Get the Message? Get a Massage!

First off, I have to mention this past weekend's Senior Concerns Love Run one more time.  I attended an reception for event volunteers and sponsors yesterday.  What a nice group of people who are dedicated to the local Meals on Wheels program!  With the support of this race and other donors, Senior Concerns will provide over 50,000 meals to seniors in the Conejo Valley who are unable to shop or cook for themselves this year.  For nearly 35 years this organization has made a positive, direct impact on the lives of local seniors.

Additionally, I witnessed first-hand the wonderful generosity of the local Jersey Mike's organization.  Jersey Mike's assumed title sponsorship of the event and donated $10,000 and lots of delicious food for the the event.  I personally visit Jersey Mike's about 2 times a week and love their sandwiches and their upbeat staff.  Visit or click HERE for local Jersey Mike's locations.

So after the race, I was pretty darn sore.  I gave it a pretty good effort and my legs felt it.  So even though after the race I pretty much wanted to curl up in a ball and take a nap, I knew the best thing I could do was to "cool down."  Drink some water and do a very slow 10 minutes or so to get the blood flowing in my legs.

The next thing that would have been nice to do would be to jump in a cool, refreshing pool and/or put some ice on the sore spots.  I didn't do either one due to logistical issues but if I could have, I would have.

I didn't exert myself much the rest of the day.  In fact, I enjoyed time with the family and downed a sizeable portion of sake and sushi at Cho Cho San in Thousand Oaks while watching the Lakers clobber the Magic in Game 2.  I was not feeling much pain as my wife drove the minivan home.

The next day was a different story.  The entire lower half of my body was sore...hamstrings, quads, calves.  I walked around like an old man, which admittedly I am, but not THAT old.  But I did manage to slog out a 30 minute very slow run/jog on the trails near my house.  I could have taken the day off but I wanted to continue the blood flow in the legs.

Monday night at the gym (yes, I maintain 3X per week gym routine barring injury), I did a light workout and skipped working out my sore legs.  But I continued to keep the blood flow moving by doing 15 minutes on an eliptical machine.

So getting to the main point of this post, on Tuesday I scheduled a lunchtime deep tissue massage to alleviate the continued, albeit slightly less soreness in my legs.  In my experience, massage is a very valuable tool in the training arsenal.  In fact, effective massage from a skilled therapist has alleviated chronic hamstring problems that rest, ice, Advil, stretching and even chiropractors were not able to resolve for me.

The two main problems with massage are 1) it can be time consuming and inconvenient and 2) it costs $$$.  The first problem is not a real issue if you MAKE TIME for it and plan in advance.  If you wait until you REALLY NEED a massage NOW, it may be difficult scheduling an appointment.  So schedule massages IN ADVANCE!

Regarding the cost, yes, if you get massages once a week and they cost $90 (including gratuity) each time, you're talking a monthly car payment.  For some of you, massage is covered by your health insurance, so check it out.  For others, how about a massage every few weeks, after a long training run or exerting yourself in a race.

That said, massage has really become mainstream and there many places that offer very good massage for very reasonable prices.  For example, I get great massages at The Massage Place at The Palms Center at 2100 Outlet Center Drive, Oxnard (805.485.0568) for as little as $39 to $45 (plus gratuity) per hour.  There are other The Massage Place locations in Ventura and Los Angeles.  Visit for more information.  Another growing massage clinic chain with great prices is Massage Envy, with locations in Westlake Village, Camarillo, Simi Valley and throughout the country.  Visit for more information.