I have made a "final" (which will obviously change because I am the most indecisive person ever) decision about my work outs in light of my knee injury. I am going to take a break from running. Several awesome people have shared with me that they too had to take 6 month, year long breaks from running because of knee pain. All of these people are running again pain free so I feel like it can happen! However, I'm not convinced it can happen without actually rest, so I am resorting to other work out plans.
My favorite things about running are the fact that 1. you can do it anywhere and 2. it does not take a lot of time to get a good work out- walk out the front door, run 30 minutes, come back and I'm done. Therefore, I will need to be more creative about fitting in other work outs. The bike is good, but it takes at least 45 minutes to get in a good work out on a bike AND that doesn't include filling up the tires and the prep that is involved in getting the bike ready. Swimming is also good, but that involves driving to the gym which is about 20-25 minutes round trip. Also, technically my membership ran out at the gym. When I get home I am going to have to deal with this haha.
While I am down the Cape time is less of an issue so I've been thinking about things I can do. I couldn't bring my bike down, but I did bring my tennis racket and rollerblades. If I really want to bike my parents have mountain bikes in the garage, but I think they are not filled up with air. So I think what I am going to try to do while I'm down here is swim 3-4 times (I can pay $5 to go to the Y that is 15 minutes away or if I get really crazy I can swim in the ocean), rollerblade once or twice, play tennis two or three times and in between do On Demand work outs like pilates, yoga and any other low impact cardio I can find (any recommendations?). For now this will work.
This morning I woke up and headed over the Y. I wanted to get the most of my $5 guest past so I started with the elliptical. I have found that my knee hurts if I had resistance (which is annoying because I think the interval plan keeps things more interesting). I could only manage that for about 15 minutes, especially once I realized the magazine I brought I had already read. After that I did the leg press because I was doing that at PT and that is a leg exercise I can't really keep up at home. I also did the hip lift where I have the big ball under my legs, which also cannot be done at home until I invest in the ball. I LOVE this exercise, it is so good for the back of your thighs! At the end I put on my bathing suit and hopped in the pool for my first swim since the triathlon. I found myself in the middle of a Masters swim team practice (the Cape Cod Y does not like to post things like this on their pool schedule), which was actually kind of good because I am seriously considering joining the Masters team at my Y. It did not look TOO intimidating and I didn't really see a coach anywhere (is there always a coach? or do they just follow a work out?). I did 24 laps today, which totals at 600 yards. I'd like to work up to 1500-2000 before I actually join a team, so I have a lot of work to do. I'm not sure exactly how many yards the typical Masters practice is but maybe one of you guys knows? I'll also have to work on my flip turns and other strokes besides freestyle.
I'm going to see swimming as my new challenge that running can no longer provide. It's much easier on my body (except my skin and hair) and maybe even better for my whole body overall (as far as using my arms and other muscles as well). When life hands you lemons, make lemonade...and then take a swim in it :)