Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Biking is a crummy substitute

My leg has been improving day by day. It's not great, but compared to how it felt on Saturday (when I would have used a walker if I could) it's tolerable so therefore time to test it out. Tuesday (72 hours later) I tried biking. I kept it at a low resistance and a slower speed than I normally do and limited myself to 20 minutes. It neither hurt nor felt great so I tried some leg presses, also much less than I normally do (100 pounds yesterday versus a normal 210). That didn't make a huge difference either. It felt good to sweat a little, but biking is such a lousy substitute for running, at least how I was doing it. I didn't want to force my knee with a high resistance, but that's what causes me to work my legs, my heart, my lungs. What I did on Tuesday was more akin to biking as transportation or recreation than biking as exercise.

I tried again today, biking 30 minutes then doing some squats and lunges. I've isolated it to my knee - at least that's better than my hip or my quad - and it's not in pain, just discomfort now. Time is most likely the only remedy, but with the biggest race of my life in 12 short weeks, I don't have the luxury of waiting out discomfort. Besides, running is the epitome of discomfort. So tomorrow is time to start running again. I have the good sense to not expect to jump right back into a 5 mile run, but I don't really have a plan of how far I want to go. I'll start with one step, then another, and another and see how I feel, then baby step it as long as my knee holds up. I won't even set my stopwatch just listen to my body not my hard headed brain.

The irony, of course, is that I went since November without a single twinge or even a cold and this close to the race have to deal with this setback. Let's hope it's short term and not long - I really don't want to walk the marathon!!!

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