As a new “real” runner, I am beginning to understand the importance of stretching. I should explain what I mean I guess.
I have run pretty much off and on since I played sports in high school. But it was always forced and never anything I did for fun.
And I never really put a lot of thought into it.
I would force myself to go run…do it…and be thrilled when it was all over.
I never stretched.
When I say never, I mean never.
I think I’ve been lucky that I’ve never had any injuries considering the lack of care I gave to my body while putting it through a lot of strain.
Now that I am sort of into running, I have this desire to really take care of my body.
My workouts have made my body a lot stronger…and have made me realize how much my body can change if I put the time and effort into it.
My flexibility is weak and I know it.
I can’t do yoga to save my life.
But I want to stretch.
I suppose it is this whole notion of doing this for the overall health and well being of my body and my life,
as opposed to purely for weight loss.
I actually want to make my body stronger and better at what I’m doing.
With that being said, I have begun stretching after all of my runs. I still need to work on stretching before, particularly because I have felt really tight lately when I get started. But at least I have got half of it down, right?
I really want to finish this race and I do not want an injury to stop me or slow me down.
I found a website called Cool Runnings that had a great article on stretching:
Those are the stretches that I did last night. They felt pretty good, but if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear ’em!
I tend to have a tight groin muscle as I run (doesn’t that sound like it should be TMI? haha) and a sore right knee when I am done running (but fine during the actual run itself). So if you have any suggestions for those areas, please share!
By the way, while I’m on the topic, why have I never heard of an IT band until now? Is this a new term? Or am I just that out of the running loop?
I have always been physically active, even when I was super overweight, and always thought that I was fairly in the know when it came to muscles, injuries, etc. type terms. I’ve heard of achilles tendons and hamstrings and hip flexors.
But IT band is a new one for me.
And ya know how you hear a new term or learn about something new, you all of a sudden see and hear it everywhere? Like when you get pregnant, you see pregnant women and babies everywhere you go all of a sudden?
Before 2 weeks ago, I’d never heard the term IT band, but feel like I hear it CONSTANTLY now! Is it just me?
Random Unrelated Sidenote #1:
I had a yummy lunch yesterday that I had to share.
I had 2 tablespoons of Sabra roasted red pepper hummus (so yummy!) for 70 calories with some baby carrots (25 calories). Then I did a half wrap (I use Guerrero whole wheat tortillas and a half is only 60 calories) with some boiled and shredded chicken breast (50 grams for 75 calories). I put 1 tbsp of spicy ranch salad dressing and about a tbsp of reduced fat feta cheese in the wrap (75 + 25 calories) and then added some tomato and lettuce.
It was delicious and super filling. It was just about 340 calories total and really filled me up for the afternoon. The flavors were really great and just different enough from my standard turkey sandwich to make it interesting.
Unrelated sidenote #2:
My run yesterday was not something I was looking forward to at all.
I had friends over at about 4 in the afternoon for a visit and when they left at about 5:30, I had lost any and all motivation to run. I was crabby and annoying to my poor husband…grumbling under my breath and pouting about, why do I have to run when I have a cold? Shouldn’t I get a day off? I’m gonna cough the whole time. Ugh..I just don’t think I should have to run when I’m sick…
and on and on and on.
I was such a whiny brat.
But I went.
And I pushed myself.
I knew I was only doing 4 miles so I had to push for speed. I usually aim for around 10 minute miles for a longer run, so I knew I had to do a 4 mile run in well under 40 minutes.
My time here also includes about 45 seconds of waiting at a stop light on my first mile when I forgot to pause my run. So technically, I was just under 38 minutes for 4 miles! I was really happy with that and felt great when I finished.
Pushing through a workout when it’s the last thing in the world you feel like doing always makes me feel the most proud. It was a good reminder that I am not always going to feel like working out.
Most days I will push through it.
Some days I won’t.
And that is okay.
Because after being on this journey for 7 1/2 years, I am convinced that I can do this for the rest of my life.