Friday, July 27, 2012

When the body needs a good rubbin'

Coming off a week of recovery, I’m having trouble getting the motor running again. The 5:30am rides and runs that once came easy taste bitter now. Something must be said for motivation and what it can do for the athlete’s palate. My Lake Stevens 70.3 experience seemed so sweet when I crossed the finish line (don’t ask me how I felt halfway through the run). My post-race aches and pains have subsided, but laziness of “recovery” still lingers.

I started working for the Smiths at Smith’s Hilltop Orchard the day after returning from the west side. Selling cherries was easier than walking out to pick them, as I ambled along, unable to completely extend my knees. To say my quads were sore would be an understatement, and two days of inactivity felt like a blessing. Wednesday arrived, and I felt like I needed to start getting the body moving again. My bike ride didn’t last much longer than 45 minutes, and my speed hardly topped 15mph. That’s ok, I thought. You’re still recovering. Thursday’s run didn’t feel much better, as I don’t think I had quite enough pep for more than 2 miles. Maci looked pretty disappointed.

Friday? I figured this would be the day things would start moving a little better. I moved better, but felt like I weighed about 15 extra pounds. Nothing could be quite as demoralizing as feeling as though you’re kicking out a 90% effort to see you’re not moving any faster than 16mph. I felt my heart rate climb fast, while the ground beneath my pedals hardly moved. Some serious self-assessment was in order.

My schedule for the next 6 weeks of training came in the form of an email Friday night. James had done a remarkable job of working to put together a rigorous training schedule, tailored to preparing me for Worlds in September. This pretty much translated to hill repeats on the run and hilly rides on the bike. Suddenly, I realized the time had come for my body to get ready…quick. It became quite clear that with a training schedule as the one James had prepared, I would need some assistance keeping everything injury-free. And so, I’ve decided to incorporate regular massage into my schedule. I’m not looking for the “oh-it-feels-so-good” types of massage, but the, “holy hell I’m crying!” kind that work out all the adhesions and tight muscles that result from rigorous training.

I’m about ready to embark on week 2 post-recovery week, and you can now regularly find me at Elements Therapeutic Massage. I can’t say enough about what these ladies (and gentlemen) do for you. Three different therapists at the Wandermere location have worked on me, and each of them have done a great job of addressing the spots causing me the most trouble. After my bike crash, it was my neck and upper back. After Boise, it was my legs.

So, if you’re feeling a little rundown or sore, and stretching and ice haven’t alleviated the symptoms, I’d recommend giving Elements a call. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. You can find them online at, or call them (Wandermere location) at (509) 340-3303. Let me know if you need any suggestions or recommendations! 

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