Stretching progress and a little running

I’ve been continuing to stretch 12 minutes 3 times per week, so 36 minutes per week, using this very random and probably unscientific Youtube video I found.  My plan is to measure my flexibility on roughly the first of every month with a sit-and-reach to see if I’m making any progress.  The video stretches a lot of parts of the body, some of which are not tested with a sit-and-reach, but I feel it’s just a representative test, not a comprehensive one.  I would like to find some other tests I could do to evaluate if I’m making progress.

Anyway, drumroll please . . .

After one month, I’ve improved from a set-and-reach of -2.5 inches to -1.25 inches.  I’d say the measurement process has roughly 0.5 inches of uncertainty (say 1 sigma), so I appear to have made some progress.  I’m cautiously a little excited!  Even with such a limited time commitment, given my initial extreme lack of flexibility, it makes sense that I would see some gains.  It definitely motivates me to continue.  While in some ways I find my 12 minute routine kind of brutal, I am also coming to enjoy the feeling of being warmed up and “flexible” (relatively speaking) by the end.  I find it really interesting how much more flexy I feel after warming up and 12 minutes of stretching.

In other news, I ran 143 miles this month, my highest mileage month since I’ve been tracking as far as I can tell.  (I’ve been tracking since 2004.)  I’ve hit about 130 a few times, so it’s not crazy, but I’m definitely putting in some miles right now, with a half in March as my goal.  Hopefully, the miles will pay off, and if they don’t, hopefully I can appreciate the value of the process and running for running’s sake.  In running, I do think hard work usually pays off, but it doesn’t always happen immediately, and in the meantime, I think it’s continuing to do good things for my mental (and physical) health.  Also, one month of lots of miles won’t do much more than tire me out.  It’s putting together a string of high mileage months that pays dividends.