Finding out I have a stress fracture preventing running for six weeks has been a hard transition for me, someone used to running four times a week. I’d been pretty focused on negatives–how I can’t do my favorite workout/stress reliever, how no other workout compares to it, actually being jealous of people on treadmills at the gym. That line of thinking was not working for me. I needed to adjust my thinking.
So I’ve decided to shift my thinking from “I can’t run” to “I can do movements that make me sweat and get stronger.” I’m not going to let negative thinking turn limited mobility into no mobility. It’s a process I have to remind myself of, but I’ve always been a pretty positive person, so I’d rather work toward this frame of mind.
I found that image on this post and I’m still laughing.
I’ve decided when I go to the gym I’ll do weights first, either arms or legs, then some type of cardio. On this day I spent 22 minutes on the arm machines (I’m too intimidated by the free weights and Popeye-esque people who use them). In that time I was able to do 3 sets of 10 on 7 machines. My brisk pace helped to keep my heart rate up.
Then I rode the stationary bike for just over an hour.
I listened to music while reading Runner’s World (if I can’t do it, I may as well read about it), which made the time fly by. I actually enjoyed this workout rather than just finding it to be “not running”. I was very sweaty and I enjoyed the time to read. Plus, this was the only time during the day I had no pain in my leg. It hurts when I put pressure on it to walk which means I feel that pain at intervals all day. This was a total break from that impact.
I was not in the mood to go to the gym at all but I did it anyway, so that in itself was a mental victory. You really have to celebrate those when establishing a routine because there will absolutely be days you don’t want to go. I always remind myself I will feel great afterward, which I did.
I started out with weights, using the leg machines. There weren’t as many leg machines as arm ones but I still spent 20 minutes on them. 3 sets of 10 on 5 machines plus some extra sets while I was waiting for machines to free up. I don’t know if this is common at all gyms but there are a lot of super slow people at my Y. Some of them just stand next to the machines, having conversations and blocking access. They’re going to force me to be assertive.
After weights I got on the elliptical, a doctor approved exercise, for just over 30 minutes. I say doctor approved because I don’t think it’s going to be Nora approved any longer. I felt some pressure in my leg and I want to feel none. So my cardio will be the stationary bike, a completely pain free exercise. I’m ok with that. There’s several programs I can set that switch up the resistance at different times, making it more interesting/challenging. And if I ever made it hard enough that I did feel pain in my leg, the straps on the pedals that hold my feet in allow me to pull the pedal up rather than push down, further alleviating pressure.
I didn’t have time to get to the gym but I did some quick strength training at home.
First I did this plank workout, which is no joke. I ended up doing only one set of each kind of plank. I also shortened the ones where you lift up a leg to only 20 seconds. I do enjoy a workout I’m not physically able to do at first because it gives me a clear goal. Today I’m sore all over my abs which I love because I did zero sit-ups to achieve that effect. I’m bored by sit-ups and generally don’t do them unless they’re part of a class. (In that case peer pressure kicks in and I do them.)
After the planks I did about 50 push-ups, taking breaks between sets of 10. I can see clear improvement in that area–a few weeks ago it was taxing to get through 10. Feeling strong makes me happy.
Later that night I organized my workout clothes drawers. I’ve run in ten races this year–that’s a lot of t-shirts to find space for.