This last couple of weeks has been quite good fun. I had an awesome week preceding my 30th Birthday celebrations, with a few short runs that both felt amazing and had a decent average speed. It was great to commute to work twice in a week with a run, and given that I had zero ITB pain it felt amazing.
Unfortunately last weekend (with a beautiful 30th Birthday Party up at my parents,) I didn't make enough time to get a long run in. This was doubly stupid given that Karly had managed to convince me to take a couple of days off to relax and recuperate. In hindsight I should have run, but I also should have kept up my stretches.
I've always figured that I can deal with pain, but what I can't deal with is discomfort. Ever since seeing a wrinkly elbow on an old lady walking down Dovehouse Parade (a row of shops near where I grew up in Solihull) I've had something against elbows, especially straight ones. When the elbow is bent the skin is taught and nice; I don't like that extra foldy flabby stuff.
The same has been true of my legs. Back in 1999 when I broke my femur, it isn't the pain of the accident that I look back and reflect on, but the months of physio afterwards when I was made to do hamstring stretches. I don't like straight limbs - but I'm now acutely aware of the importance of stretching.
On my long run today (I did the Thames Path, Boat Race route given today's event) I manage to get to just over 10 miles when my right knee decided to flare up again. I've not been keeping up with my stretching and that's stupidly causing this problem. It's frustrating because I know that I have the capacity to stop it from being a problem, yet need to force my willpower to find the solution.
The mindset needs to be for me to focus on getting these stretches done. Sensibly I stopped as soon as I felt the pain, and given plenty of rest over the last few hours the pain is almost non-existent. My plan tomorrow is some hot yoga and swimming, along with a tonne of stretching to try and mitigate my stupidity.
This has got me thinking though, as to how many other people out there share my mindset? We're the generation of 'instant gratification' and one of the first parts of getting over a problem is to accept that you have one. One of the joys I get from using Strava is the fact that I can look back on my cycling/running activities from the last few years and see how far I've improved. Sometimes those improvements are negligible, but only having the benefit of time allows me to see quite how far I've come.
Is there an app or implementation out there that can help with stretching? It would be ace to be able to track the range of motion in my limbs; to have something tangible to work toward and something that gave me a record of progress so that I knew my efforts are having a positive effect. Maybe that's just my mindset, but what do you guys do to keep motivated?