My Hot Date

Sadly I am not talking about this one…

June 2010 Vineman Course Preview 005a

But instead this one…

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One of my “problem” areas over the 6+ months has been this spot in my quad.  It’s a knot I get between my quad muscle and IT band and it just gets tight.  It doesn’t really hurt that bad, but I just know it’s there and I don’t want to know it’s there!

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It’s why I was going to ART for a while last fall and had my racing stripe.


It hadn’t bothered me much at all during Boston training and I didn’t have to go to ART, but after Boston it was a little tight and after Big Sur it was definitely tight. 

Hence my dates for the evening…

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They aren’t very nice dates either.

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BUT I know my foam roller and trigger point kit will help my “problem” area not turn into an “injured” area!  Injury prevention my friends!  It feels better already.

I also have an ART appointment for next week to get this knot worked out, because the chiropractor can inflict much more pain on me than I can on myself.

Do you use a foam roller and/or trigger point kit?

The trigger point therapy kit is a new addition to our house in the last month and I love it so far!  I have had the grid foam roller for a while and it is so much better than the regular foam roller – I highly recommend it!

Do you have a problem area?

My quad, my shoulders (knots from sitting at a desk all day) and my foot are areas I pay more attention to than others.

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40 Responses to My Hot Date

  1. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy May 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    A few questions for you. I’ve seen those orange foam rollers before. What is the difference? Is it harder? I have a black foam roller which is the most dense they get. I need to use it more, but try to use it after every run. And what is an active release kit?

    • Aron May 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      The orange roller has the bumps that dig in better, kind of like a knuckle would or something, rather than being smooth like a normal foam roller. I did a review on it way back when that’s linked in this post.

      TP therapy kits are awesome – there are a bunch of different things – ball, quad roller, calf roller, etc… check out their site: I know A LOT of athletes that swear by these. They get into your muscles/knots, etc so much better than just the standard roller.

  2. Allison May 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    I’m all about the foam roller after an ITB flare-up during my last marathon cycle. Totally made fun of my MIL for getting that *contraption* for my hubby’s back about a year or so ago but turns out it’s just what I needed for my leg! Hurts so good!

    Problem areas = hip flexors… I think I actually may be TOO flexible from so many years of dance and gymnastics, so they seem to act up after high mileage. They were FURIOUS with me after my marathon on April 30th. FURIOUS! We’re friends again though. :)

  3. Jo Lynn May 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Hmmmm, I think I’d have to walk out on the orange guy for the first one there. ;)

  4. PavementRunner May 11, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    ART is the way to go! It worked miracles for me last year. At home work is key, as you said, but both is a magical solution. Way to listen to your body.

  5. Morgan @ Endorphaholic May 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    I’m with you on the foam roller pain. I have to do it twice a day. I can be your cautionary tale, I pushed through my “sore spot” and now it’s my holy-ow injured spot (and the reason I’m off running for 2-3 months). So, it’s definitely worth the foam rolling pain!

    What do you like more about the grid roller, as opposed to the regular kind?

    • Aron May 12, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      It has grooves on it that dig in deeper than a normal foam roller – almost act like fingers or knuckles to get into your muscles better!

  6. Rachel May 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    TP is the best! that little ball works miracles : ) you should definitely add the quad baller to your collection…it’s KILLER on the quad and ITB! my prob areas are my hips, but i can usually keep them pretty happy with consistent trigger pointing and stretching.

    • Aron May 12, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      The guy at the store said since we had the grid the quadroller wasn’t necessary right away, but I am sure it will be added to our collection soon enough ;)

  7. Nelly May 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    lol, this entire post is my life right now! I have the GRID foam roller and love it. I love how firm it is. I also have the triggerpoint ball too – I mainly use it to sit on it for my glutes, do you also use it for foam rolling your IT band too? I’ve never tried that before.

