Well as many of you wonderful folk know, silly old me fell… popped a couple of ribs, tore intercostal muscles and generally shook myself up. My own fault and not a trick I will be performing again. So….after the initial shock, the planning starts.
I am, again, as many of you who know and love me are aware, an outdoor runner. The sights, the sounds the sensations, all play an integral part of my runs… they keep me calm, relaxed, sane, happy and generally pretty balanced. What on earth am I able to do now? Poddled around on the Thursday after the fall, and kept moving; stiffening up is one thing to be avoided especially in my advanced years…
I spent the day cooking freezer meals for the new family. Loading washing, making soup etc, and employing wonderful husband for any stretching, lifting or moving tasks… punctuated with short rest periods! Not a horrific night’s sleep, and so on the Friday… a trial run, (run?) on my elliptical trainer…
How strange that was… I have been using my new toy on rest days regularly, to improve stamina and core strength, since I treated myself, but this was somehow different. Heart thumping as I tentatively got onto the thing, and, after setting just five minutes on the timer at no resistance at all, ever so gently moved my feet. It felt, strangely, like the first faltering steps I took over a year ago; heading out on the first weeks of C25K, along rain-slicked lanes through the darkness of the October and November mornings. The unknown, stretching endlessly before me. I could feel my heart in my chest and waited for a pull a pain or a twinge from the offending ribs, happily, no such pain.
I stayed moving so, so, slowly, holding tightly to the fixed hand rail for five minutes… it was okay… set another ten minutes trying to concentrate very much on leg power, and then stopped. I did feel a slight pain and I was, frankly tired, I think maybe I was holding my upper body so tensely that I was not breathing properly. Five minutes gentle walk down, so, at least I am able to keep some semblance of running/ type action going. Sunday…. A repeat of that session, increased to 15 minutes, run time, (I use that term loosely), and onto Tuesday… well…that was, really a little bit different
I woke to a bright morning, a brittle silence and a gin-clear sky. My heart sank; a perfect morning for a run… the first frost; the garden and the trees silver-tinted by the hidden hand of winter. A perfect morning and I could not run. So, after a huge sigh, which really hurt, in true lunatic fashion, after the regulation cup of tea and two digestive biscuits, I togged myself up, leggings, indoor trainers, lightweight jacket, and headed out to the studio and my cross trainer .
It was chilly, the cold air making me gasp slightly, a pale moon just visible over the far trees and the purity that comes with mornings like these. I left the door to the outside open; I set up the trainer, with no elevation, for 5K. I switched on my little TV and located a video on You-tube, ( Old Man's Cave Run), that I had found the day before, warily getting onto the trainer, hitting the buttons and I was off.
Slow this morning… no brisk walk, for me, just a very gentle warm up of the leg muscles. I was aware of my whole upper body and ready for any indication of pain, but after five minutes, all was well. The chap on the video was into his run…and I was just behind him. Fortunately, he had to negotiate some very slippery steps, so I was able to catch him up. I was concentrating on my leg, using those muscles to power me and not putting a strain on my arms and chest. The action of the machine is excellent and the lovely rounding motion serves to get those leg muscles really working. Laura would have been proud of me. My breathing seemed to be steady and I was able, as the tape continued to look around and take in all the wonderful snowy scenery! I won’t wax too lyrical, as it was not my scenery, but suffice to say the trees, laden with heavy snow, the blue sky flittering through spiked branches and the odd patch of colour of evergreens hidden in the depths of the forest, added an element of magic to my ‘run’.
Aware of the chill from the real outdoors, at my back, with the scent of cold in the air, I maintained a steady pace and completed, with not a mammoth effort, 5K; very slowly, and very, very gently. A slow walk down, as my virtual companion continued his way through the white wonderland, feet crunching, on the crisp white snow, I left him paused, mid-way to his destination. Headed out into my garden, the sun coming through strongly and the crisp sharp clarity of a frosty day. The plus side of indoor training, only a stride across the garden into my home.
Since last Tuesday, I have completed two more outings, all 5K… no resistance, no incline. Time taken ranged from 45 minutes to 30 minutes on the last ‘run’. The distance means very little, it is so different than being outside, so I don’t really register it… But, it is a means to an end. Staying fit and healing steadily I hope. I am exercising every day, in between baby duties Last night I had the least uncomfortable night’s sleep so far!
So, still here, battered but unbowed… loving reading and soaking up all the posts from chums, old and new, who are kind enough to take me with them on the real outdoor adventures.
It is running, not as we know it… but it feels good and will suffice for now