Saturday, February 18, 2012

How NOT to cross train, for the injured runner

This is the first time I've been injured since I started running in June 2010.  It's the first time I've been forced out of my running shoes for more than a few days.  It's annoying.  Not knowing the exact nature of your injury is equally as annoying.  I'm going to start physical therapy this Monday and hope to get some more answers, if not ideas on how to get back to running. 

In the meantime, there aren't really (m)any alternative activities one can participate in for fitness sake because the adductors are key to just about all activity; walking, biking, swimming, etc.  I've been basically doing no physical activity since the 25th of January.  Well, if you count wrangling a 7 and almost 5 year old, then I'm keeping up with my regular workouts.

I'm not a doctor, and not a fitness expert.  I run.  That's what I do.  I know I should cross train, but don't {insert sigh of "I thought I was the only one", relief here}.  Especially right now.  Guess that's going to get added to my docket when I'm back 'on my feet', eh?  Anyway, that said, I can tell that I haven't been running just by how I feel and how my body is expanding responding.  Here are a few things which  have kept me busy, which I don't recommend for the injured athlete.

Eat like you do when you're running, even though you're not running.
You're not running.  You're not burning the calories you do when you run.  Your body will retain these calories in key places, making it obvious that you've replaced your running with planting your ass on the couch.  You may as well invest in duct tape and affix your food to your gut, ass, and thighs.

Have a few extra cups of coffee with that awesome {insert dreamy flavor} creamer to keep you going.
You're not running.  Your body is not benefiting from the endorphin rushes that running gives you, and you seem to tire easily.   That extra cup or two of coffee with yummy creamer just makes you seem like a hyper freak with food duct taped to your mid-section.

Enjoy more wine nights because you don't have 8 miles to pound out the next morning.
You're not running. You certainly wouldn't be running with a headache like the one you get after a night at your girlfriend's place and three and a half bottles of wine between you.  That guacamole was awesome, though.  Again, see duct tape tip above.

Look up races to add to your schedule.
You're not running.  You're beating yourself up and that doesn't count as a cardio replacement exercise.

Stare down the runners you pass while driving in your car going {insert destination you could run to if you weren't injured}.
You're not running.  Give that runner kudos and ask them to add three miles for you!

Surf the internet looking up ways to get back into your running shoes quicker.
Dr. Internet is a wealth of information, but, when you're injured or in pain, it usually leads to a brain tumor, cancer, or some horrible condition that's only cured by visiting some foreign country and eating strange bugs and eliminating real food from your diet until the pain subsides.  I mean, really, isn't time the one thing we call have in common, and the best thing to heal whatever ails you?  Give it a rest.

Pack your running gear away and hide it, as if your relationship has ended.
You're not running.  You're taking a break from it, but you haven't ended your relationship with your true love, running.  Keep your gear in its usual place.  Mine is on the floor in my bedroom, piled on and around a gym bag.  Just seeing my running skirt, shoes, and Knuckle Lights is inspiration for me, and reminds me that we will be together again, it just won't be tomorrow.

Do remember that you ARE a runner, you will be back out there, and if you weren't already a runner, your injury would have taken a much greater toll on your body.  You're not alone.  You're going to get that duct tape those unwanted extras off your mid-section. 

You're going to kill it in the next race you run.  You're going to run again, because you can. 

Now, I'm off to refill my coffee cup.  Oh, and by the way, Cool Whip is a great (tasting) substitute when you run out of real creamer.