It was just about a month ago when my knee got so bad I decided to stop running on it. I figured I’d take a few days off to rest, and it’d go away. The few days of training lost wouldn’t be a huge setback and I’d be back on the roads in no time.
Welp, one month later I can see that I was entirely wrong. This stupid knee issue continues, but I’m happy to report I’m making progress and actually kinda enjoying cross-training.
Thanks to a few free class credits (lucky/weird), I totally drank the SoulCycle kool aid and love it. It’s like a sweaty, endorphin-filled dance party. Sorry haters, hate on. While I’ve been three times so far, including a class with Ali, I don’t understand how people pay that much to do it regularly (Though I’d probably pay to be in shirtless Bradley Cooper’s class). I think I might try it once a month because it makes me feel downright awesome. #treatyoself.
I’ve also been hitting up good ole New York Sports Club regularly for spinning classes with Kelly who has also been sidelined from the bridle path temporarily. Injuries make me glad I didn’t cancel my previously-rarely-used gym membership. I think we’ve tried and tested just about every 6:30 am spin instructor by now. After spinning, I’ve been spending about 30 minutes stretching and pretending to lift weights and do PT exercises before showering and going to work. I’m so over gym showers and their terrible blow dryers.
And I’ve also done a free class (and have another free class tomorrow– East Coast vs. West Coast hip hop rideeeee) at Revolve Fitness. It’s kinda like SoulCycle, but less dance-party-esque but still a good workout. I love these fancy spinning classes, but really only when I can do it for free and I can’t spend my energy running.
My training log is sad, and I still haven’t gotten around to re-adjusting my “Goal weekly mileage” totals. It’s safe to say at this rate, I’ll be able to run the NYC Half-Marathon on 3/17, but any PR attempt is out the window.
When injured, some people turn to cross-training like crazy and hit the gym, bike, pool, elliptical, etc. for hours to make up for an equivalent effort not running. I am not one of those people. Kudos to you who are! Sure, I’ve been trying to get to the gym most days and have a newfound love for spinning, but I definitely think I could be doing more to maintain or gain fitness. That’s why I’ve been hitting up classes, because otherwise I’d never push myself on the bike or elliptical.
While cross-training certainly has its benefits, I believe that if you’re training for a running race, you should spend the majority of your time running. When you can’t run, cross-training is the next best thing by default. But I believe that a 45 minute spin class, no matter how sweaty, doesn’t deliver the same running fitness gains. Someone once told me that for every minute run, you should double that time to get the equivalent running effort. Whether or not that’s true, that’s a lot of time I don’t have…
Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I’m unmotivated. Maybe I’m playing it safe. I know I’m not doing all I can to get back in shape by 3/17, but I really have no desire (or time) to spend like 2 hours at the gym daily to maintain or build my endurance right now. This stupid knee has really knocked out the positive mojo I had leading into 2013. I feel like I took two steps back during the month of January.
I can’t blame my loss of fitness entirely on my knee. I did aim to take responsibility for my actions this year. Remember?
I can’t change my knee pain (to an extent). I could cross-train more or harder. But honestly, I don’t feel like it. So I’m changing my attitude and not letting myself get down by it and being realistic about what I can accomplish. This race, though my favorite, is just one day. I’m going to set my sights on another half marathon in May (probably Brooklyn because it doesn’t involve travel) and work towards getting healthy and fit for that.
In good news, I AM slowly returning to running. About 2 weeks ago, I tried walking/running a few miles during the Run to the Brewery 10 miler in Long Island. The out and back course made it easy to do as much/little as I needed to, so I probably ended up covering around 7 miles total while running 4 of the miles on and off. I didn’t want to be too late to the beer at the finish. Priorities. Last week, I tried running 3 miles easily but the cold weather seemed to make my knee lock up a bit more and everything felt sore and tight afterwards.
Yesterday, I decided to reunite with my running buds for our usual Tuesday morning runs. It had been nearly a month and I missed them! The roads were a bit slick due to the rain/slush that fell Monday night so we tried to take it easy before heading to the bridle for some intervals. I didn’t feel confident to test my knee with the uneven footing and mud/ice mixture, so I called it quits after two. Related: I am totally out of shape and wanted to die during the 1200 and 1000 intervals I did do. Nonetheless, my knee held up OK with some lingering soreness/tightness. Mostly, it felt good to be back for my first ‘real’ run and it’s a starting point.
I’ll probably stick to running once more this week, and spinning the rest of the days. Maybe next week I’ll work up to 3 days of running if it feels OK!
‘Till next time, when I can hopefully share a not-so-depressing update about how I’m back hitting the roads and rocking it.