Monday, June 13, 2011

Becoming A Little More Like Gumby

Now that I have my McMillan training plan for the Top of Utah Marathon and I've been (almost completely) sugar-free for 13 days, I'm feeling gung-ho about all the details that can help my training.

This morning I tried to stretch. It wasn't pretty.

This is not me.
It happened like this: I went for an easy four-or-so mile run this morning at dawn. It was one of those perfect Colorado mornings: cool, dry, stunning views to the west of Long's Peak. I followed Greg McMillan's instructions about making sure even easy runs have some hills involved, so you're building leg strength (more on Greg's instructions in a later post). And I was home by 6:20 a.m., so I had lots of time before needing to leave for work.

Over the weekend, we happened to have (finally) opened the boxes that contained things like my foam roller and yoga mat. So I got out the latter, unrolled it on the living room hardwoods (it was still kind of trying to curl up, which gives you an idea of how long it's been since I used it) and proceeded to try a sun salutation. I couldn't even touch my toes. Now I've never been super bendy. But through three marathons and lots of shorter races (26 years of running!), I've always been able to touch my toes. Not anymore.

So I took it slow and easy on that sun salutation, really trying to feel where the tight places are (answer: low back and left hip and hamstring, though the right hammy's pretty tight too). After I did five more sun salutes, I could touch my toes again (and even the ground, if you call grazing fingertips on the ground "touching"). Because the hip was so stiff, too, I did some special stretches for that (see this Runners' World link for these).

Now, 11 hours later, my back and legs feel good (the left hip is still twinging). And I know I need to stretch more regularly. As in, after every run. This will mean making time for it, something I'm not great at. But I need to make it across that finish line in September, with a confidence-boosting time--and preferably no sore back.

Are you good about stretching? What are your favorites?


  1. Hey -
    I found you through Julie's blog and saw you were a fellow Coloradoan and I have twins also :).

    I am a horrible stretcher; I look at my foam roller daily and just frown at it. I try to pretend the stuff my PT does once/week is my magical fix. Hahah.

  2. I'm with you. Ballet dancer who can barely touch her toes. That's me. So hard to consistently stretch, even though it SHOULD be easy.

  3. My hips always need help too. My favorite is the pigeon pose, and also the one where you are on your back with one leg bent over your knee, like a half indian style pose and you bring your knee into your chest. This reminds me that I need to do yoga again.