Well, so far so good with the weight training and abdominal work! After a long run of 12.5 miles on Sunday, I let myself take Monday as a rest day instead of a cross-training day, and rearranged things slightly so that I will be cross-training on Friday instead (normally, Friday is the rest day). So my weight training schedule for this week will be Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Ideally, I would like to do a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, although I guess that sort of interferes with a genuine rest day. I'll figure it out as time goes by. My weight workout was combined with a four-mile treadmill run which, in spite of the fact that it took place on a treadmill, was rather enjoyable. The workout definitely took the edge off my bad mood, which is always a win.
But enough about me. The real purpose of this post is to talk about the Medi-Dyne Prostretch, which I received as a gift for Christmas. The instant I opened the package I was excited about it and couldn't wait to use it! I have what feel like perennially tight calves, despite my constant attempts to stretch them. There are also very few stretches that I really feel in my calves; I'm not sure, maybe my calves are flexible and just need deep stretching in order to feel really good. All of the general lunge-type stretches that are common for calves feel like absolutely nothing to me. When I stretch my calves, I often just find a set of stairs and hang one heel off the back of one while pressing down through it. Even this can end up being only somewhat gratifying.
Enter the Prostretch, which I affectionately refer to as the calfinator. Never have I felt a deeper, more relaxing, and more pleasant stretch in my calves! My tight calf problem has been solved. To use the Prostretch, you place one heel up against the back and gently dip your heel back until you have hit a point where you feel like you are getting a good (though not uncomfortable) stretch. What is really great is that there is a huge range of motion allowed; the Prostretch can accommodate people who are looking for a lighter stretch but also satisfies people like me who need an angle that feels like it must be close to 70 degrees.
From what I understand, the Prostretch is extremely useful in helping to treat and prevent plantar fasciitis and also helps relieve heel pain. After using the Prostretch, my lower legs and feet feel really good, and I look forward to using it after my runs!
A word to the wise, though: wear your shoes when you use it, otherwise your heel just sort of smashes against the hard plastic on the heel platform. Not comfortable. Also be aware that if you don't have the best balance in the world, you may want to use the Prostretch near a chair or something you can hold on to for support. You will, essentially, be putting the majority of your weight onto the leg you are stretching, so act accordingly.