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Foam Rolling Magic

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Sorry about the lack of postage yesterday, I was having some internet difficulties…but as of right now, I am back online!

This morning, I started my day off early with some speed training on the track.  I completed a routine of 6×400 interval training, and ended my time at the gym with a session of foam rolling.

I am pretty new to the world of foam rolling, but I must say that I honestly feel that it is one of the best things I have ever done for my extremely tight muscles.

What is foam rolling…

Last fall, I ran my first half marathon.  I followed a combination of a two different programs.  It was a learning experience in many ways.  Although I made sure to stretch daily, it still wasn’t enough.  I didn’t have any knee pain until after the actual race, but the pain that I had in my knee made it very difficult to walk.  Both of my parents have bad knees, and I thought that I was getting my share of the problems early.  After continuing to stretch and rest, the pain didn’t go away fully until I left for the cruise and I did not run for about a month.

Things seemed to be fine once I was working on the cruise ship, until I taught spinning (among several other classes) 5 days in a row.  My knee started acting up again.  Luckily, the fitness center was part of the spa, and my roommate was a massage therapist who specialized in therapeutic massage.  She felt around on my knee, and assured me that it wasn’t the bone.  She then felt my outer thigh and was shocked at how tight my IT Band was.  She said that I needed to come in for a massage immediately.  

When I came in for the massage, she performed a technique on my calves and thighs that released the fascia (a layer of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds the muscles that can become restricted in movement from overuse causing “knots”).  The massage was very “deep” and a little bit painful, but afterwards, my knee pain was gone!  I simply could not believe it.  In my studies to become a personal trainer, I had read about myofascial release, but I didn’t have much experience.  I decided to do a little reading on the topic to figure out why this worked and what I could do to prevent the soreness in my knee from occurring again.  Since weekly massages are a bit out of my price range, purchasing a foam roller was the next best thing!

Just like the massage, using the foam roller realigns the elastic muscle fibers from the “knotted” position into a straighter alignment.

One should use the foam roller to apply pressure to tender areas within the muscles, known as knots.  The foam roller is used on muscle groups such as the calves, adductors, tensor fascia latae (upper outer hip), iliotibial (IT) band, and the glutes.

While foam rolling is used as a therapy to aid in stretching and muscular wellness, it is important to note that it is also hard work and can often be borderline painful.  When foam rolling, one must pay attention to what is a moderate “good” pain and a pain that could potentially cause injury.  The foam roller should make the muscle feel better, not worse.

According to the American Council on Exercise, one should foam roll in small, continuous back and forth movements over the tender area for 30 to 60 seconds prior to stretching.

Here are some poses that can be performed on the foam roller daily:

IT Band Pose

Lie on your side, with your outer thigh on the foam roller.  Roll the area between your knee and your hip, focusing on areas with more pain.  To decrease the pressure, you can place your top foot on the ground for added support.

Quad and Hamstring Pose

When focusing on your quad, lie with both thighs on the roller and your stomach toward the ground.  Roll between your knees and your hip flexors focusing on areas with more pain.  To decrease the pressure, do one leg at a time.  When focusing on your hamstrings, place the back of your legs on the foam roller and roll back and forth from the back of your knee to your glutes.

Middle Back Pose

Lie with the foam roller on your middle back region, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.  Cross your arms over your chest.  Simply roll the area from your lower back to upper/middle back.



After a good session of foam rolling, I then came home to get ready for the day and refuel with some overnight oats.   But today, I added something different.  Oat bran.  Oat bran is the outer husk of the oat grain, which is usually thrown out while the oats are being milled.  The bran contains most of the dietary fiber in the grain.  I am running low on oats, and I had some oat bran on hand…so I decided to combine the two in my breakfast bowl.  This breakfast bowl seriously tasted like a Reese’s peanut butter cup in breakfast form.  It was good 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats and Bran

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder (can also use unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp of peanut butter
  • 1 scoop of Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein
  • 1/2 NuNaturals stevia packet
  • Top with: 1/3 frozen banana, and 1 tsp peanut butter

Combine all of the ingredients (except for banana and 1 tsp peanut butter), and allow to sit in the fridge overnight or for 30 minutes.  When ready to eat, top with banana and last teaspoon of peanut butter.  Enjoy!!

Nutrition for Entire Recipe:

Calories–269.5  Fat–8.6g  Carbs–48.3g  Protein 23.6g


Questions of the Morning:

  • What is one of your favorite flavor combinations?
Mine would definitely have to be chocolate and peanut butter 🙂
  • Do you use a foam roller?  What do you LOVE about it?

Florida Weather in Indy

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I am loving the constant sunshine, it completely lifts my mood 🙂  The weather is unseasonably warm here in Indianapolis, and it seriously feels like Florida!


Here is a recap of how Brian and I spent the day yesterday.

Because the weather was sooo beautiful, I was able to convince Brian to go for a run with me.  Typically, Brian doesn’t enjoy running because he gets a little bit bored, and he doesn’t really enjoy  trying to hold a conversation with me while running.  So, this time he thought that he would try running with music!


We have our head phones in for some music inspiration!

As we were running, I had us do a couple of put stops to incorporate some strength training into our jog.

Stop 1:  Step Push-ups

Place hands on a high step, with the body in a straight line (no booties in the air!).  

Lower the body down toward the step while keeping the body in a straight line.  Complete 15 repetitions.  (We did this two different times).

Stop 2:  Stair Run

Run up and down a steep flight of stairs a couple of times to switch the dynamic of simply running on the flat ground.  

The workout was fun to do together! (at least for me) and a great way to take advantage of the wonderful weather.



We then came back, showered up, and had some lunch.  On the menu were salads full of:

  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Guacamole
  • Onion
  • Salmon
  • Salsa




We then headed to Brian’s parents house to drop off some storage containers and things that we don’t currently need at the apartment.  When we walked in the door, we were greeted by this beautiful flower arrangement!

Brian’s mom has been taking a flower arranging class, and made this arrangement!  Isn’t it pretty?!  I was very impressed 🙂

Brian’s parents also found us a bird cage to use at the wedding for our guests to put cards in.  I think that this bird cage is the perfect look, it is exactly what I had envisioned when I pictured having a bird cage at the wedding.


We then headed to the store to pick up some home gym equipment.  5 lb dumbbells and a foam roller.  Before working on the cruise, I had never used a foam roller and  did not fully understand the importance of it, but after having a therapeutic massage for my super tight muscles (despite stretching and yoga classes daily), I realized the importance of releasing the fascia beneath the skin.


Brian and I then headed to our friend’s house for another little cookout, but I didn’t take any pictures 😦  I was, however, able to see many of my friends that I hadn’t had a chance to see since my return home.  It was a chill and fun evening, and it was so good to see all of my friends!



This morning, I started my day with a boot camp workout. On the cruise, one of the specialty classes that we would teach was Body Sculpt Boot Camp.  The class was a four day workout program.   In each day four different exercises are completed by simply using your body and one dumbbell.  This workout is great because it can be done virtually everywhere!

After the boot camp workout, I did my foam rolling with my new roller.  Since I have been running more lately, I can already feel the tightness creeping up in my IT band and my hamstrings, so although it hurt…this morning it felt “good” to roll out the pain.


I then had a delicious smoothie for breakfast to fuel me for the day.  Today’s mix included:

  • 1 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior protein powder
  • splash of water
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp peanut butter to top it off

What a delicious and creamy way to start the day.

It is almost the weekend…what do you have planned?

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