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An Alternative Use for a Golf Ball

November 11, 2011

Do you ever have those days where your mind wanders and it seems like you’re thinking of a thousand different things every minute? Well, I’m having one of those days and it’s going to be one of those posts. It’s probably because I have a long weekend of revision ahead of me (yawn-tastic!). At least this exam marks the beginning of the final year of studying for my professional qualification.

I always go back to my parents’ house when I’m revising because they have lots of space for me to spread out all my papers and textbooks. Plus, I get fed for free, which helps with the Big Budget Challenge Winking smile They have a lovely big kitchen, with lots of natural light, which is much better for taking photos. Well, actually it’s an average-sized kitchen, with ok light, but my kitchen in Leeds is so tiny and poorly lit that I think that anything is an improvement. I took advantage by photographing a delicious salad that I had for lunch.


My Mum composed this shot – I’m so jealous that she’s clearly got skills even though she rarely takes any photos. The advantage of having a blog is that my family can spy on me and find out what my favourite things to eat are. When I opened the fridge at lunchtime I was spoilt for choice, but in the end I assembled a big salad with:

  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Radish
  • Beetroot
  • Sweetcorn
  • Feta cheese

I did warn that this post was going to random, so I’ll move on to a completely different subject. I went back to the chiropractor at the beginning of the week for a follow-up appointment. I’ve been seeing him every three months for a little while to make sure that the problems I was having with my back and my ITB are improving now that I’ve got orthotic inserts for my shoes. The good news is that I don’t have any pain in my back anymore and my ITB has improved. It is tight and a bit sore sometimes, but he said I’m predisposed to ITB trouble, so I should just keep stretching and massaging it often (hello foam roller). The bad news is that the pain underneath my collar bone that I had last time I saw him has spread across my shoulder. I’ve been ignoring it for a long time, but it hurts every time I run hard or lift weights.

He’s given me three weeks to try some self-treatment, but if that doesn’t improve things then I have to go back for professional treatment. My self-treatment involves this little guy:


Yes, a golf ball. Sitting on a chair or against the wall I place the ball on a sore part of my shoulder and then lean back to put pressure on. I then move the ball to another sore spot and repeat, until the whole sore area has been covered. So far I’ve seen an increase in pain, but I’m hoping it’s a “getting worse before it gets better” situation. I also have to try to sleep on my left side hugging a pillow to support my arm, which my unconscious body rebels against. Every time I wake up I’m on my right side and I’ve flung the pillow across the room. If it doesn’t get better one option is acupuncture, which I’m intrigued by. My Mum had it for a neck problem and she thought that it worked for her, although I know not everyone responds to it.

Yesterday evening I went on an 8 mile run with my running club, which I really enjoyed. I can’t believe that 8 miles feels so manageable, even with lots of hills, compared to how it felt a couple of months ago. I think I’ve mentioned before that most people at running club don’t drink when they run and I tend not to take water with me for shorter runs. Seeing as we were doing 8 miles, I decided to take some along with me yesterday, but my coach told me off and said I didn’t need water for less than 10 miles. I think her point was that water is extra weight and faff to carry, especially when you need your arms to run uphill. I do take her point and I probably won’t take water with me next week and I might invest in a belt to carry water for longer runs, but I’m interested in the opinion of experienced runners out there:

What’s the maximum distance you run without water? How do you carry water without interfering with your run?

Has anyone tried acupuncture – do you think it worked?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 6:12 pm

    I am loving your salad! 🙂
    Happy 11-11-11 and have a great weekend!

  2. November 11, 2011 6:36 pm

    Love that photo 🙂
    I take water with me lots because I get a very dry mouth and throat. It depends a lot- but if I do a run first thing before breakfast I take water to sip as I cannot drink a lot before I go. If it was winter I would run 6 miles without water, but more and I would take it with me. In the summer I would take it even on a 3 mile run because I sweat loads and overheat easily and carrying water does not bother me, and stops my post run headaches.

  3. November 11, 2011 7:01 pm

    Erm, no help with the water question since I’m no runner, but I am intrigued by the use of the golf ball! Is it basically being used to put pressure on points, and so to relieve the tension that builds up, a bit like massage? I might give that a go, and mention it to my dad for his back problems, so thank you for posting about that : ).
    Good luck with all the revising!

