Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Training Tip Tuesday: Don’t Just Foam Roll… #Rollga Instead!

Training Tip Tuesday: Don't Just Foam Roll. #Rollga Instead!

Since when did running become so labor intensive? There used to be a time when I could wake up and run. There was zero preparation needed. In fact, if I slept in my running clothes, I literally could just roll out of my bed and out the door.

These days, however, I find myself rolling out of bed to roll! In fact, I’m rolling before I roll into bed as well. I’m not exactly sure when this all became a part of my daily routine. Was it at 49? 50? 51? Whichever…it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that if I don’t roll, I don’t run.

Perhaps it was my physical therapist a few years ago who warned me to keep up with my exercises regularly, or it was my chiropractor, who since last year, has drilled it into my head that I have to keep up with the self therapy…or else…

I think I’m just getting old.

Oh, I know. Bite my tongue. But, there is a bit more work that has to go into my running now. And as much as a time suck that it is, there is no doubt that it needs to get done.

When I last saw my Chiropractor around Christmas of last year, he lent me this piece of equipment which looked a little more like a torture device than something that might do one iota of good. However, once I began using it, I was almost ready to enter the witness protection program to save myself from having to return it to him!

It’s called a Rollga. And it is not your momma’s foam roller.

In fact, just throw that outdated, dust collector in the garbage. It’s not worth keeping. THIS…this Rollga…it is a healthy addiction. It actually makes foam rolling fun again, in a masochistic sort of way. I actually somewhat look forward to my two daily foam rolling sessions. Not so much because it feels good, but because it scratches an itch that you cannot reach…and then later it feels good!

I personally believe that this simple device has kept me on my feet. And I thank my chiropractor profusely for it. You see, he donated it to my cause. And for that I am grateful.

What can a Rollga do that an ordinary foam roller can’t? It gets between the cracks. It is almost as though it conforms to the shape of your legs, back, arms, neck, etc. There are a few options which allow for a different feel as you roll, and each one hits a different muscle group. With just a slight adjustment in the angle of your limb as you roll, you can reach so much more than an old foam roller.

Personally, I start each session with my quads, being sure to roll them in between the humps, and then on top of them. I point my toes, and flex them as well. Then I linger. My chiropractor emphasizes how important this is. Linger on those trouble spots for as long as you can tolerate. Now, point and flex as you linger. Wowza! It’s like having a personal masseuse!

I work my way down to my IT bands and knees and do the same, then do a quick few rolls on my shins and the top of my feet before switching to my calves and that tender area behind my knees. There again, I make sure that I roll in between the humps, then on top of them, pointing and flexing the toes as I go. Just changing that flex position makes a huge difference in the muscles and tendons that you hit.

After the calves, it is on to the hamstrings, and finally the piriformis. If I’m feeling wild, I’ll do a bit of back and neck work as well.

This gets done twice a day, right out of bed, and right before bed. I could be wrong, but I think it has been making a big difference in my running. There is no doubt that the older I get, the harder it is to stay loose enough to get a decent run in. Stiff muscles are becoming more frequent, and I don’t like it. This twice a day routine is keeping it all in check.

I still don’t like it, though. It takes up a good chunk of my day. But right now, it is keeping me on the road. So, it will have to stay in the routine.

Rollga is Minnesota made, and comes in a variety of densities for the perfect “fit”. I have the firm Black Rollga Pro, and although I’ve never tried a “softer” Rollga, I’m not quite sure why one would even bother! But, I’m sure there are reasons for the less firm Rollgas. Rollga’s patented design contours the entire body.

  • Engineered to fit ANY body type
  • Avoids contact with the spine
  • Avoids contact with the shoulder blades
  • Avoids contact with the Tibia
  • Allows for muscle sheering
  • Solid EPP Foam Core: Doesn’t lose shape
  • Eco-Friendly: 100% Recyclable

Rollga claims it is “the perfect foam roller for shin splints, tight calves, leg pain, cramping and back pain.”

Rollga is available from Amazon or from their own website. Google them and you’ll find a great collection of instructional videos on You Tube. This is a gadget you need in your arsenal.

Do you foam roll? Do you do it regularly? Would you do it regularly if it worked for you?

Note: The opinions in this review belong to me, the author. I may accept payment in exchange for a review, or may accept a sample at no cost, to provide honest opinions on such. This post may contain affiliate/referral links per my own discretion.

