Sunday, October 27, 2013

Exercises for the Injured Runner or How I Spend My Mornings While I Can't Run

It has been eleven weeks since I broke my foot in a stupid walnut accident.  One of my greatest fears during this time was that I would gain lots of weight.  See, I have a problem with food.  My problem with food is that I love it, all of it.  Except for you, mushrooms.  I hate you.

Anyway, my orthopedist had put the nix on any type of cardio and any exercise that involved moving my foot.  This was problematic in that I still like to eat, but I don't like the idea of gaining back the forty-plus pounds I lost about eight years ago.  I looked at my arsenal of torture devices exercise equipment and I came up with a regimen.

I started with the 30-day ab challenge, but I couldn't do the planks.  No worries, there is enough pain and suffering without them.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I am doing the ab challenge.

I simultaneously completed the 30 day pushup challenge, but I did it on my knees.

What I mostly do is light lifting (five pound weights) with the exercise ball.  I found this great webpage that has pictures and explanations for the ball.  I choose two exercises per area of concentration (abs, back, shoulders, biceps, legs, triceps).  I like this option because I can watch tv while I'm doing it.  It's a lot easier to do ab exercises when Angel is on tv at five in the morning.

When the orthopedist gave me the go-ahead for swimming and aqua jogging, I did that twice a week.

Now I can do most exercises that don't involve running or slamming my foot against things (like kick boxing or dancing).  I look forward to walking, but the cold weather has kicked in, and while I feel comfortable running at 5 in the morning, I don't feel comfortable walking at that time.  The zombies can't catch me if I run, but they might catch me if I'm walking.  My walking solution is Leslie Sansone's DVDs.  Now, I HATE Leslie Sansone, but she does have walking programs with pacing times.  Right now I feel comfortable walking two miles at a time.  After that, I worry that I am hurting my foot.

This is one of the DVDs I own.  It allows me to walk in place at home.  I don't own a dreadmill.

I tried some light yoga, but I don't think the pressure is good for my foot, so when I want to do yoga, I do the 20 minute Rodney Yee session.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I do forward bends.

This DVD has five practices, and I choose #1. Power Foundation because I can practice on my back or in a sitting position, and I still get a great stretch.

I look forward to getting the all-clear from the orthopedist, but in the meantime, this is what I can do.  I have noticed that the weight lifting and exercise ball work has really helped me to maintain/gain some muscle tone, and I initially lost weight after being injured.  I hope that I can keep it off, but honestly, eating is a constant battle for me.

If you ever find yourself in a running slump, or God forbid you get injured, check out these options; they can keep you fit and healthy until you are back on track.

P.S.  Today my exercise will be traipsing around the neighborhood in the freezing cold for Trick or Treat.  Yay!  I hope the neighbors have beer. . .

P.P.S.  My daughter said to me as we were about to leave for Trick or Treat, "Maybe you can go as a drunk, bitter, injured runner."

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Monday, October 14, 2013

6 Weeks More

And there you have it.  My x-ray says that the foot is still broken, although it is slowly healing.  This time the orthopedist tried to put a positive spin on it, which I appreciate, since last time I ended up sobbing like a baby.

Thinking Positively:

1.  I don't need to go back to the boot, and the insert Bill lent me is working nicely.  (@Bill:   I told her, Bill does for me what you can't.  I don't think that came out right.)

2.  I can do any exercise that doesn't involve high impact.  This means walking, aqua jogging, swimming, and YOGA!!!!

3.  Life could be worse; I could have a stinkbug infestation.

This is EXACTLY what I don't want to see around my house.  The little buggers have been crawling into our garage entry keypad and freaking out the kids.

The Bummer:

1.  If the foot doesn't heal in six weeks, I may have to have surgery.  Doctor says that she has only had to do this twice.  With my luck. . .

2.  I was hoping to sign up for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon, which takes place at the end of April.  I still might be able to run it, but I'll have to wait and see, and we all know what happens to prices (and open spots) when runners wait.


In the meantime, I will continue to be the cheerful, grin-and-bear-it, uplifting blogger you have grown to know and love. . .as long as the booze holds out.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

And That Is How I Didn't Realize I Solicited Free Medical Advice.

