I've already mentioned my concern about gaining weight due to all this healing downtime.
There's another concern too: that I'm going to be a complete and total grump for six to eight weeks.
Like a lot of people, I rely on running to counter what I think is a genetic tendency to depression. Running has transformed me into an optimist. I don't know how I would have gotten through my teens without the short runs I did with my dad. And I've found that the more I run, the more optimistic, clear-headed and nice I become.
So it was no surprise that yesterday, a day in which I did NO exercise other than my prescribed leg lifts, found me tired, foggy--and grumpy. By the end of the day, when I finally got the kids down, I collapsed myself at 8:35 p.m. My daughter has a cough, and she woke me up at 12:30 a.m. My husband, who has a big project at work, was still there. As I got Ruthie back to bed, I wondered to myself, How am I going to get through this period of such minimal exercise?
Today was a gym day. I didn't make myself wake up early, but as soon as the kids were finished with breakfast, I rounded them up and went. When I got there, I warmed up with five walking minutes on the treadmill. Then I went through my upper-body weight circuit and my leg lifts. And then I got on the recumbent bike for my 30 precious minutes of what I consider "real" exercise.
My back is still sore, but it's much better than two days ago. And it felt nice and supported on that wide high-backed seat. So I hit the workout hard. I had found a pool-running routine by Pete Pfitzinger online. Most of the early workouts in that are about 30 minutes long (unlike the ones in my McMillan Spring of Speed plan, which I've had to set aside for now). The first workout, which I did today, is a five-minute warm-up, followed by two sets of 5 x 1.5 minutes hard with 30 second recoveries and then a five-minute cool-down. Since I can't pool run, my new plan is to do these workouts on the bike.
I kept my eye on my heart rate the whole time and was happy to see that as those fast intervals progressed, it was easy to keep it up in the 140s and 150s. And maybe even better, when I climbed off the bike and wiped it free of sweat, I felt like my usual self was back.
Tomorrow is another day of rest. I'm hoping that I can ride today's endorphins until Saturday morning and that at some point, if I'm diligent about taking care of my back, Cathy will let me do 30 minutes every day and maybe eventually ramp up to a "long" workout on weekends.
It's hard to be patient when you're grumpy. But patience is the key to all of this.
Weight Update: Before the workout this morning, I weighed myself and am happy to report the scale read 128.4. Satisfactory. In the small blessings department, it's good this all happened during Lent, when I'm not eating sugar anyway. I'm hoping that will help.