Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rolling Pins - Not Just For Cooking Anymore!

Rolling Pins. We all have one, right? Buried somewhere in the back of the cupboard, and we dig it out once or twice a year to make sugar cookies or a pie crust. Well, I have incredible news. Your rolling pins no longer need to gather dust in between those family get togethers. I've discovered a new use! You can use them to "roll out" your leg muscles before and after runs. I know a few of you are probably reaching for the phone to call the local mental hospital to come put me in a straight jacket, but I'm serious. Just hear me out.

At the very beginning of my training, we had a shoe clinic at the local running store. The purpose was to determine what was the best type of shoe for us. It was actually pretty cool. They measured our feet and determined our arch type. Then they had us try on different shoes and run on the treadmill while they video taped us. Then they went over the tapes with us and explained if we pronated and then recommended a shoe type for us. It was quite impressive actually. Luckily for me they told me that my current Nikes are perfect for my foot type and amount of pronation. Lucky because I had just purchased 2 pair of the same shoes in different colors. I bought one and ran in it for a few weeks and then went back and bought a second pair because it was the most comfortable shoe I had worn in years.

I digress, back to the rolling pins.

While I was sitting there waiting my turn to be measured, another team member told the staff that she was having problems with her calves tightening up during and after runs. She wanted to know what she could do about it, and the staff member went over and got a gadget off the rack and gave it to her to try. It was basically a stick about a foot long with small rounded sections on it. The purpose was to run it over the leg muscles to get them to relax. As he was having her try it out, he explained that people were originally using rolling pins for the same effect. But, they looked a little silly carrying rolling pins to their training sessions and of course the running companies found an opportunity to make some money and invented official muscle roller outers (obviously not the official name ~ I have no idea what they are actually called).

Well, those of you following my journal know that I have been having major problems with my legs tightening up during my runs for the past week, especially my shins. It hasn't been much fun lately and yesterday I felt like I wanted to cry it hurt so bad. So, today I decided that I was willing to try anything to prevent it from happening again. So I spent 20 minutes stretching out before my run, and I dug out my rolling pin from it's hiding place in the back of the cupboard, blew off the dust, sat in the middle of my kitchen floor, and used it on my leg muscles. I don't know if it was the rolling pin or the stretching but something definitely worked because my legs felt so much better today, not great but significantly better. They only bothered me for about 1 mile in the middle of the run. Woo Hoo! So, don't be surprised if you come over to find the rolling pin in the middle of the floor or rolling around in my car. Now I have two heros to worship: the makers of ibuprofen and the inventors of the rolling pin.

Today was actually a pretty good run. It was a little windy starting off, but no where near as cold as yesterday. We decided to do 3 miles instead of 4. We had both already completed our 4 mile runs for the week, and I usually do my long runs on Thursdays and I didn't want to be completely exhausted for tomorrow. So, we opted for the 3 miles. I was thrilled to not be running on the hills. And on an incredibly happy note, it was actually still light out when we finished running. That is the first time that has happened. So, either we ran much much faster than we usually do, or spring is on it's way!

I've added the chorus to AC/DC's T.N.T. to my blog. I thought that extrapolating the chorus was rather fitting with TNT and my training. Plus, I love AC/DC and listen to them to help motivate me when I am running. I'm actually pretty proud that I figured out how to do this. A computer guru, I am not! But I can cut and paste with the best of them! Anybody have a request??


  1. "The Stick" that's what it is called. I'm not sure if it is worth the money, but I do think it works a little better than a rolling pin. Borrow someone else's and see what you think.

    If you would like to become a contributor to TNT Bloggers ( drop me an email to tnt [at]

  2. Michele, you do plan on making Christmas cookies in December with a different rolling pin dont you?? Keep pushing yourself, you are doing a difficult thing for a very worthwhile cause! We are really proud of you!!
    Dave and Barb

  3. Sure, Aunt Barb! I'll buy a new one before Chrismas. I still need to send you that recipe for those sugar cookies, don't I? ~ Michele

  4. FYI Rolling pins are also good for rolling out the cellulite in the back of the thighs! At least thats what I told Ray! But then with all your training, you probably don't have to worry about that! Sounds like you are doing great!

  5. ha! my coach suggested rolling pins as well!