After running 8.5 miles today and then getting on the arc trainer for half and hour and then lifting weights, I am officially exhausted. My legs are especially tired...and I think it might be hard to get out of bed tomorrow morning. This is not a ton of exercise, but it has taken its tole on my body today, probably because I do not stretch.
That is correct: I rarely, if ever, stretch. If I do, it is for about 3 minutes. I have never been into stretching, and can even remember thinking it was mindless back when I ran cross country, track, and played basketball in high school. Maybe this is because I have never had a really, really serious injury before. Granted, one time in high school I got hurt playing basketball and was on crutches for 3 weeks in the middle of winter and over Christmas (not fun in the Iowa snow and ice!), but seeing a specialty foot doctor solved my problem. He told me that I have two bones connected in my left foot that shouldn't be, and fitted me for custom shoe inserts. Those solved my problem, and then I got tired of wearing them and have not since. And, I have never had a problem.
I have had some minor injuries that have required taking ice baths (jr. year of xc), calf issue (track jr. year), and some foot problem when I was in college but solved myself (self-diagnosis: running 10 miles everyday for many days in a row is not good on the body = take a day off). Still, even after all of that, I have not stretched.
My brother who is a runner and I signed up for the Madison half marathon a few years ago. We did the race two consecutive years together, with him always in the top 5 or 10, and me much farther behind. My mom accompanied us both years so she could hold all of my stuff while I ran, which made it a lot easier on me. Before the race, my brother went to do a warm up run and then stretched. I went to the bathroom, walked around to get out my nervous energy, and stretched for 3 minutes, declaring I was ready to go when I saw him again. He said to me, "Did you even stretch?" I replied by saying yes, for a couple minutes. He did a good job of masking his disbelief at my lack of stretching.
After finishing the half marathon, he went for a cool down run while I decided why bother with that? We were together and he was stretching, me chewing on gum and excited to have a new PR. Once again, "are you going to stretch?" Me: "nope." Another face of disbelief followed.
I think right now that I will probably only consider stretching if I have to in order to run. Right now, I'll just hope my legs work themselves out over the course of the night in order for another good run tomorrow.