The old saying, "No pain, no gain," is REALLY annoying because it is not always true! As a long time athlete, I believe one builds somewhat of a tolerance for feeling achy and sore because that usually means the body has been worked beyond what it's used to – and it's complaining. Really, any exercise involves breaking down your body a bit, only for it to build it back up. That's one reason why weight-bearing activities are important to build bone density or at least help maintain what you have. To oversimplify, when you walk or jog, you slightly "damage" your bones, which will then heal and become stronger in the process.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between what is muscle soreness and what is injury. After the hike yeserday, my left hip is VERY sore to the touch right ont the point of my hip bone. This has been happening on and off for a few weeks, particularly when I walk a good deal. It somewhat feels like a pulled muscle and feels better when I try to stretch, but the dull pain persists.
With the advent of the internet, I have of course identified numerous maladies to which my discomfort could be attributed, but my first thought is bursitis of the hip. The website Spark People is awesome and has good resources about many medical conditions, including bursitis. The advice is mainly to reduce repetitive activities such as walking excessively, and treat with pain relievers as necessary until it feels better. I am going to try to take it easy and will report what has made my hip feel better.
A friend suggested it might be my IT band and not busitis – I'll look into that tomorrow!