Saturday, December 20, 2014

THAT'S A STRETCH!

I guess I'm pretty "Old School."

Is that because I'm pretty old?

Nah!

Pre-training stretching for me usually includes about one minute of disjointed gyrations that may look to some as though I've just been tasered, or attempted to perform a "crazy old uncle" dance at a wedding.

My philosophy has generally been, "I'll stretch out and warm up during the first mile."

This philosophy has long been shared by my oldest continuous training partner, Brian Tonitis. Brian and I have been training together since 1978. And he's no slouch. Back in the 80s he ran a personal best marathon time of 2:39 at the Philadelphia Marathon. Then, he transitioned into cycling and also became an accomplished triathlete.

Last Sunday, during a 7-mile run, on which we lamented about our numerous aches and pains, common after you've logged over 100,000 miles in your life, Brian uttered a shocking confession: for the past several weeks he's been enrolled in a yoga class!!

"Say it ain't so," was my initial reaction.

My oldest running mate Brian?

This guy is one of the most cynical running traditionalists I've ever known.

"It's really helped me bud," he stated.

"And it's really hard," he added.

Brian may be a running cynic, but no one does more research on running, cycling and fitness than he.

If he's tried yoga, there's got to be something to it.

Thirty-eight years of running have rendered me totally inflexible. What's more, my recovery from two torn hamstring tendon tears (perhaps a result of not stretching enough?) have produced increased soreness in my hips and lower back, while the hamstring itself seems to have completely healed.

So, I decided to give yoga a try.

I went to You Tube and found "Yoga Practice For Runners."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of2spyCtUkw

It's great, and I'm hooked.

Now, I only lasted 10 minutes, but I feel better, and I'm determined to continue.

I certainly don't expect to dunk a basketball anytime soon, and I'm not going to be able to do "The Pretzel," but this old-timer has discovered yoga, and it's really cool.

Who says you can't teach an old running dog new tricks?