    And right now I’m going to my ART sports doc twice a week to try to get me back healthy, I’m starting to realize that my IT band and knee problems could be caused by a variety of things – the 2 ankle injuries that I had, overtraining on 2 long runs, and/or muscle imbalances from doing too many squats and lunges.

    And your racing stripe is really familiar, I feel like I should be sponsored by rocktape with all the athletic tape I’ve had on my body the last 2 months!

    I definitely try to foam roll at least once per day, it hopefully keeps the injuries at bay this way!

    • Aron May 12, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      Yep I use that ball to dig into the knot that I have in my quad muscle area!

  8. Christine May 12, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    My problem areas are my hips and hamstrings. They are always super tight and I stretch and foam roll but it still is tight. Right now I’m able to run but once in a while my chiropractor has to stretch it out for me OUCH!!

  9. J May 12, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    I have been foam rolling like crazy since I finished the half marathon because my butt and hamstring have been super tight and I don’t want it to turn into anything worse. If the foam roller cant make it better I may have to schedule an appointment for a massage.

  10. Nancy May 12, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    I am so in love with my foam roller! I try to use it often but sometimes I just run out of time! Other times the hubby is stealing it for himself!!

  11. Michelle May 12, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    I’ve been having some awful issues with the outside of my lower leg. I think it is my calf but my running friends and coach can’t figure out what the problem is. I should probably invest in a foam roller, but my running budget has quickly depleted (especially with all the races I want to enter). Any suggestions for low cost relief?

    • Aron May 12, 2011 at 8:30 am #

      I have heard rolling pins can work like “the stick” and tennis balls or lacrosse balls (much harder) work too!

  12. Lee May 12, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    I sometimes get a pain in my right side butt. I don’t know what to call the area besides my side butt!

    I also have what feels like a knot in my left shoulder but every time I go get a massage, they say that they can’t fell anything there and it’s caused by a trigger point somewhere else which is so weird to me because I swear there is a big knot there!

  13. Lauren @ LaurenRuns May 12, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Good to hear that other people go to town! I have been foam rolling like crazy since my marathon at the end of April, and I love how it helps get my muscles worked out. It just seems overall helpful. As I go back to increasing my mileage, we’ll see how well this routine has helped!

  14. Daniella @ Runner at Heart May 12, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    I use a foam roller and I had to buy one for my house because I hate rolling in the gym since I make awful faces because it hurts so much. My problem areas are usually my IT band and my quads.

  15. Jessica B. May 12, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    I use a foam roller, just the regular old foam roller but I am eyeing your grid foam roller. That looks painfully awesome. I do not have a trigger point kit yet but I have been looking for them.
    My problem areas are my quads from running and my upper back/shoulder area from sitting at work. I get the worst knots in my back from sitting, I even try to stand for 10 mins every hour and if I have to work through lunch i will find a way to stand for an hour so that I am not sitting all day.

  16. Marie @ Chocolate and Wine May 12, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    From being a life-long dancer, I have tendonitis in my left foot (the top of the foot) from years of turning on it and pointe. It tends to act up a little when I run but definitely flares when I dance for extended periods of time (10-12 hours a day during the summer most days). My solution? Those stretchy bands you see on tv… the ones that come in different colors and elasticity. They are great for stretching your feet/hamstrings out!

    xo – Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  17. amy May 12, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    I love these pictures! More importantly though, I love the topic and don’t go anywhere without a foam roller (they make a travel size one!) or the stick. It’s more preventative than anything else for me but I really dig in to tough spots on my IT band and calves. I also keep soup cans everywhere – under my desk, in my bedside table, etc.) so that I can roll out my feet. I’ve never tried the trigger point kit. That may be next!

  18. Teacherwoman May 12, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    I love my foam roller. I just don’t see him as often as I should. :)

  19. Lauren May 12, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I love my foam roller too but I definitely need to be better about using it as a preventative tool rather than just for recovery. To Michelle who was looking for a low-cost alternative: before I got my foam roller I used to use a wooden rolling pin! Not quite the same effect but it feels great on sore quads and calves!

