maybe this is just how swedish massages are, and i was falsely expecting to have more pressure applied to my shoulders and legs when i mentioned them. perhaps i'll still notice a difference during tomorrow's run, and today won't have been a complete waste. next time, at a different massage establishment, i guess i'll request a deep tissue massage and be more specific of the areas i want worked.

for those of you who haven't been introduced to the sweet, sweet burpee (or burpie), please see the video below. the pair at the beginning of the clip demonstrate it the best, the two girls they cut to later need to work on their form, and i definitely don't have a set of rings like they use at the end. my rowing coaches in college made us do these, mostly as punishment if you were late to practice. one morning i was over a half-hour late to 5am weights thanks to missing my alarm, and had to crank out a burpee for each minute i was late. it was painful (and i was in pretty good shape then with all the 2- or 3-a-days!)


  1. Hey, I used to burpees in grade school...though I think we cut out the push up.

    I'm sorry your massage didn't go well. A good therapist will ask you before the massage if you're experiencing any problem areas, and they'll also continuously ask for feedback about the amount of pressure they're applying...notthat I'm an expert I haven't had one in over 2 years, but I was lucky to know a good therapist.

    I'm mostly doing the speedwork now to prepare for the shorter races...though I consider the shorter races important benchmarks for a 1:15 half marathon.

    My parents and my inlaws both live out of town so we tend to get rid of the kids for weeks at a time over the summer. My wife and I use the time to travel, so I'll have some light weeks in the early summer. Then there will be a period at the end of the summer where my mileage builds up, but the all of the runs will be easy runs. Once I'm into the actual marathon plan, there won't be anything at R pace any more.

    I think the easy weeks over the summer are necessary to prevent burnout at the very least.

  2. Ugh. Used to do those in tennis in high school. Didn't call them burpees though. Called them "hell".

  3. Sorry to hear that the massage was disappointing. Maybe he thought you raced on your hands?! sheesh!

    We do burpees in my boot camop... I love to hate them!

  4. Anytime we had someone late to rowing practice, we as a whole team, had to run together and go get the person out of bed, and then run back with them as a team.

    Although my favorite was when the team crashed three boats in one week and we had to, all 60 of us, run Indian runs for an hour around the indoor track.

    I was the only coxswain to make it to the end. I earned my spot in the boat that day. :)

  5. I love massages. On thing I learned was that you need to tell/ask the person who is giving the massage what you exactly want (work longer on the legs, apply more pressure etc.)

  6. one of my friends is going to massage school right now - I'll have to ask him what you should ask for - it sounds like you got what my husband and i got on our honeymoon in aruba. we have never gone back to get a massage since then. i actually ended up getting a rash after all of those oils! and bill, well he was scarred for life for reasons, i will have to tell you about only on facebook. ;-)

  7. I'm sorry your massage wasn't good. He should have asked you how the pressure was so you could give him feedback. A good Swedish massage with firm pressure should not just feel like a lotion rubdown. I'm no expert, but I have had a few and they have been pretty firm without being painful (as was the deep tissue), and the therapist asked me multiple times how the pressure was.