The X Word and How to Foam Roll Like a Pro

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That’s it: officially, and medically confirmed, I have a tight butt.

Too tight, in fact. I went to the chiropractor again today with increasingly worse lower-back pain and after he pretty much jammed his elbow into my right butt cheek and pressed with his entire body weight — F$%^^&%%^% ouch! — he said:

[not in those exact words, but close]

Your butt muscle is too tight and your lower back is inflamed. No running until I see you again on Saturday.

And I said:

Except there was no mud on my hands and I wasn’t wearing a pink bow. [Those Dirty Girl run pics are going to come in handy for future meme-style image generation, aren’t they?]

So we come to the X word: cross training.

Why do runners (by which I mean “I”) have such a problem with cross training? It’s not like it involves jumping through fire or crawling through mud. Yet every time I do anything other than running, that little thought nags at the back of my mind: well today you didn’t run, did you?

Not running until Saturday, for example, means skipping 23 miles. Twenty-three miles! I’ll never get those back!!

I know that other form of exercise can do just as good a job of maintaining fitness and endurance, I really do. I just have difficulty accepting that.

Take swimming: an excellent low-impact cardio option that is not only easier on the joints that we overuse in running (ankles, knees, hips), but – bonus! – develops upper body strength that no amount of mileage could possibly do.

And yoga. It loosens tight muscles and opens up creaky hip joints, strengthens your core, improves balance.

This is all great stuff for a runner, so hereby I pledge, the week of swimming and yoga is officially under way. And, meet my new best friend:

It was about time I started foam rolling like a pro! In case you’re wondering:

Today’s swim:

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