All About Sports Massages

I had an appointment for my first sports massage earlier this week.  I’m about a week away from my first half marathon and my hamstrings and glutes have been feeling a little bit dead.  I decided to let an expert step in too reduce the risk of injury before I get to Virginia Beach and I think it turned out to be a great idea.

Massage can prevent injuries and loss of mobility and flexibility.

Sports massages are great if you have an area you know you want to work on because the therapist can focus on that area instead of providing a full body massage (1).  One session can help restore mobility and motion to the area (2).

Physiological Effects of Massage (via SportsInjuryClinic.net):

  • Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
  • Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.

Physical Effects of Massage (via SportsInjuryClinic.net):

  • Pumping – The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
  • Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
  • Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
  • Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
  • Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
  • Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
When To Skip a Massage (source):
  • If you have inflammation: Massage can further irritate an area of inflammation, so you should not administer it. Inflamed conditions include anything that ends in –itis, such as phlebitis (inflammation of a vein), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), arthritis (inflammation of the joints), and so on. In the case of localized problems, you can still massage around them, however, avoiding the inflammation itself.
  • If you have a fever:  When you have a fever, your body is trying to isolate and expel an invader of some kind. Massage increases overall circulation and could therefore work against your body’s natural defenses.
If you’re not sure if a massage would be helpful you can call a sports masseuse.  If they’re a good business they’ll be happy to answer your questions prior to an appointment.
Have you ever had a sports massage?  What did you think of it?

16 Comments

Filed under exercise

Three Things Thursday featuring Natalie Dee

1) I’m doing an upgrade on carlybananas soon (hopefully this weekend)! Keep your eyes peeled because the address will be changing to carlybananas.com. I’m so excited.  I’m still hosting on wordpress.com while I study Katy’s self hosting guide.  I’m still not sure if it’s worthwhile for me since I don’t generate income from the blog. I really just want the plug-in offered but I don’t know anything about hosting.  If you self host and aren’t a technological/internet genius please leave me a comment and let me know how the switch went for you!

2) Apparently a large group of people find my blog weekly by searching my Wordless Wednesday Natalie Dee Post. I didn’t have a Natalie Dee Post this week and my hits went way down. I found a perfect cartoon to be paired with all of the HLS posts floating around.  Have I mentioned how much I love Natalie Dee?

3) I’ve been obsessing over the path of Hurricane Irene all day but for a totally selfish reason.  I have my last pre-Virginia Beach long run scheduled for this weekend and I don’t want to get struck by lightning.  Maybe that’s not such a selfish request…but I should probably be more concerned about the people evacuating their homes.  I really do hope everyone in the storm’s path is safe and it takes a giant turn into the ocean so no one is inconvenienced hurt.

3 Comments

Filed under exercise

Wordless Wednesday: HLS in Silly Photobooth Pictures

There was a photobooth at the HLS Cocktail Party last Friday night (cue Katy Perry song).

Jess, me, Allison

Jess, me, Allison

Jenny, Erin, Victoria, Me

Me, Jenny, Tina

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Who is this CarlyBananas Girl Anyway?

I had the pleasure of attending the Healthy Living Summit this past weekend in Philadelphia.  It was an awesome event and I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend and meet so many sweet, friendly and inspirational (I do not throw that word around lightly) bloggers.

I know that I met so many people that I’m having a hard time keeping track of who everyone is and what they blog about so I thought I’d take a cue from a few fabulous ladies and put together an All About CarlyBananas post.

What to write? What to write?

*waves* Hi. I’m Carly and I’m in love with running.  I’m pretty new to the sport but it’s become my very favorite hobby (unless sushi eating counts as a hobby. Then running is my second favorite).

I live right outside of Washington, DC. I love this city. There’s great history and there’s always something going on.   It also happens to be the second fittest city in the country! Seeing people out and about – running and biking and walking – was great motivation for me to start exercising!

On a morning run past the White House

I’ve been blogging about my experiences as a new runner and my training for my first half marathon since December.  I love running races. I feel like they give me something to work toward.  I’m so proud every time I’m able to run a new distance.  I may be a slowpoke but I enjoy what I’m doing.

For a little more background about me, here are my most read posts:

So welcome new readers! I look forward to catching up with everyone’s blogs in the next few days!

Have you ever attended a blogging conference? Were you at HLS?

