A Chameleon in the Land of Bruise
So, since I had that hip pain in my left leg leading up to and during the Around the Bay road race I've been going to a massage therapist to try and get my body back into whatever shape it has to be in to allow me to continue running without recurring injury. The hip issue in particular was the impetus for my recent visits and the culprit was deemed to be a very tight ITB as well as tight quads and hamstrings. As it turns out stretching doesn't work very well at all on muscles, but rather improves the range of motion in joints. However, when all that tight tissue limits the motion of the joint in question no amount of stretching will help to solve the resulting problem, which in my case manifested itself in a painful hip.
All that being said, I admit that the massage therapy has already helped. In my first run after the race I managed about 3 or 4 kilometres before feeling pain in the hip. Last weekend I didn't feel the pain until the 8th kilometre. And this past Wednesday I didn't feel any pain at all on my 5k. I didn't run today partly because we spent the day driving to Ottawa, but mostly because I've been laid up with a really bad cold since Wednesday night. (I am hoping that I'll recover enough to go for another long run this Sunday while we're still in Ottawa - the weather is supposed to be great and I love running along the Canal!)
Alright, what the hell was that warning about at the beginning of this post, you are likely asking yourself. Well, remember that massage therapy I was talking about? It's not the kind where you lie down, listen to some new age music, and chill out. This type hurts like crazy, though in that good kind of way. However, never in my experience has it resulted in any sort of bruising. Until now, that is.
While working to get my quads and ITB to release a particularly sensitive area up at the top of the thigh was subject to some pretty good pressure, and here are the results (and the reason for my warning for those who might be a little squeamish):
First, hours after the massage:
Second, two days later (ie: this morning):
I didn't bother taking a picture this evening, but let's just say that the area looks like a bunch of different colours of play dough all messed up together and is definitely on the gross side. Sure, my range of motion has improved, but is this going too far? The massage therapist said there may be some bruising, but should I be worried? I feel like I'm the therapist personal science experiment or something. Has anything like this happened to anyone out there as a result of a massage? I never would have suspected that I'd put myself through anything like this for the sake of running, and yet here we are...
BTW: The other thing I learned while engaging in this embarrasing exercise is that it's REALLY hard to take a good picture of a bruise. The above are the best I could manage that come even close to doing my pain proper justice.