Oh, running. How I missed you so! 😀
After breakfast, I hit the pavement for a glorious 3-mile run while rocking out to Lady Gaga, Pink, Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, and Britney. (My workout music alternates between classic rock and pop. Today was definitely a pop day!) I finished my run in 25:42 (8:35 pace), which wasn’t too shabby considering that I haven’t run in more than a month. My hip didn’t hurt (yay!), but my lungs were burning by the end. I guess they forgot what running was all about! There’s only room for improvement, right? 😉
When I got home, I kept Eric’s advice in mind and stretched for a whopping 18 minutes, which is a new record for me. I can honestly say, I’ve never even stretched for 10 minutes after a run, so 18 is something to feel good about! 😀
I was able to prolong my stretching time by making it an event. It would have been easy to do a few stretches outside of my apartment, jump in the shower, and call it a day, but instead, I turned on Ellen, rolled out my yoga mat, grabbed my Tune Up balls, and got to work. I also put myself in the right mindset to stretch. Before I started, I told myself that I would stretch for at least 15 minutes and reminded myself of my ultimate goal. Both of these things prevented me from rushing through it.
Trigger point what?! Ok, let me explain:
Trigger points are areas of hyper irritation in a muscle. Trigger points occur because the muscle has been injured in some way and an area of the muscle is contracted. This contracted area restricts blood flow. The restriction of blood flow causes the muscle to become nutrient starved and have a build-up of waste products. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the muscle. (Source)
Doesn’t sound good, right? 😕
In an ideal world, we’d all visit massage therapists and chiropractors to alleviate this type of pain, but many of us can’t afford that kind of treatment. Depending on the area of the pain, self-massage trigger point therapy can really help. Rolling these Tune Up balls over knots and tight muscles allows me to massage deeply to lessen tension and pain in my legs and back.
These balls are super easy to use, but because they closely resemble Murphy’s favorite kind of toy, it’s sometimes difficult to get the job done!
Look at that pug talon! 😆
Ok, let’s get serious!
During my post-run stretching session, I massaged the front of my hip to loosen tight muscles.
Not surprisingly, I had some help.
Then, I rolled the IT bands on both of my legs. It hurt so good! 😀
Of course, I received more help from the pug.
This dog is sneaky.
Look at that eye! He knows he’s being bad.
Before heading to NuVal, I packed a nutritious lunch to take with me. I had a salad with chickpeas, black beans, avocado, and pasta. I also brought along a juicy plum. Simple, yet satisfying.
To enter: Leave a comment on this post about your favorite way to eat tofu. I will randomly select a winner tomorrow morning.