My running peeps aren't just in my running life; we are band parents and Girl Scout parents.  Last Thursday I was at my daughter's band concert (Flutes represent!) with Deidre and Teresa, and in between band sets, Deidre's husband Bill asked about my foot.  Bill fits people with prosthetic limbs, so I was actually going for a really tasteless joke about asking him for a new foot when I told him that my foot still hurts.  Bill started talking to me, and then the band director started talking, so I looked at Bill's mouth, and I was all, "Yeah!  Uh huh!  Oh!  Ok," while he was talking  to me.  I didn't really hear a word he said, but I assumed he was telling me what kind of insert to get.  At that point I decided that I was going to go back to wearing the boot until I get my x-ray (on Monday).

Let me just say now that the looking-at-the-speaker-and-making-positive-noises has never backfired on me.  Until now.

This is EXACTLY how I look when someone tells me I can't run the half marathon.

On Saturday, Deidre texted me:  Bill wants you to stop over so he can fit you with an insert.

Me:  ?  Um, ok?  (Now I'm thinking, what insert?)

Then it hit me.  I had accidentally solicited free medical advice because I was pretending I heard what he said.  I felt awful.

Me:  OMG.  I totally did not realize what Bill was saying at the concert; I was just pretending I did.  I would NEVER ask someone to take care of me outside his/her practice.  I was only going to ask him to fit me for a new foot.  I. AM. SO. SORRY.  

Deidre:  (Basically) Whatever.  Come over.

Bill gave me an insert for my running shoes, and he explained that it was just as good as the boot, but without stabilizing the ankle (which I do not need).  He said that I would either feel no pain in two days, or it wouldn't change anything (in which case he could still fit me with a new foot).

That night I chaperoned the Homecoming dance.  I was wearing a beautiful black dress. . . with my running shoes.  Later I found out that a student came into school on Monday laughing about the "dumb girl in a dress and running shoes."  I appreciate that he called me a girl, but I am NOT DUMB.  Anyway, I felt awful at the end of the night, but that may have been the twerking that I can NOT UNSEE NO MATTER HOW HARD I CONCENTRATE ON CUTE PUPPIES AND SUNFLOWERS.

Sunday was a recovery day, and Monday was back to school, so when Deidre texted me to ask me how I felt, I truthfully said I felt the same, but now I was too scared to take out the insert before my doctor's appointment.  Tuesday was crazy-busy, but ten minutes before bedtime, I realized that my foot hadn't hurt ALL DAY.

I think the next time I see Bill, I am going to kiss him on the mouth.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Back to the Pool!

I'm back to aqua jogging, and I hope it's a good idea.  My orthopedist had told me as of three weeks ago that I could go in the pool as long as I don't touch bottom.  I waited an extra week just to be sure.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I make a perfect 4 in aqua jogging!

The first time I tried aqua jogging, I thought it was mind-numbingly boring, especially since I can't listen to music while I do it.  This time I feel different about the whole thing.  I have been very stressed lately, and I thought that my mind would be racing while I was in the pool.  That's one of the reasons why I like music while I run; it drowns out the scary Voices in my head.  (Read this post for further explanations about what goes on inside my head.  Spooky!)

As I drove to the pool at five in the morning, I made a list of things I should be working over in my mind.  Then I added some hypothetical challenges to my day that I anticipated having to overcome.  What I actually thought about when I got in the pool was. . . nothing.  I just kind of zoned.  It was actually very relaxing.

It started when I was trying to pay attention to my foot to see if there was any pain during pool time.  Then I decided to use the opportunity to work on my running gait.  Before my injury, my coach was encouraging me to practice a mid-foot strike without taking huge steps.  I focused on making my legs look like the Road Runner's, a blurry circle.  This is surprisingly difficult on a track but easy enough in a pool.

This is exactly how I SHOULD look when I'm working on my gait, but the reality is  that I probably look like the coyote, tongue and all, when I run.
I now know how people can take more than five minutes to "scan their bodies for information," something that I used to think was bizarre.  I was continually thinking about my legs, feet, and arm motions as I ran.  It made for a quick forty minutes.

I'm seeing the orthopedist on Columbus Day, and I'm hoping for good news!