On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stretching. In other words, PT update

I'm not going to recap what I did this week because I didn't run.  Okay, I ran 10m at that race, but basically I didn't run.  Instead, by request from yesterday, I'll share with you the stretches I'm supposed to be doing twice a day.

The physical therapist said, "This routine should take you about 20 minutes to do.  But you're not running now, so it should be easy to find that time!"  I swear he then cackled maniacally.  He also said, "This is crazy.  You've been running ten years and you don't stretch?" (he said that a few times).  I guess Mrs. Duffy's comment yesterday was right on, too - it is amazing that I've come this far.  But, you know, a few marathons in and you start to think you're impervious to injuries from not stretching.

Anyway... here it is, my new stretching routine.  To make it easier to conceptualize, I've crudely attached my disgruntled head to each of the poses so you can envision me doing them (I do not wear sunglasses while stretching; it was the only appropriate photo I had since I have a giant nose and avoid having my photo take in profile).  I'm having trouble with the hip/knee stretch - somehow I find it hard to make that one work.  The others are easy and actually kind of feel good.


  1. Hilarious! :) I'm going to give that Hamstring and Piriformis one a shot!

    Do you feel like the stretching makes a difference already?

  2. I love the attached head! Makes it look like a celebrity doing the exercises!

    I have no idea where one would find a table to do that quad stretch. Really. It can't be just me.

    I like that Piriformis stretch - and I also like saying piriformis.

    It always amazes me how people find what other people do crazy. I found out a colleague who runs yesterday and she thought I was crazy to be training for the marathon and I thought she was crazy to be running 3 miles max for 15 years. We must be all crazy.

  3. Hey Tracy - I was just reading about your injury - I'm so sorry for the setback! Stretching has been ESSENTIAL for me and probably the reason why I'm uninjured thus far in the NYCM training cycle. I promise it'll make the world of difference if you stick with it, and you'll be back before you know it! :)

  4. These are all the same exercises my PT gave me! Except 61. That's funky.

    But that weird quad one? you can do it on the floor, lying on your stomach, and use a dog leash or something to pull your foot from behind your shoulder. That probably didn't make sense.

  5. 61 is the one I just don't get. The therapist told me yesterday that I could also do it like the calf stretch (against the wall) with my back heel raised - same effect. As soon as I did that, it was like, "OH! I see!"

    Thanks for the support, everyone... Don't know yet if it makes a difference since I'm not supposed to run. So far I feel good and desperate to run!