Purveyors of Pain - Gettin My Shit Worked Out

WARNING: This post is NOT about cute
kitties massaging each other. 
I had never met this man in my life. He was an older gentleman with a quiet voice and happy eyes. A very paternal figure with a comforting presence. I had no idea how much pain he was about to inflict on me. 

I was naked and lying on the table staring at the vintage PBR mural on the wall, draped in tension, exposed and vulnerable and before I knew it I was screaming obscenities. Really. And it was LOUD. And HOLY CRAP it was painful. 

Dude was digging fists, knuckles and elbows into my body like it was a fucking martial art. He mashed areas of my body no masseur would ever dare to touch. He started with my glutes, crushing his entire body weight into my ass cheek with his fist. Then when he found the knot - OH HOLY FUCK!!!! Here we go... 

...the knot moved off his knuckle but he catches it with his fist until he has it pinned and then...


Yeah. I was writhing in pain, screaming loudly, starting to sweat and trying to wiggle out of his grip but he has me pinned to the bed with two hands now and he's working my left ass cheek like its a full on boxing match.

Then a reprieve.

I hear a whisper near my ear "You can try, but you can't escape..."

I'm breathing hard. Like I've just ran a 6 minute mile. 

Then out of the corner of my eye I see him over to my right. His body is positioned like he's about to push start a car - both hands in front of him, strong stance and then...


Yeah. This ritual was repeated on my quads, my hamstrings (OH FUCK MY HAMSTRINGS!!!) my calves, the bottoms of my feet and then my hips. He also worked some stuff out of my back, shoulders, and forearms.

After about an hour of this my entire body was buzzing like I was drunk, I was sweating, and I had this intense desire to devour a foot-long sandwich. WTF?

There were no scented candles, no hot stones, no footbaths, no aromatherapy. This place and these therapists are all bizness.

But I knew that going in. They are the infamous Monsters of Massage located in Newcastle, CA. They are the massage pros for the pros and they will deliver. Holy fuck will they deliver. Their specialty is endurance athletes. They have a wall of finish line photos of their clients after their 100s or 50s and they are the premiere masseurs for the internationally known Western States Endurance Run.

And so far they have gotten shit worked out that I've had for years like the knot monster I dealt with way back in September 2010. Yeah. I gave up on that one a long time ago, but I clearly needed to get that taken care of.

I think these "massages" along with all the other stuff I've been doing at The Ranch Athletics has helped my achilles dramatically. In fact, I was able to do an easy 4.7 mile trail run last Saturday, another easy 4 miler with hills on Wednesday and another very flat 4 miler pushing my pace down to 8:15min/mile on Friday. Today (Sunday) I managed a few hill repeats and if it weren't for the smoke in the air (sadly the fire in Foresthill is burning up part of the Western States trails) I would have done more and tried to push even harder. But, even though each day has been progressively better on my achilles I'm still a little gun shy so I'm being extra careful.

I have another sports massage planned for next Wednesday - this time at the spa - a birthday present and much needed break from The Monsters although it might feel more like a tickle after being subjected to Monster's pain therapy which I go back in for in a couple weeks. But despite my lack of running (what's new?) I'm feeling even stronger and more solid on the hills.

My mental training seems to be working as well. I'm not so worried about this race as much as I was before and I'm even more convinced that I can slay this beast. But the fact remains (as it did with my 100k) that I've never ran that distance before on that difficult of a course and with this kind of training so until I get out there and run it I won't know what I'm capable of. 

Still... I'm feeling strong and think I can do this. But if I'm gonna get my ass to that finish line I've got to maintain this mental attitude which isn't easy for me. My head is my worst enemy, but I'm killing it now and I think that's gonna be what's gonna get me to this finish line four weeks from now.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


  1. As sick as this sounds (after reading your post) ... now I want a massage from them! ha I've had one from them post race and post WS training run - yup, damn good. Wish I lived closer.

    No doubt your head (not you specificially but in general) is totally one's worst enemy. I did a double loop marathon last summer and I had to tell my brain that I was only running two halves - weird I know, but it worked to start counting from 1 in my head again.

    So what is up with your achilles? My hubs I think has a partially torn one and he doesn't believe doing anything (like massage or um, rest) will help. I get that, as I am stubborn but I'll do what it takes to get back to running ya know?

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing about your 100 miler. I'll be sending pain free running vibes your way.

    Sucks about the fire too. It is bad in EDH and Roseville, I cannot imagine what you have to run in right now.

  2. Damn, I actually read that and go oh hell yes! Half the massages I have had in my life just feel like girls rubbing me, k not a complaint but seriously I rarely feel the nots rubbed out! I need to hunt down someone like the monsters here in seattle...I will be interested to hear about your wednesday appointment!

  3. "draped in tension". damn that is some good writing right there.


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