Reinventing With The Evening Run – #Torchlight5K

Reinventing With The Evening Run - Prepping for the #Torchlight5K

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Torchlight 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews.

It’s true. I’ve been reinventing myself with my evening run. Despite the rather delightful summer we have been having in Minnesota, the mornings can be despicably hot. Well, actually, I can’t really say that, because I’ve been snoozing in quite a bit this summer. Sleep has recently become my friend again, the best of which occurs just before my alarm rings at 6 am, then again at 7 am. And sometimes even 8 am.

I feel rather guilty about this, even though there is really nothing that needs to be accomplished first thing in the morning during the summer months.

I’ve been faithful to my foam rolling, so add a half hour to whatever time I stumble out of bed, and now I’m pretty much committed to running in the heat of the late morning. And, since I’m such a martyr, I get out there regardless of the heat and humidity that has already built up since the sun has been up way before I have.

This means a pretty slow jaunt for me most mornings.

Yeah, I could let it go at that.

#Torchlight5K #RunWithFire #BibRavePro #BibChat #CharmedRunning #NeonIsMyColor

#Torchlight5K Bib Interception Complete – I’ll be running on 7/19 with bib number 719!

But the summer evenings in Minnesota can be way more inviting. And they have been of late. This is probably a good thing, since I’ve signed up to run the Torchlight 5K on July 19. This 5K runs through downtown Minneapolis, along the Aquatennial parade route, prior to the parade.

Twin Cities Orthopedics 2017 Torchlight 5k Course Map

Twin Cities Orthopedics 2017 Torchlight 5k Course Map

I’ve also joined up with a local running group, and since my weekend mornings are usually already filled with events for Charmed Running, I end up running with them on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Wow…me? An evening runner? Who’d have thunk it!

A clever ad for my running group as seen on a recent run!

But to be honest, the evening run has been nothing but a positive experience for me. I’ve had better, more effective runs late in the day. I’ve been sleeping much better, perhaps because of the late day cardio workout. And I’ve met some fine runners in these fine people. It is so nice to mingle and run with people who get me, and get why I run, sometimes twice a day.

Sometimes, the 12, 13, 14, 15 mile runs…they drain me. Splitting up these distances into two runs a day seems almost serene. I’m not sure what the final outcome will be as far as marathon training goes, with MCM coming up in October, but I can’t believe it would be detrimental, especially so early in the program. Right now, I’m enjoying the twofers. And they seem to be treating me respectfully.

Not only that, but the views have been nothing short of spectacular!

So, I could look at the additional run as prepping for the #Torchlight5K coming up on July 19th, and/or I can look at them as additional training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

OR, I could look at them as sanity checks. Because heaven only knows, lately, they have been just that.

Regardless, evening runs have become my thing. We’ll see how long it lasts!

Want to run the #Torchlight5K with me? Sign up here and use code “RUNWITHFIRE17” to save 10% on race entry!

Do you prefer to run in the mornings or evenings? Have you ever split up your runs?

 

Run The Race That You’re In

Run The Race That You're In: A 4th Of July Run

When I was a kid, the 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays. It probably lined right up with Christmas. You wouldn’t think that a kid would be so patriotic as to find this summertime celebration rank right up there with Santa Claus. But it did.

Yeah, I have always been a true American. I love what the holiday represents. Independence Day! Red, White, and Blue! Uncle Sam! The Statue of Liberty!

#MustHaveBox by #PopSugar Begs The Question…Where Is My Hammock?

PopSugar #MustHaveBox begs the question, where is my hammock?

POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try! #sponsored

We used to have one. And I don’t think I ever used it. My girls did, though. In fact, that is why we bought it. They used to sit in it with their goats.

But when I opened this #MustHaveBox from PopSugar, my first thought was, “I need a hammock.”

After all, how often does one get such a great package of goodness in the mail, that pretty much fulfills the female need to just “be”?

Who Needs A Therapist? I’ve Got #NatureCBD

Who Needs A Therapist? I’ve Got #NatureCBD

Sleep.

Overrated?

The verdict is still out.

For, as many articles as you will find on why sleep is so important and necessary for good health, you’ll find just as many articles that claim the opposite.

Although, that might not be completely accurate. It’s not to say that sleep isn’t important, it is to say that quality of sleep, not quantity of sleep, is the true factor when it comes to it being beneficial.