9 Days to WSER: Monsters Fighting Demons

At the finish of each of the three official Western States training runs that I ran in May there were massages provided by Monsters of Massage. Their slogan is “It takes monsters to get demons” and they use a massage technique called “Attack-Oriented Target Massage”, developed by the founder Ve Loyce. I received a massage from Ve Loyce after the final day’s run and it was very effective at loosening some tightness in my glutes. Sports massage can never be considered enjoyable, but this was the most painful I have experienced as Ve Loyce drilled his elbow into my glute while simultaneously holding on to stop me from rolling away from the pain.

Therefore it was obvious that when I arranged a final massage to loosen the muscles before the big race that I would ensure to go back to nobody else. I booked a 30-minute appointment with Ve Loyce at his studio a few miles out of Auburn. It was conveniently located between Curt’s house, where I had stayed the previous night, and Truckee, where I would stay for the following week.

For after the massage I had looked into some short running options en route to Truckee on the climb over Donner Pass, but even as I got out of my car prior to the appointment I thought that maybe a run wasn’t really the best idea. Ve Loyce managed to hold true to form, and had me squirming all over the massage table. He worked all of my leg muscles but really focussed on my glutes, which seem to currently be the weakest muscles in my running physiology. Previously it was my calves that would get sore before my other running muscles. I will possibly look to incorporate some better stretching and strengthening (with a focus on glutes, hips and core) after the race but I do not find it to be a concerning problem.

After the massage I realised that a run was definitely not going to happen and instead planned out the remainder of my ad-hoc rest day.


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