It’s been 20 days since my last run, a statement I made yesterday to my sister and she laughed, presumably at the idea that this is currently my most serious “problem.”
I suppose lots of people go for stretches of 20 or more days without running. Probably most people. But I can’t remember the last time I went nearly three weeks without at least hitting the lake trail for 2 miles, just to keep the blood flowing.
So, sure, maybe in the global (or even local) scheme of things it isn’t a big problem, but it has certainly been a misery-maker for me. I have had to find other ways to fill that time and try desperately to maintain at least some of my running fitness. Here’s how I’ve been doing it.
Reading about running. I am not sure this is actually the most positive coping strategy, because it occasionally makes me feel like everyone is running except me. And I get a bit stabby about that. However, I have re-read at least 4 back issues of Runner’s World, I have revisited my running Pinterest board, and I have read in great detail other peoples’ race reports for some of the events I have coming up this year. I did a tiny bit of information gathering about returning after injury, but I thought it was depressing and I kind of just want to trust the PT. He seems more competent than like, 88% of the internet so I think I will just be a patient patient.
Reading about adventures. Specifically, I just finished “Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide” by Jill Homer which made me want to grab my bike and criss-cross the entire world with nothing but 2 sets of bike clothes, some rain gear, and a lot of Sour Patch Kids. It has definitely made me super excited for some of the biking plans I have this year, including the Almanzo 100 and a trip to the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route. Unfortunately, I haven’t been on my bike much, which brings me to…
Wallowing in misery on the stationary bike. If Hell is a place where people go to be punished for their bad deeds on Earth, it is not an expansive pit of fiery rage. It is a gray room filled with gray stationary bikes that inform you every time you have completed another 10% of your workout. Good God, these machines are insufferable. This month alone I have put in 57 miles on the stationary bike. 57 miles to NOWHERE. I am an object that appreciates either being at rest or being in motion. Stationary bikes (and treadmills) exist in this horrible no-man’s land where I am in motion but I am not actually moving. It defies the laws of physics and the Natural Order of Things and I do not like it.
Yoga. I have been using yoga as a (not boring) way to incorporate a little more stretching in my life and to get in workouts at home when I am short on time or don’t want to go to the gym. I rely on doyogawithme.com and I really enjoy the videos they have available. I especially like being able to sort the videos by skill level and time. Advanced for over 60 minutes? No thank you.
Physical therapy exercises. I can go to the gym and barbell squat just under 100 pounds (I’m working on it) but I cannot do 15 reps of single-leg squats?! PT has been a great reminder to me about how simple exercises can make a big difference and that every muscle deserves (and needs) a workout.
And how is my Achilles feeling? Some days great, some days are still touchy. I have been doing my exercises to a T and I am hopeful that Thursday’s appointment will have me on the treadmill at least attempting a run and- if it’s unsuccessful- further developing a plan of action.