Tuesday, August 28, 2012

King of Pain

Recently, I went to see my massage terrorist, Ron.  I’d scheduled my appointment a few weeks prior figuring that I’d need a tune up after the half-marathon that I ran at the beginning of August, which was, incidentally, only three weeks after Racine 70.3. (Yes, I’m still working on that race report!)  Thankfully, my legs were feeling pretty good after my last tune-up just a week before the marathon.

I’d been having some on again, off again pain on the left side of my back near the bottom of my shoulder blade.  It’s been going on for several months, but it’s gotten worse since my fall in Ohio.  I know, I know.  I need to get that race report done!  Long story short – Joe and I were cycling in Ohio and I lost my balance while stopped at a stop sign and fell, still clipped onto my bike.  I had a few cuts and bruises; my biggest injury was a gouge in my hand from landing on a sharp rock.  Or, so I thought.

I attributed the back/shoulder pain to swimming.  I cut back on my swimming to no avail.  I stretched and stretched some more.  Nada.  I was more focused on rehabbing my legs than my shoulders and back so I didn’t mention it to Ron before the race.  Besides, being an athlete, I’m used to little nagging aches and pains.

The half-marathon was great.  I was a bit leery of doing it for several reasons.  Number one reason being why would anyone want to run a half-marathon in the Georgia August heat?  Number two – Joe was TDY and the kids would be by themselves for several hours on a Saturday morning.  Big whoop for them – can you say television?  They could have cared less if I was home or not, but I’m not a big fan of them sitting in front of the television for hours on end watching the likes of Jessie, Pokémon and Phineas and Ferb!  Aha, though!  One of the Girl Scout leaders was running a water station at the race and offered to have the kids help man it.  Perfect – the kids will love me!  I softened the blow by offering to buy them donuts at the local “specialty” donut shop if they were good.

My cheering squad!
Reason number three was only a minor one since this was to be a “C” race for me, meaning I was just going out and running it like a training run.  “A” races are, you guessed it, the important ones.  Despite it being a “C” race, I was running it in memory of Joe’s teammate’s wife, Sandra, who had just passed away earlier that week.  This race was touted as a “partial trail run”.  I had never done a trail run.  I am very leery of running on uneven terrain since I sprained my ankle pretty badly several years ago.  Since it was a “C” race, I figured I could take it slow.  I wasn’t going to win anyway.

The race went well.  The kids were well behaved and cheered like mad when they saw me.  I had to take water from all three of the kids and begged off from several more kids who knew me.  The heat wasn’t bad since the race started at seven and over half of the course was shaded.  The trail part wasn’t bad at all and we even had a canine escort for a couple of miles when a sweet, but unruly black lab left her campsite as we passed, eager to join in the human fun.  I ended up getting a cramp in my leg about a mile out from the finish, but I pushed through and ended up getting third for my age group – my first ever running trophy.  Yay, me!  As promised, the kids got donuts.  Overall, it was a win-win for everyone.

This is NOT what my massages feel like.
So there I was two weeks later – curled up in a fetal position while Ron worked over my ribs and back like a semi-truck rolling over cookie dough.  He pushed, prodded, stretched and who knows what else.  He said he thought that I pulled my inter-costal muscles.

This is what they feel like!
Ladies, you know that point in your labor when you start shaking because the pain is so intense?  Yeah, that’s what I felt like.  I could barely breathe, much less talk to ask Ron to stop.  Whatever he was doing, it made even my chest hurt.  And to think that I thought it hurt when he worked on my hip.  Ha!  Silly me.  Like the song “Dynamite” – it went on and on and on…

Most of you are asking yourselves, “Why in the heck does she put herself through this kind of pain and suffering?”  Well, it’s obvious isn’t it?  So I can run further and with less pain.  Seriously.  Short-term pain for long-term gain.

Within a couple of days, everywhere but that one stubborn spot was back to status quo.  I don’t have any more races scheduled for a while so I guess I really need to address this.  Ron’s a great guy and really knows his stuff, but I’m just don’t think I’m ready for another session with the King of Pain.

My first running trophy and in a "C" race at that!

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