I love hills. I love hills. I love hills.
Okay... the truth is, I only love DOWNhills. I really struggle with uphill workouts. It's not a good thing because I live in a very hilly neighborhood, so unless I want to drive somewhere I have to tackle them.
My friend at work (hi Cathy) just finished her first marathon last weekend. Mitch and I took a drive along the course the day before the race. The first part of the course is rolling hills. Not my favorite thing. Today we were talking about her race and I mentioned that I didn't like the first half because of the hills. Cathy smiled big and said, "I love hills." Followed by, "I eat hills for breakfast!"
Oh how I want to embrace that mentality!
Cathy said that she puts her butt and thighs to work and just tackles them. I'm so ready to learn this!
I have to thank her. Somehow, I'm going to love hills. It's mostly a mental game. I just need to be tougher than my head.
Training for my first marathon was fraught with IT Band issues. My right hip down to my knee was in a state of constant, nagging pain. I lived in KT Tape (which is awesome, BTW) and visited my chiropractor at least every two weeks. That helped a little, but never completely.
My regular doc suggested a couple of visits to a physical therapist. So, I bit the bullet and started to see Evan Jones at West Billings Physical Therapy. She set my hip in place and put me to work doing some exercises twice a day to strengthen the muscles that support my hips and insisted that I use the foam roller I that I usually avoid like the plague.
While I struggle to get 2 times a day in, I make sure I do these EVERY night. Its amazing how quick I began to get better. My nightly routine looks like this:
Clam Shells - Two sets on each side until I feel the burn. Sometimes I add a resistance band, but I hate how it makes my hands smell so not very often.
Bridge - Two sets of 15. Squeeze the glutes when lifting your butt off the floor.
ITBand Stretches - Each stretch for about 30 seconds
Foam Roller - About 2 minutes rolling up and down the IT band, avoiding the outermost part of the hip bone.
The more you do the foam rolling, the easier it gets. I wanted to CRY when I started doing this. My roller is NOT forgiving, so I recommend starting with a softer one. I think the colors tell you how firm they are. At the PT office, I used a pink one and it was quite squishy. Very nice. But mine is black and I'm pretty sure that means death.
If I knew in May what I know now, my marathon training would have been so much better and I would have missed a lot less days of running. It's kind of maddening when I think back on it. But I'm glad I feel better now and I have hope for a better marathon time in the future.
Tomorrow is long run day. We will go to Red Lodge again and I should get around 12 miles. I'll talk about fueling for long runs this weekend. Stay tuned.