The Danger Zone

I’ve returned to the danger zone. My foot no longer feels sore, so my body keeps sayin’:
‘Go for a run, just a little run, wearing your Aircast brace, why don’t ya, go on, just to see how it goes, you’ll be fine, run, run, run! What’s the harm?’
The harm, my brain keeps reminding me, is that if I go back out too early as I did two weeks ago, I will probably end up even more injured than before, and benched for months. That’s the harm, you darn run devil!
On the bright side – and believe me with the dream of having my name appear for posterity or at least until terrorists destroy the Internet, on the results of the Standard Chartered Half Marathon website now destined to remain just a dream that can now never come true, bright is far from how I felt yesterday – but on the bright side, I’ve been trying new things instead of running.
Here they are in no particular order of preference-they all suck compared to getting out on the road but can be categorized ‘better than sitting on your ass all day, with ice on your ankle’:
Pool running-this one I had never heard of until three weeks ago, but since discovered to be a favourite amongst injured runners or people who write about activities for injured runners online, and Australian marathon runners (according to my friend Deb). Please search YouTube for a demo video as I’m certainly not making one. No impact in the pool makes this a winner but gosh is it boring. I’m lucky enough to have a pool only 3 mins walk from my house, and in the mornings it’s usually empty (and 27 degrees C). I guess any smidgen of sympathy those of you in Northern Europe might have felt for me has totally evaporated now, hasn’t it? Still please, swallow your envy, and read on.
Pool running looks weird – sort of high-legged running on the spot except floating in the pool while moving slowly forward – so it’s not something one might want to do in front of an audience or indeed alongside proper swimmers. It requires an aqua


 belt which is very like the belt Ursula Andress wore in a famous still from a Bond movie, except instead of a dagger tucked into the belt, there are six brick-shaped floats attached. This is the sexy version.
Another type is much bulkier and is made totally from styrofoam; it looks nothing like anything a Bond girl would be seen in and I suspect is popular among geriatric aqua aerobics fans. It might however last longer than my ‘sexy’ blue number. Over the four occasions on which I have used my belt, one float out of six has gone adrift, shearing off from the belt, unable to take the pressure I guess. At this rate, I will sink to the bottom of the pool by the end of October. The bottom of ‘my’ pool is unfortunately a bit too shallow for pool running so I wont drown. I am getting better at this pool running lark as this morning I barely stubbed my big toe at all on the tiles. belt
Cycling – now the first time I sat on a stationary bike for an hour watching Grey’s Anatomy was almost enjoyable but afterwards sitting on anything at all hurt for a few days. Having recovered normal sensation in my ass, I tried out a Spinning class. Definitely the nearest thing so far to an elevated heart rate was achieved with this one, and I sweated buckets, so I’ll probably do this again. I may even do a class a week when I get back to running. When!
Elliptical Trainer– I’ve tried this once and I suspect that, done properly, it’s of great benefit in keeping up cardio fitness as well as working leg muscles. The trouble with this one – and the bike really – is the same trouble I have (had!) with the treadmill. It’s boring and so it’s difficult to keep pushing oneself, instead of popping off for a coffee and a scone. It’s probably good training for racing though, as preparation for that point about 2 km from the finishing line -irrespective of whether I am running a 10km or a 21km – when I’m cursing my hubris in thinking I could race well and am fighting the urge to stop and stroll the rest of the way.
To be honest, other than the singular Spinning class, none of these attempted workouts have been anything near a good run in fitness terms. They’ve been of a very exploratory, non-focused nature.
I’m still icing my foot several times a day in case any of these moderate activities cause inflammation. I’m also wearing the Aircast brace when I have to walk a lot. I have my third Shock Wave Therapy session tomorrow and am toying with the idea of wearing my running gear. Nothing like getting dressed up in the hope of having somewhere to go – which in my case will be the treadmill at the clinic to have my running gait assessed. Yes, tomorrow I’m going to do something else I’ve never done before. I’m going to beg to be allowed go on a treadmill. Told you I was in the Danger Zone.

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