Testing the water

gymThis week I’ve had some good(ish) news: my x-ray results came back and there was no sign of a stress fracture! It seems what I actually have is bad ligament damage, which I see as a much better state of affairs, not least as one of my worries about the suspected fracture was the doctor’s concern over my bone density, which terrified me. Psychologically, the thought of bone damage, as opposed to soft tissue damage, was also more alarming, possibly because, as a friend of mine commented, our bones are core to our structure and all that keep us from being a pile of jelly on the floor!

Naturally this news prompted a celebratory gym and swim session.

I know you may disapprove, but I just couldn’t resist!

I know I should still be resting. I know it’s still painful to walk and I know I am probably doing more harm than good, but I just couldn’t help myself. My trainers have been looking so sad and neglected and although I’m ashamed to admit it, I’ve been pretty damn grumpy of late as a result of not being able to exercise properly.

Because you see, it’s not just that I can’t run or climb, it’s also the fact that I feel like I’ve lost a massive part of my daily social life and the people associated with those activities. And that makes me sad.

The best way I can describe it is it’s like going through a breakup, where your friends tiptoe around you, feeling guilty for mentioning that they’ve spent time with your ex (or in this case, that they’ve been running or climbing) and even though you tell them it’s ok and that you don’t mind, you secretly feel a little bit betrayed and abandoned. And worse than a breakup, the only person you can blame, or focus your frustration on, is yourself.

Trying to implement the ‘love yourself’ mantra under such circumstances isn’t always easy, and I’ve had a few days in the past week of feeling thoroughly dissatisfied with myself (to put it mildly). I also suspect I’ve been a bit of a nightmare to be around, for which I can only sincerely apologise.

But now, post gym and swim, I finally feel like myself again. I caught up with my gym friends and blasted out my gym playlist while lifting weights, squatting, cross training, stepping and blitzing my abs with crunches and side planks. I can’t run, I didn’t even try, but I could do a number of low impact cardio exercises without any pain (or painkillers).

ImageI then stretched everything out in the pool, getting my chlorine and endorphin fix in one, bliss!

I’m still going to be careful and not race back into running, but the fact that I can take these tiny steps back to normality is making me very happy.

I’ll leave you with a couple of nice swim sets from my past week:

Sore-foot swim:

Warm up:
200m front crawl
200m backstroke

400m front crawl FLAF (100m of each full stroke, leg kick, pull, full stroke)

30 seconds rest

Main set:
4 x 50m fly to backstroke (15 seconds rest between sets)

500m front crawl pull breathing every 3 strokes for the first 25m, 5 strokes for the second, 7 strokes for the third and 9 strokes for the fourth. Repeat x5

30 seconds rest

200m backstroke

300m front crawl drill as:
100m catch ups
100m catch ups with drag
100m top hat/high elbows

30 seconds rest

100m backstroke kick
100m front crawl kick

Cool down:
200m front crawl swim down

Total: 2,400m

Trying breaststroke with a bad foot swim:

Warm up:
200m front crawl
200m backstroke
4 x 50m breaststroke to backstroke

Main set:
400m front crawl FLAF (100m each of full stroke, legs, arms, full stroke) continuous

1 minute rest

4 x 100m IM (fly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle)

30 seconds rest between sets

100m freestyle
200m freestyle kick
300m freestyle pull

40 seconds rest

200m backstroke alternating lengths as kick/drill

30 seconds rest

300m front crawl drills continuous

Cool down:
200m front crawl easy

Total: 2,700m

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