  20. Beth May 12, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    I need a date like that pronto. I am super tight in my hamstrings and feet and have totally stopped stretching now that marathons are over.

    What is the trigger point kit? It kind of looks like I could do that with a tennis ball… which I also used to use regularly :)

    • Aron May 12, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      Check out the link I liked to – TP is awesome!! I know so many athletes that swear by it. The ball is MUCH harder than a tennis ball too, plus the other tools are great.

  21. Marlene May 12, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    This post is too funny!! My IT band and quads give me grief from time to time and if I don’t give it some PAINFUL TLC, it starts to tug on my knee which scares me… I use my foam roller a lot but I have a bad habit of only really focusing on it when it flares up. Need to be a good runner and do it regularly! I should also look into one of those trigger point kits, although… it does not look very fun. :)

  22. Jill Will Run May 12, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    My shoulders are by far my worst spot… that’s what happens when you sit at a desk and use a mouse all day, and your workstation is incredibly un-ergonomically-correct!

    • Aron May 12, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      Ugh my shoulders are a MESS constantly. I have been using that trigger point ball and I stand with it between my back and a wall and let it dig into the knots – helps a ton!

  23. Kerry May 12, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Everywhere is a problem area! HA. I need to save up for that kit. I’ve been eyeing it for months now. My foam roller is too soft to inflict pain – that’s why I go to that woman who does it for me!

  24. Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner May 12, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    I don’t have any of these special gadgets but it looks like they would hurt in a good way! I may have to splurge and try one out. My friend Lindsay had recommended getting a foam roller too, I think it’s about time.
    I don’t have any particular problem spots, but it seems like it would feel good over the hammies/quads after a long run.

  25. Kristy@RunTheLongRoad May 12, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Foam rollers are the best inventions EVER! I use mine after almost every run. My glute/quad get tight and the foam roller has been a lifesaver.

  26. katie May 12, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    I freakin love your hair in that foam rolling pic. crazy ponytail!

  27. Amanda May 12, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I’ve been rolling my calves a lot lately, especially my left one, then putting them in some zensah sleeves. Mucho bueno after. I need to get that grid roller, the roller I bought is breaking down. I make that face too when I’m rolling out haha

  28. Kim May 12, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Love the foam roller pic, my boyfriend always thinks that I am getting mortally wounded by the noises that I make while rolling! Just yesterday I started having a hip/piriformis pain and I know it’s because I neglected foam rolling because of my busy schedule this weekend! Injury prevention is KEY!!!

  29. Katie May 12, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    You have the same foam roller face that I do! I haven’t got one of my own (but am going to invest) so have to make do with the one at the pull that face in front of everyone on a regular basis (maybe that is why I don’t have a boyfriend…!) And I like the look of the grid foam roller – might look out for that when I invest. I didn’t realise how necessary it was until I started doing it and it’s definitely made my various leg problems a lot easier to manage.
    Would you suggest getting both roller and ball? Or one/the other.

  30. Toni May 12, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Shin splints and ITB are the two things I deal with during training. Ugh!! I only have the regular foam roller. I’m going to have to check out the TP therapy kits. For shin splints, I have discovered active release therapy works WONDERS (thanks to an earlier post by you regarding injury prevention, I clicked on the ART link and was able to learn more about it). I started going to the chiropractor in April and have vowed to make a visit to her at least once a month during training.

  31. Emily May 12, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Oh man, i clearly need the trigger point. i hope all of this works to keep you healthy! i’ve been massaging my butt like no other but i can’t really tell if it’s working yet.

    haha and i agree with katie-that pony is bad. ass.

  32. stoppingfordaisies May 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Lol that does not look like fun! That said, I keep hearing how that’s so good for you, maybe I should invest in some myself.

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