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Monday, May 23, 2011

I can't run

Well, until my leg stops feeling like every night I shut in in a wood stove for fun, I probably shouldn't run. And I've been really good about staying off it, except for two 5-ks' (SO not worth it).
To remind you, I bought new shoes that were stiffer than I was used to and a full size too small...but I wore them anyway because I'm cheap and there weren't any larger sizes on clearance. After two ten milers the shin pain started; I've since self-diagnosed it as a stress fracture.
That's kind of cool because it gives me a "free" break from running. I mean, who can mock my laziness when my bones are ready to snap in two at the slightest impact?
Well, it turns out that inactivity makes me grumpy and pimply (fact), so I had to scrap that plan and come up with alternative forms of not-being-fat.
Problem? Almost everything hurts. I tried elliptical because everyone says it's low impact, and I can watch some of the NBA finals that way (we don't have ESPN or TNT). Surprise, it hurts if I put the resistance above 14. Anything under 12 makes me feel like I'm just bouncing my muscles, so that leaves me a very narrow range (hard to do intervals alternating between 12 and 13...boring). And truth be told, it hurts regardless - it's just more of a nagging ache that all out pain.
Running is out, except for races I already paid for.
Walking is even kind of out.
Cycling seems ok but I refuse to get up early enough for my gym's 6 am spin class, so I have been either borrowing my hubby's bike for rides in the park (fun, but I find it very hard to push myself and feel worked-out this way) or hopping on the exercise bike and cranking up either resistance or speed. I went to a spin class once...yeah, only once, I don't even remember how I got up that early... and the teacher told us not to let the rpms go under 120, so I aim for 120 - 140 throughout and keep that up for 30 - 45 minutes depending on how late I woke up. It's gets me sweaty as least.
The other exercise I've returned to is weight lifting. I used to lift weights every day when I was an undergrad. The perimeter of the south campus was exactly 2 miles, and the gym was in one corner, so I'd run one or two laps and end up at the gym (back then the run was just my warm up for the weights - I was slow and uninterested in running!). Then I'd do my little workout, alternating lower body days with abs/arms days. Somehow more running and more distance from my gym led me to forget about weights, only lifting one or two times a month, which did nothing but make me mildly sore for a day. Now that my work is close to the gym, it's easier for me to go, and I want to continue incorporating weights in my workouts. I like the "good-sore" feeling and the muscle tone.
The plan for now is to keep cycling and lightly ellipticaling and stay off the leg for another week. Friday is the Greek Fest 5k, and I am signed up. Initially I planned to run it and see how my leg felt after, but I'm considering skipping it (HORRORS). The reasons I might be ok with skipping it are:
1. It's a cash-prize race, which means all the fast people come out of the woodwork. My current 5k times would put me in 20th place compared to last year's finishers. In my current injured state I would probably finish even slower, and loathe myself.
2. My sister in law is having a birthday party at Greek Fest, and who wants to show up all smelly and gross to a party?
3. The only reason I ever signed up for any of these 5ks was to run one under 21 minutes, which I haven't done yet. And given my current limping, I absolutely won't do it next Friday.
In other words, I'm trying to make myself feel ok about skipping it. What do you think I should do?


  1. As someone who is recovering from two stress reactions (both feet!), I had to step back a bit myself with the crosstraining. I turned to water--first water running, then added swimming back in. Feeling much better and by week's end, I hope to progress to the bike. My doc said take it one week at a time--try to progress each week until you are ready to return.

    Good luck--I KNOW it sucks!

  2. I can so relate to the injury phase, and how it makes you feel. I sprained my ankle this weekend, & it's like the world has ended because I can't run. ;-)

    I definitely say skip this race. I would dismiss all of your reasons for not running it, but the key one you didn't mention is that you're injured - and you've already tried to run on it before with mixed results. The longer you push it & try & run with it injured, likely the longer it will take until it feels better.

  3. I say skip it and skip right on to the doc. If this is something serious, walking could be not so great for it. Take it easier than you think you should.

  4. I would go to the doctor if I were you... I think I would err on the side of caution as you wouldn't want this to become something even more serious...