  4. November 11, 2011 7:04 pm

    Good luck with the studying – bet you can’t wait to finish! I had acupuncture for nerve pain in my lower back/hip and to be honest it was the only thing that even touched it. I’ve not tried it for muscular pain though. Hope you can get some relief soon!

  5. November 11, 2011 8:23 pm

    Hmm I don’t think that your coach should really put a rule on when you need water, what if you were really dehydrated one day and got in to trouble! I don’t really run that long distances but I ran 5 miles t’other day and I don’t think I could have gone much further without water. I’ve heard lots of great things about acupuncture so it could be worth a shot. Hopefully the golf ball trick will work for you!

    Hope your weekend of revision isn’t too painful 🙂

  6. November 11, 2011 8:26 pm

    I tend to just take water if I’m going over 7 miles and if its hot – I would probably take it more if I had one of those fancy camel back thingies as I hate running and carrying a bottle! Hope using the golf ball helps 🙂

  7. November 11, 2011 9:28 pm

    That sounds horrible, what a nightmare. I had a really bad back a few years ago and it was osteopathy that sorted it out. At first, it felt worse but it paid off and now it’s great. I haven’t tried acupuncture but have heard good things about it and I know a lot of people swear by it… hope the golf ball works for you and that you get some time to relax this weekend 🙂

  8. November 11, 2011 9:32 pm

    I never take on water unless I’m racing, but that’s not recommended!

    I use a golf ball to massage my foot when it cramps up or the tendons get tight 🙂 I am also sadly prone to IT band issues due to hypermobile joints and therefore excessive lateral movement when I run, even with orthotics. They’re pesky buggers, those IT bands. If only they had no use and could be stripped away with the same ease as removing an appendix!


  9. November 11, 2011 10:02 pm

    Never heard of using a golf ball like that, but It makes sense. Hope you’re feeling great soon. Happy Weekend!

  10. November 12, 2011 4:40 am

    Pretty pic! I am someone who never carries water with me when I run, even when I was training for my 1/2 marathon. I get side stitches when I drink and run so I tend to avoid drinking until afterwards, which isn’t the best but it works for me. Good luck studying!!!

  11. November 12, 2011 1:38 pm

    I’ve always been curious about acupuncture. I’m interested to see what you have to say if that’s the route you go. As for running with water, I’ve never done that. My brother is a marathoner, so I’ll ask him what he did for long runs and email you.

  12. Errign permalink
    November 12, 2011 9:47 pm

    I usually can run 5-7 miles without water, depending on the weather. I have run with my Camelbak a few times and while I find it annoying, it helps.

    I had accupuncture once a few weeks ago, and I liked it. Not sure how much good it did, but it was nice.

  13. November 13, 2011 3:02 am

    I can’t say I run with water… I think it’s a bit too uncomfortable personally. But they makes running belts where you can attach small water bottles to them, some people like those a lot
    I am curious what you think of acupuncture if you try it!

  14. Zanna permalink
    November 13, 2011 4:48 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    I’ve been following and enjoying your blog from afar for a while now. Felt compelled to respond to your coach’s attitude to water, which I see as absolutely irresponsible. In fact, from personal experience I KNOW it to be irresponsible. Dehydration is dangerous, and everybody’s water needs are different. If you feel you’re going to need to drink, you should most definitely take that water with you. I’m really concerned (from afar!) that this woman is putting people’s health at risk.
    Btw, I’ve had acupuncture for hay fever, and though it didn’t have any long-term effects, I found it really relaxing!

    • November 13, 2011 4:52 pm

      Personally I don’t think I’m at risk of dehydration over shorter distances – I drink a ton! I think you’re right though – it’s irresponsible to tell people not to drink, perhaps she should have discussed alternatives like a belt or camelbak. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  15. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance permalink
    November 14, 2011 12:37 pm

    I always make Will massage my shoulders when they’re sore (which is almost every day), but I love the idea of using the golf ball as a self-massager. I’m on it!

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