Something I've read before but never put into practice is this: pre-race massage. Hmm, why haven't I tried this out before? I mean: I love running/racing. I love massages. Why not combine them, i.e. use the massage as a lead up to the race or part of my preparation? Doing some research this morning has informed me that ideally getting one from 3 to 5 days before your event can be very beneficial. I think I'll be getting one when I head up to Hangzhou (the capital of this province, and where I fly out from), which will be 3 days out from raceday. We wonder sometimes, Husband and I, why we haven't gotten more massages while we've been living here. Because we both LOVE getting massages. Hmmm, for me I think it comes down to this: not knowing which 'massage' places or spas are legit (and not brothels, of which there are many in our neighbourhood, ahem...) and the one massage I tried in a local, looked-legit place around the corner ended up being extremely painful and more of a manipulation massage rather than a relaxing, oily type. The BEST massage I've had out of my maybe 4 massages in total since being in China (in other cities), was one at the airport hotel in Shanghai airport. It was a Swedish massage and this will be the type I'll look for on Thursday. Of course, you can't beat a wonderful Balinese massage, but my journey's sadly not taking back to Bali this year (sigh). On this note if you're ever in Bali, get up to North Bali to a place called Bondalem - it's gorgeous, totally natural and beautiful, and far from the maddening crowds of infamous Kuta or Seminyak. Our friends have a villa there, Villa Selina (http://villa-selina-bali.com/), where you can stay and experience whatever's your cup of tea (surfing, hiking to a waterfall, chilling by the pool with copious Bintang beers, or sunrise yoga looking at the ocean). Another highlight of staying there (along with the amazing fresh and delicious food, and wonderful, warm company and hospitality) would be the massages. Seriously, the BEST massage I've ever had was there. Soooooo good. And I've had a lot of massages during holidays in Bali (and other places, but probably the most in Bali), and this was hands down the BEST. Ask for the masseur Firman, and they'll hook you up.
Here are some photos of beautiful Bondalem and Villa Selina from last year. Oh, if only I could fly in and see Matt and Putu and family, and the talented Firman before my race!
So, in summary, if I can seek out a masseur who is anything like Firman was, then I'll be a happy camper (or even more of a happy camper) and fully fully prepared for the weekend's race.
Do you get a massage before a race? Or regular massages when you are training? (It's something I should do, but haven't incorporated it into my training or routine for some reason, d'oh...)