01 February 2012


I feel a somewhat decadent.  All these years running have taken their toll on me.  I've been pounding the pavement/trails for over 35+ years and I sometimes can feel all those miles.    

I never ran in high school (slacker) and it wasn't until I joined the corps in college that I started to run with the outfit.  No real discipline to running, the objective was to wear you down.  The Army had us running in in formation in combat boots and fatigues.  I actually started running seriously when I was stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky in the winter of 1980.  My roommate and I were trying to lose weight and get more exercise.  He did jump rope, I did running.  He would drive his 1979 Volkswagen Diesel Rabbit over to the post gym about 5 miles away, fire up the sauna, and start jumping rope for an hour.  I never was coordinated enough to do that for any extended period of time, so, I would lace up and run across post over to the gym.  By the time I got there, we had both worked up a sweat and we jumped into the sauna for 30 minutes.  We used to pride ourselves on maxing out the temperature and time sweating in out.  We'd get out after 30 minutes, jump into a cold shower and then back into the sauna for another 10.  During that short 4 months at Ft Knox, I dropped 20 lbs under this routine.  Of course, I made some of that back when we hit the Officer's Club on Thursday night for nickle beer night.

Ever since then, I was hooked on running.  I ran while we lived in Germany.  I preferred to do it solo, not with a group.  When I left the Army and came back stateside, I would run off and on during the week, but not religiously.  I started doing 5 & 10ks on the weekends, but, when my son came along, I gave up on those for a long while.  In my old job, they had a nice workout facility with showers, but I never was a treadmill kind of guy, so I ran the country roads around the plant.  I could get in a good 3-4 mile run for lunch and still make my afternoon meetings.  My new place has the same kind of work out center and I try to knock out a good 3-4 mile run several times a week, as time allows.  I figure it is better than sitting on my assets eating a big lunch every day.         

All this running has left me sore and stiff at times.  I am old enough to expect a little soreness.  I figure, if I ran more, I wouldn't be as sore.  Besides, that's what they made Advil for.  When I have done the last few marathons, I noticed that there are massages for runners afterwards.  I have always wanted to do one, but never had the time or nerve to sign up.  I felt this was a bit self indulgent.  I have always felt I should just cowboy up and take some more Advil and sit on my heating pad.  I won a free massage at the Health Expo, and, since I have been feeling a bit sore after the half marathon, I was considering a massage.  I finally decided to check out the local place near my house on Monday.  I have done several chair massages, but never a full body, lay on the table, get beat up by some person while listening to tantric music.  I was a total newbie and I had no concept on what to expect.   I wasn't sure what I needed to do, but being an engineer, I researched it to the max and did the cost/benefit analysis.  Despite my trepidation, it had a great massage.  Spent an hour on the table with a young lady named Ashley who worked me over like she was kneading a loaf of bread.  She stretched & kneaded & and massaged the muscles in my back and neck and legs and was able to work out a lot of my soreness/stiffness.  I was highly impressed with Ashley's skill and ability - she was very adept in finding the tight spots and relieving pressure points.  To me, this was a pure luxury.  Something you do when you are on a cruise or at a resort.  They do massages for runners/athletes to work out stiff muscles and prevent injury.  I was a bit sore afterwards, but it was a good kind of pain.  

They have a wellness program where you can get weekly/monthly massages for a nominal fee.  It is not something I would have considered before for myself, but I am seriously considering it now.  I am already making plans to book a massage after next year's half marathon (if I still run it).  The question comes to mind, have you ever done a massage?  


terri said...

I have never had a massage. Something about laying on a table and letting a stranger put their hands all over you doesn't sound appealing to me. But maybe... after your description.. probably not.

Glad you had such a good experience and found some relief from your aches and pains.

Rock Chef said...

Cost/benefit analysis suggests that the massage was a good move :-)

I have had shiatsu massage done by a friend who is into martial arts etc. Loved it, and it more or less cured my sciatica that developed when I was doing manual work.

Terri - just think of it as a slightly more intimate version of your chiropractor!

agg79 said...


I had the same concerns as you. Took me a while to work up the nerve to try it out (something to do with being touched by a complete stranger). I think if I can find a person I like or prefer, it would make it easier to do.


You're right. I had a combination deep tissue/sport massage. It wasn't as rough as I had imagined and it helped loosen up my back.

"Abby" said...

I would LOVE to have a real massage! I've gotten "quickies" at the chiropractor, but they just leave me wanting more.

Seriously, though, it makes sense that it would be beneficial. I'm interested to see if regular sports massage will keep your running longer!

ShadowRun300 said...

You have pretty well described everything I've been thinking and feeling lately. I haven't run for nearly as many years as you, but the older I get, the stiffer I am and the longer it takes me to recover. I've been thinking I need to give it up, BUT I've also thought, "If I could just have someone push really hard on my muscles and loosen them up, maybe I could keep going." And here you are actually doing it! I've had 2 "normal" massages - one male (very uncomfortable for me) and one female (very relaxing). So I would like to have a female - unless I happen to be able to talk my husband into it. (yeah, right)
Seriously though. Let me know if it helps you. I am really not ready to give up running yet...