After weeks of dedicated, careful training, I did something wrong and can’t run a step due to pain in my right calf. Thus, even following a week of patient tending to the injury, I cried and withdrew from the 2011 Nampa Rec Center Indoor Triathlon. Part of me wants to pretend the event never existed. Another part of me still wants to be involved. Since my husband and most of my kids were inspired by me and entered also, I WILL be there for their heat. I also decided I might as well volunteer. Who better to cheer on a racer than me?
Meanwhile, that still leaves me needing a plan and a mind-set for recovery. So I have come up with an 8 point program for myself.
1. Read books on running.
In the last week I have consumed 3 books on running, both in an effort to analyze my situation and for the comfort of feeling like I am still a runner. The first was Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth
The case for barefoot running, woven with the author’s story of recovering from a bone-crunching bike crash, is highly motivating. The book has a lot of good information on training, technique, and troubleshooting that makes some of the philosophical sections seem less burdensome.
The second book I read was Brain Training For Runners by Matt Fitzgerald. This author uses some studies on how the brain really regulates running to bring into question some popular ideas in the running community. The tweak in perspective could be just the thing to give runners needed insight into their running.
Lastly, I read Run Less Run Faster by Pierce, Murr, and Moss. Their theme is that most runners are stressing the body too much putting on the miles. They have both impressive studies and many anecdotes supporting their training regimen. It resonates with my experience in preparing for the triathlon. Key points: run fewer (3 days), but more effective workouts, plus cross training (2-3 days).
There were major points of disagreement between the books, i.e. barefoot versus orthotics, more mileage versus less, and nutritional ideas. However, I learned and synthesized. I will be looking for another book, but I am sold on barefoot running, so don’t see the point in reading anything that isn’t applicable from that point of view.
2. Practice swimming.
Two weeks ago I mentioned swimming lessons at Flowaquatics. I have been making even more progress with that and it doesn’t seem to bother my leg. The pool should be a place to fight off the injury-blues. I cannot recommend these teachers highly enough.
3. Focus on strength training, stretching, and core building exercises that don’t bother my leg.
The running books I read had more options for these than I could possibly do in a week. I can also see which parts of my routine at the Rec Center are still doable.
4. Get some sewing projects done.
Why not use my down time for things I’ve been trying to “find” time to do? I cut out 4 aprons this week already. Being productive is always a good antidote for impatience with other limitations.
5. Plan my garden, clean my greenhouse and start the first seeds.
True, the 2nd and 3rd items in this idea might have to wait until there is a little more healing, but I’m starting to feel the spring air by just mentioning it all. And come spring, I might be able to run again!
6. Play my flute
There is a recital coming up the last Saturday of March. I will be playing a duet with my instructor that sounds like a light and happy dance. I might play a sonata by C.P.E. Bach that I think he wrote for me! (My instructor says that happens sometimes….) If I can’t work off enough energy swimming laps, playing the flute is a wonderful way to relax.
7. Study Mandarin Chinese
I think it will come in handy and it stimulates the mental faculties. I need to be working on agility of the mind as well as staying “in shape” physically.
8. Get my nails done.
What more needs to be said.