Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hello legs!

February 13, 2013

I have a challenge for you.  Try to exercise without putting pressure on one of your feet.  Go!  I'll be waiting in the elevator while you try to sweat. If you put pressure on anything but the heel of your "injured" foot, you're cheating.

Did you have to get creative? What did you do to work up a sweat? It's possible to work your body without using your foot, yes, but it's takes some thought and effort.  I have found it difficult to really sweat since my injury. You know, drip off your nose and elbows sweat. I was given the a-okay to try the bike and other low impact equipment and as long as there is no pain, I can go for it!

My sit bones are a little sore but my psyche is extremely elated. As long as I don't stand up on the pedals, I can bike with the best of them. I tried the stair climber and no longer have to look with envy because now I am climbing, too! I've also discovered another couple of tools at the YMCA that get the sweat flying: the ROPE PULL and Jacob's Ladder. 

What is Jacob's Ladder?

My life is feeling more normal now. That first drip of sweat was like a revelation: I am healing and I am love sweating. I know that may sound weird but if it doesn't, you are my friend. You know.

Who are these women who CHOOSE to not break a sweat intentionally? My guess is they have emotional problems. My theory is that more women would suffer less physical and emotional problems if they would force their bodies into uncomfortable effort. Now don't get down on me, ladies. I know what's what. Our bodies can do crazy things. But GENERALLY speaking, physical activity does wonders for our stability, both physical and emotional.

Did you sweat today?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cue Marvin Gaye...

Click play first:

So I've crawled out of the pool and grown legs and have begun my journey to the weight and equipment part of the YMCA. I've looked with envy at the ellipticals and treadmills. I even have longed to get on the stair climber, that's how sick and twisted I have become without my daily dose of running.

The free weights part of the room is like a carnival display of testosterone-filled, sweaty, grunting men staring at their biceps and thick necks with admiration. I have postponed that area for another day.  For now, I have been finding machines that don't cause pain in my foot. Hamstring curl, leg extension, bicep, tricep, shoulder press, captain's chair for my squishy abs, and the sex machines. It's been a good experience for me to...what's that? Back up? Sex? Machines?

Technically, they are the abductor and adductor machines. Here's how it goes:

I see them, side by side, waiting for a volunteer to sit and show their goods to the entire gym. I believe these two machines should be set aside in their own dimly-lit room, jasmine candles burning, and a little Marvin Gaye playing in the background.

The last time I used them, I realized in horror that the seam in my capris had a little tear in it...not THERE, thankfully, but it was a good reminder to choose my adductor apparel more carefully.

What's your favorite machine at the gym?  Do you abduct? Adduct? Do you grunt in the front of the mirror in public?

Thought you'd enjoy this little groin-busting picture. 

Until next time, I have a hot date at the YMCA. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Naked Yoga and Other Gym Adventures

February 2, 2012

The aqua saga continues.

It's been 5 weeks today since I broke a metatarsal.  Dr. McCrum told me a typical time frame for healing would be 6-8 weeks. I can't imagine being able to run in one week. I have progressed to gimpy walking, some people not noticing that I avoid pressure on the top of my foot. I have tried to walk normally and it's not ready. The pain is immediate and I'm smart enough to not push it.  I'm hopeful that 3 more weeks will do the trick but I also want to continue running without injury so I will let it heal no matter what the time frame.

While I wait for my bone to repair itself, I continue driving to the YMCA nearly every day for swimming and/or aquajogging.  It's been about 3 weeks since I started this routine and I have discovered something about myself. I not only love competing in running, but I believe I just love competing, even against myself. My water running and swimming began quite innocently, me just a poor little fish trying to survive in a pool of flip-turn, drill masters. With my aqua belt strapped on tightly, my bingo-blue stamper head bobbing ever so slowly down the lane while underneath, I'd be stirring up a storm with my running. I began with 30 minutes of running and have progressed to 90 minutes. I read that I should be running in the water as long as a planned road run. Sigh. I have incorporated swimming and am up to 2 miles. Of course I had to look at the ironman swim distance, 2.4 miles, and have this incessant need to swim further than that.

Today I will attempt 2-2.5 hours of running while trying not to go bat-crazy or call anyone a monkey butt for splashing me with their wide splish splashy strokes. Don't get me wrong; I love the pool and most are quite polite and give me plenty of birth while I skim the rope line to stay out of their way.  It's just the guys - usually - who take up an entire lane with their wide flinging arms. And can I say the breast stroke is not an invitation to touch the boobies as you go by me?

Outside of the pool, in the secret caves aka locker rooms, I have discovered oddities...things that make you go hmmm.

  • Naked hot yoga. Why pay for hot yoga when you can just strip down to nothing and do it in the sauna?  Hey!  No criss-cross applesauce!
  • Massages in the steam room.  Naked.  Okay, ladies, knock it off!
  • Getting ready to leave the locker room and staying naked until the last possible second. 
  • Discovering I am an anatomy lesson for little children after 3:30 pm.  
Hey, I know it's a locker room and naked happens. But really, can you leave SOMETHING on while you deep stretch in the sauna?  Grrr.  Oh.  GUYS!  In case you're wondering, whatever you're imagining, yeah...not.

I had my first water running lane sharer this past week. A guy joined me and hey, I'm okay with sharing a lane. No big. It's just a little awkward, 2 heads bobbing slowly up and down the lane, and you're kind of forced to smile every time and, you know, converse. The swimmers are pretty much submerged so that's not a big deal. Found out he's planning on running a 24 hour race this year sometime. He's up to 16 miles. He doesn't have ultra experience but after hearing him talk, I think he thinks he has it all figured out.

While passing each other, oh yes, lots of time to talk as we approach and pass, he tells me he thinks that in a 24 hour race, it comes down to "what's up here" as he pointed to his brain, and yes, I agree, your thoughts and discipline, etc. are huge in ultras. But let's not forget the body. It's going through self-imposed fatigue and pain in ways you won't understand unless you've gone through mega distances. So how do I respond? I say, "It has a lot to do with what's down here," pointed under the water.  Yeah. Idiot. What I meant (legs, feet!) and what he heard may have been different based on the look on his face. Insert blush.  My friends said that I was right. It takes balls to attempt a 24 hour. 

See you in the pool!