Rest Days, Walking, TFL troubles, and Foam Roller 101

Last week was somewhat anti-climatic for me. My 'plan' was to cut back on running while continuing to increase my walking distances in preparation for the AVON Walk in June. So I was only going to run 6 miles last week but walk about 23 miles. But my body had other ideas.

I was so excited coming off the Illinois Half Marathon & 5K race PRs, that I wanted to keep the momentum going. But the nagging pain in my left hip joint returned and I decided it was better to leave Sunday and Monday as Rest Days and let my body relax. I am not sure what this pain is but it is definitely muscular, and it mostly starts if I stand for long periods of time (like 30+ minutes in a line or something).

I think the pain is either from my Tensor Fasciae Latae muscle (TFL) or the upper part of the Iliotibial Band (IT Band). I have some stretching exercises with the Foam Roller for both of these which I will be using a lot more. But if this hip issue continues, I think I will pay a visit to my doctor (who is a marathoner himself) and see what he thinks. I do not want to have this become a nagging issue for me throughout the summer as I train for the Chicago Marathon.

Using the foam roller helps (as does the Jacuzzi). It does not bother me when I run so that is a good thing, but I just want it to go away. So instead of doing my 6-Mile run on Tuesday, I made it another Rest Day. I knew it was the right decision, but I was really getting antsy. I don't like it when I can't get my 'foot time' in. Running helps calm my mind and helps me get a good start to my day. You know what they say: Running is far cheaper than therapy. LOL

By Wednesday, I had to get 'moving'. So after work, I went for a good 6.6-mile Walk before dinner. It felt great to be outside. I got started at 7:20pm so by the time I was done 1.5 hours later, it was completely dark (and I had neglected to bring my headlamp with me). But it was a good Walk (with no pain) at a 14:35/mm pace, and my mood was greatly improved.

But on Thursday, that nagging hip discomfort was back. So I took Thursday and Friday as Rest Days so that I could do my Long Walk on Saturday. The Saturday Long Walk was good (no pain) but I had to cut it down to 10.5 miles -- instead of the 13 I had planned -- because of other time commitments that day. It was foggy and damp and chilly, and I should've worn a long sleeve shirt but I didn't. I won't make that mistake again. LOL

I walked with a Hydration Pack for the first time, and I was pleased to find that it did not feel heavy or uncomfortable to wear (and no chafing!). I will keep wearing it on my Long Walks because I plan on wearing it for the AVON Walk. Thanks Michelle for letting me buy your extra one from you!

Saturday afternoon, I took the first of a two-day course on getting the most out of using a Foam Roller. I have used one at home for a long time, having learned several exercises from my coach. But this class was awesome! In about 75 minutes, I learned a TON more ways to use the Foam Roller on multiple areas of the body from head to toe (literally). I have the second session next Saturday. I am really looking forward to it. I think I will post an article about what I have learned.

Sunday was a full, busy day so no runs or walks that day either. So instead of logging 29 total miles last week, I only logged 17. Not entirely happy with that but I think the rest days were necessary (and I was pretty tired the first two days after the Illinois races). It is important to listen to your body and not be too married to a training schedule.

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