I’ve noticed throughout my years of running, many of my fellow female runners at one point or another have struggled with hip tightness and/or injury, usually in the IT-band, hip flexor, and the piriformis areas. I have definitely experienced tightness/bursitis in all of these areas! Apparently, my hips come out of alignment easily and I have to “pop” myself back into place. The physical therapist told me years ago that the best way to handle this is by strengthening all of these muscles. Sure, I did rubber band exercises for about a month. But, those aren’t exactly *fun* activities to do and I have never been disciplined enough to incorporate them before or after a run.
Now that I’m well into my second consecutive month of yoga, practicing 5-7 days a week, I can definitely tell my hip muscles are stronger! All the lunges (warriors), single leg balances (I’m not even going to try to remember the names of these), and hip stretches such as pigeon pose make me see how essential it is to include strengthening exercises with running. It was especially easy for me to disregard activities like extensive stretching and yoga last summer. With 40-50 mile weeks, I’d get back from a run and I would be done for the day. I just ran 7 miles. That’s enough, right? It would be if I wasn’t so injury prone!
Once I’m injury-free and running again, I’m setting a goal to continue my yoga practice a couple days a week. I’ll admit that once I’m up and running, I won’t be able to afford the time and money for a membership to a yoga studio since the rock climbing gym membership is priority when I move back to Tulsa! But, there are many yoga videos on itunes. And now that I’ve been doing yoga so often, I have a generic understanding of vinyasa flows that I can do on my own.
This week, I made Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili . I found the recipe on Pinterest. It was intended to be vegan, but it would be delicious with some cotija!
Next time, I’m definitely adding some heat with a chocolate habanero. A dear friend of mine has a tree with almost 50 peppers! I snagged one, but seemed to have misplaced it, so I didn’t use it in this chili…..but a red chile and jalapeno would be great, too.