I've never understood the appeal, or even the need for elliptical trainers. I always relegated them to the category of exercising for those who don't want to work too hard or get too sweaty. If I'm putting in the time and effort to exercise, I want to maximize the full benefits from running or biking (but not recumbents because even though I have heard the arguments about being more efficient than uprights, I have assigned recumbents to the same category as ellipticals). Other great options are running stairs or lifting weights. I have definite ideas about working out and ellipticals never fell anywhere in my realm of options.
Yet I'm still gimping along and biking is great for sustaining aerobic capacity, but the marathon isn't a bike race! After talking with a cross country coach, I finally sucked it up and tried the elliptical. I'll try anything at this point! I began with a mile and felt pretty ok, so I hopped off and stretched my quads and hamstrings. Still felt great so I hopped back on for another two miles. It's far from perfect - my average mile time is in the 11:40 - 12:00 frame and I don't seem to be sweating enough or breathing hard enough, but it's working my legs in a similar fashion to running without the constant pounding or weight bearing. I read somewhere that in running, every time the foot hits the ground, it does so with a pressure equal to four times your body weight. Isn't that amazing to ponder?
I finally came to the conclusion that rather than biking and hoping for the best, I'll transfer my running schedule to an elliptical trainer. It's not great, but it's the best I can do right now.
I looked up the symptoms of a strained quad and I seem to fit the criteria to a T. On the positive side, I'm home medicating exactly right. But on the negative side, the cure is rest. I've even stopped walking from point A to point B relying on biking as transportation as much as I can. (Thank you Carrie and James - you guys are awesome!!!!)
So it continues. My mom and brother both asked what I'll do if I can't run the marathon. I refuse to acknowledge the possibility. Undertaking huge feats of strength or ambition require a certain suspension of disbelief and faith in the impossible. I can do this!!!!!