Injury is not the End!

What’s that you say, stress fractures?  No (or almost no) impact for six whole weeks?  You’re kind of pissed about that spinning class I took last week with all the jumps in it?  You’re gonna bother me if I try to walk around too much?  Challenge accepted. 

So, I’m almost at the six-week mark with these fractures, which is the magic number for beginning a walk-run program to try and ease back into my favorite pastime.  In the meantime, I’ve been deep-water running like crazy in both the pool at my parents’ house (my official residence before the big move) and at Puffer’s Pond in Amherst (my unofficial residence and home for the past four years).  Anyone who has ever tried this knows it’s excruciating.  Lucky for me, I’ve kept things exciting with a little too-close-for-comfort run-in with a beaver at the pond, which forced me to quit early and inspired this:

My friends making fun of how freaked out I was after my Puffer’s Pond beaver encounter

To supplement my regular glorified doggie paddle sessions, I’ve been walking a lot, going on a few bike rides (see Emily’s post ), bustin’ out some Pilates moves (more on this later), putting together the occasional low-impact circuit, and hiking a little bit although this hurt at first.

Today, after a leisurely weekend, I decided I needed to switch up the routine a bit, but there were some obstacles in my way.  Last week I returned to home base, the Rec Center at UMass, and took a spinning class taught by my good friend Allie.  You should know that I absolutely HATE spinning – I’m horrible at it, the first class I ever took was after the last weekend of ski season (talk about dead legs), and I’d just rather be outside – so this was really a desperate attempt to get that sweaty shins, tired lungs feeling that you can only get from seriously intense cardio.  I miss it.  Unfortunately, it ended up being a little too much for my legs and when I felt that dull ache in my shins I sat for the rest of class, put the resistance up, and kept the wheel spinning as much as I could.  Consequently, I decided to go super low-impact this week.

I would have hopped in the pool for a nice little swim-run, but I had just shocked the pool and unless I planned on having some sort of horrible skin disease from the chlorine, I needed to stay out of it.  I started things outside with a little pilates – the classic stomach series and the side leg series that I always use when I teach.  This took about 30 minutes.

Next, I went treasure hunting.  In the basement,  found my sister’s old gymnastics mat, which folded up comes to a little bit higher than my knees – perfect for step ups, box jumps, dips, anything that I’d normally use a plyo box for (not that I can do most of those exercises).  I also found some old full 1-gallon paint cans that would do for a little added weight for a few exercises.

I took my loot outside, and wrote a few circuits:

This is the format I used to use for my class at the Rec Center: 4 exercises, 30 seconds each, 4 times through with no rest.  Sprinters are a modified version of a mountain climber with no rest, and the crab toe touch is something of my own creation.  In a crab position (think elementary gym class crab walk), bring the opposite hand straight up to meet the opposite toe.  Don’t forget to keep your butt as high as possible, use your core!

I would have done more, but I had to run inside to make dinner and the deer flies were getting to me.  Maybe the pool will be good to go a little later!

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