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Three Things Thursday – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Edition

1) Virginia Beach Half Marathon:

The Good:  I got my bib number.  I’m #12332! Everything seems so real now! I don’t know if there’s online tracking available but if there is I’ll be sure to make good use of it.

The Bad: I’ve had a knot in my left IT band since Tuesday.  This barely qualifies as “bad” because I’ve been rolling the heck out of it (to the point of bruising my leg) and it’s already so much better.  To be extra safe, I skipped my track workout last night and booked a massage for Monday. I’m really thankful this happened 2.5 weeks prior to the race instead of the week before. Nothing is pulling and I know that an extra rest day or two won’t derail my training so I’m trying not to let this cause any stress.

The Ugly: This is my first half marathon and even though I’m not trying to be, I’m nervous!  I keep having dreams that I’ve been running for a long time and feel so good, but then I look at my watch and realize that either I’ve been running for 7 hours and the end is nowhere in sight  or I’ve went to the finish party before actually finishing the race.

2) Healthy Living Summit:

FINALLY!

The Good:There’s so much good, I don’t even know what to write here! I’m beyond excited to meet up with some of my favorite blog and twitter friends for a weekend of fun in, what is now being dubbed, the City of Bloggerly Love.

The Bad: My packing skills are seriously lacking.

How do I have so much stuff to pack for a 2 day trip?!

The Ugly:

Rain, rain go away

I think the great company will more than make up for the bad weather – and really, I know I’m going to have a great weekend if the weather is the only thing that I’m less than excited about!

3) Shopping

The Good:The Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11’s are out!  I blow through running shoes at an alarming rate and I’m looking forward to adding these into my rotation.

I shall call them fluffy and they will be mine.

The Bad: I have been shopping WAY too much lately. I’ve mentioned that I prefer to wear workout clothes to “regular” clothes but I didn’t realize how much I’m lacking in the regular clothes department until I started packing for HLS.  I’ve been buying a lot of clothes – like cocktail dresses (plural).

The Ugly: Of course I got more workout clothes too… I found a really cute jacket for winter that was on mega sale and I had to snag it.  But it’s totally unnecessary for right now when it’s so hot and humid.

12 Comments

Filed under exercise

Wordless Wednesday: Philly Excitement!

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ditching My Time Goal for My First Half Marathon

I’ve been putting off writing this post for awhile but I realized it would be the perfect topic for my 100th blog post.

Happy 100th Post to Me!

I am so excited to run my first half marathon on September 4th in Virginia Beach.  I’ve been obsessively following a training plan for the last few months in hopes I’d have a great race.  I have bee pretty diligent in following the plan – doing all of my speed work and long runs – but I have found myself totally worried my expected finish time over the last few weeks.

According to Runners World Smart Coach, I should be able to finish this race in just under 2:20. I actually tweaked my training plan quite a bit when I set it up to make sure the finish time would be under 2:20. I’m pretty sure I can finish in that time but I’m not sure if I want to finish in that time.

I’ve been running all of my long runs really slowly and comfortably, as prescribed by Smart Coach. And I’ve read a lot of blog posts and articles that say doing your long runs slowly to build endurance and speed work to build speed is the way to go.  But I’m really hesitant to go into the race and try to run 13.1 miles so much faster than I’ve run any of my training runs.

Sweaty post SLOW 8 mile picture. Ignore the fact that my hand is still moving. I was excited!

Maybe I’ll be able to, but I think I want my first half marathon to be about the excitement of a the race (that happens to have a view of the ocean for a good part of the race. Yay!) vs. pushing myself to my limit just to run a few minutes faster.

At first I was worried that if my time was really “slow” for this race, people wouldn’t understand why I spend so much time running (not that my “fast” time is particularly fast).  But you know what, forget what other people think.  I’m not running this race to win – Ryan Hall will be there and I’m pretty sure he has this race in the bag 😉  I’ve come across so many other awesome runners who run right at the same pace as me – including my awesome HLS roomie Allison who just wrote an amazing post about how she wards off injury by not focusing on times and running at a pace that she likes. Maybe I’m not as slow as I think.

So you know what… I’m ditching my time goal. I am going to have so much fun at this race with Suze and I’m going to enjoy my first half marathon.

How did you set time goals for your first race?

15 Comments

Filed under exercise