Lacey and I both are currently nursing injuries, so is our good pal Skinner. I'm having knee pain, so is Skin, and Lacey has a foot injury.
Upon discussing it, Lacey pointed out that when she starts making good progress in running she quits stretching as much. Thinking on it, I realized I do the same, it's like we suddenly take it for granted.
I'm of the school of thought that you don't stretch cold muscles, so no stretching before you've got your body warmed up. Pretty sure Lacey feels the same way because Captain America (aka Kenyan--Lacey will explain), always has us run some, then stretch really well, then run more.
We both love yoga. Lacey is like a professional, I'm serious, you should see her in a full bow pose--it's unreal! I started out barely being able to touch my toes and now can do quite a few poses proficiently. But if I don't keep up the stretching, I almost always get hurt, IT band issues, SI joint problems, most of which end up manifesting in my knee.
I'm not saying you have to master crazy poses or be a yogi, but stretching is important. As you use muscles, they build up lactic acid and stretching helps release some of that. As it builds up you get tighter and tighter and can (almost always will) end up hurt.
As a mom I know it's hard to fit in everything you want to do in a day, much less extra stretching. But you can stretch anywhere! We both stretch while blow drying our hair, flip that hair upside down and blow it out that way, gives it more body and loosens up your hammies, your back, your neck, your shoulders, tons of stiff joints! Stretch while you're sitting on the floor with kiddies, move the laundry basket to your left right and lean our to pull out the next thing!
If you have questions or want us to post some pics, just let us know! We'd be glad to!
Also, wish Lacey I happy birthday--it's a big one ;)
**pic is me in pigeon pose per Lacey's suggestion for my knee. One leg straight begin you, other leg at a right angle in front of you, bend over the front. If that hurts (like it did me for years), just put one leg behind you and the other in front, pull front foot closer to you for less stretch and don't lean over it. As Leandro on Brazil Butt Lift says "stretching is not about pushing, it's about allowing"--in his thick Brazilian accent!!***