After going through the better part of a year having a shin injury, I’ve finally decided to give up running.
For now, anyway. I’ve gotten my hopes up that I’m well enough to run again so many times, that I’m hoping that if I completely give up the notion of running anytime soon, my body will secretly heal itself when I’m not paying attention. Then the next time I think about running, I’ll be able to do it again! Genius plan.
In the mean time, I’ve finished school and haven’t quite pinned down my summer plans yet and so I have all kinds of time to get in shape. I just need to figure out how to do this without running. To start, I read this encouraging article titled, “Why Women Should Not Run.” Before, this might have made me angry, but now it just helps solidify the fact that I shouldn’t run right now (because I’m a woman). While I think may ignore the reasoning in this article once I am healed, for now it makes a lot of sense.
The big question for me is, what do I do instead of running? Sometimes when I want to get in shape, I join a new expensive gym. At the moment, I have certain people insisting that I can get in shape by going to classes at the gyms I already belong to, so I might try that for a little bit (at least until I have some kind of income, anyway). So, I’ve started an unscheduled workout schedule that doesn’t involve a new expensive gym. This is what my week has looked like so far:
Monday – Yoga taught by Marina at the 205 Mall 24 Hour Fitness. My second yoga class in months (the first one was a week earlier, when I went to hot yoga and almost died and left after 35 minutes).
Tuesday – I found a CrossFit mini-workout on Pinterest: 5 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 15 squats, repeat 10 times. Surprisingly doable, but I’m insanely sore today. Here’s a poster of the slightly more advanced workout than the one I did:
Wednesday – I rode my mountain bike to Lents Park with my favorite running buddy and tried to set pace for him while he did a 6 mile tempo workout on the bark-dust trail.
Note that for the Wednesday workout, the word “tried.” I had been feeling pretty good about myself – three days in a row of working out is an impressive new record for the year. Unfortunately, this bike ride revealed the full extent of my deconditioning, and I was only able to keep up with him for 3 miles, which isn’t really ideal when you’re supposed to be setting the pace. Here’s a list of my excuses:
- I was super sore from my tiny workout on Tuesday
- The trail at Lents Park is uphill, and super uneven, so even on the downhill you have to work
- I was trying to time my running buddy using my iPhone, and I am extremely uncoordinated on a bike, and nearly incapable of doing anything that involves taking one hand off the handles
- I’m super out of shape
Here’s a picture of Lents Park, to prove that it’s no average bike path:
It turns out this picture doesn’t do the path justice in terms of how hard it was for me to bike around it. I forgot to include the excuse that my running partner was doing sub-6 minute miles. If he had been doing 8 minute miles like a normal person, I think (hope) I could have handled it. But I still think I should be able to keep up with anyone running while I’m on a bike.
Usually when I’m working out, I hit the wall when I either run out of breath or my muscles give out. Today, my entire body unanimously decided to shut down and remind me that my place is at a desk or a couch or someplace where moving isn’t involved. I guess I have a lot of work to do – I hope I just get rich soon so I can join as many expensive gyms as I want. Or that my leg finishes healing all the way so I can un-give up on running.
I have also had injuries from running that have taken a very long time to heal (hamstring and piriformis). I have chosen not to give up on running completely but I have stopped entering races and I don’t run more than 9 or 10 miles a week now. Cutting back and trying new stretches has helped me. I hope you find something that gives you the cardio benefits of running until your shin injury heals!
Thanks Cathy – I am trying to learn to love the spin bike and outdoor biking in order to compensate. It doesn’t come naturally, but it’s clearly necessary until things are back to 100%!
Hasn’t your shin been injured for over a year? That seems highly unusual in a young active non-smoker without other complicating factors. Did you get a positive diagnosis of stress fracture through an x-ray? How often does it hurt, and what are you doing when it hurts?
It’s been about 9 months now. Negative x-ray diagnosis, but the doctor said it had all the exact symptoms of one (they often don’t show up in x-rays). It’s almost completely better, I just feel a lot of pressure in there and almost-pain for a couple days after any light jogging. I swear I’m super close to getting better, but I’m just trying to forget about it until that happens for real. The tibia is a pretty long bone, mine are especially long, I don’t have a lot of supporting muscle, and so I’m especially susceptible to this injury and it can take a long time to heal. I was kind of asking for it when I increased my mileage so much, but it still sucks.
Sounds annoying, but at least you’re keeping active. Of course, to give it absolute immobility to allow it to heal fully, you could get a cast for six weeks. All your best school-chums could sign it.
So annoying! I asked the doctor about immobilizing or casting it, and he said that wasn’t necessary and would ultimately be worse, since bone density would go way down without any weight-bearing. But I did always like the idea of my “school-chums” signing my cast.