I've been back now for two weeks and it is almost time to move on to other stuff. There is a book titled I Always Look Up the Word Egregious. If you like words, you should have this close at hand. At the moment I am hung up on Eschew. It's a good word, meaning to shun. I considered using Ignore, and that is possibly more precise, but Eschew keeps rattling around my brain, so like the squeaky wheel, it got the grease.
I arrived at Land's End in race-ready form. Part of my at-home exercise routine includes daily: six sets of sun salutations; bi-weekly: a half hour of abdominal exercises (Suzanne Deason tape); back and leg stretches after cycling. There are others. Well, strenuous cycling or not, this trip was a vacation so I also arrived in vacation-mode. Attitude plus change in routine (and perhaps a Guinness or two) conspired to have me take six weeks off from stretching.
Earlier this week I resumed my stretching routines, and I am hoping my hamstrings will stop yelling at me by Sunday. I sprayed them with BioFreeze last night, hoping to placate. My gastrocnemius and soleus muscles feel at least an inch shorter and are refusing to stretch and my left arch either cramps or threatens to cramp at the drop of a hat. I was doing a hamstring stretch and my abdominal muscle cramped, for crying out loud.
This morning the sun was shining, finally, and I jumped at the chance to get in a 30 mile ride. Ah, my brain jumped; everything from the head down was dragged kicking and screaming. The whole body finally warmed up and got the job done and I can report no injuries. All of this could have been avoided with a couple of simple stretches as part of my post ride warm down.
But I have a caution, learned the hard way: If you deplete your energy stores (like have a really long, hard workout), don't jump off the bike and start stretching. Delay that until you have replaced electolytes and let the body recover. But don't skip it, just delay. Your muscles will thank you for it.