"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology..... better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster"
As the previous post suggests, I was getting some of the painful warning signs of a stress fracture around my lower shin. My physio all but confirmed so I've stopped running completly for the time being. There is more to life and endurance training than running after all.... there's a whole world of things to do out there surely?
The enduring charm of running is its simplicity and, if you don't waste money, its affordability. So that rules out expensive alternatives, I can't afford and won't entertain expense. Then there is simplicity. I've tried rock climbing, kite surfing, sailing and a few other active pursuits over the years. Fun as they were I've never stuck with them as the simplicity wasn't there - all the three above have a fair bit of kit that requires maintenence and lots of 'faffing' with ropes. I don't mind printing maps, drawing routes, packing a bag with food the day before a long run. But on the day I just want to turn up and go - and when I finish.... tired..... I just want to take my shoes off, eat, maybe have a pint.... and go.
So this brings me back to my usual fallback. Pre-mortgage I bought a fairly good sports-hybrid bike. So with the minimum of maintenence - pumped up tires, oiled chain, checked wheels weren't falling off - I've done a fair bit of cycling the last few weeks. This has included some thrilling mountain biking in the Afan forest in South Wales on a red route - scary and a great workout for the arms as well as legs, with all the twists and turns, rocks and tree roots to avoid. Since then I've been on road, racking up a few runs of 10-20m during the week and a 30's and a 40 the last three weekends. It was hard work in some of the strong winds of late, but since then I've actually started getting faster, which is motivating.
I'm not a religious man, but some signs, happenings and their timing seem to be more than just coincidence. My brother won a months free trial family gym membership in a pub charity raffle. Great timing for me! Though I'm not fan of gyms - with the vanity muscle-builders and the girls who walk on treadmills never breaking a sweat - I've been down three times in just over a week. I've done some rowing, stair climbing, cross trainer'ing and swimming.
So bike, swim, and use of technological fitness training machines is what I'll do to try and limit the fitness level deteriation. Despite a setback with the stress fracture - fall off a curb (not whilst drunk) and its hurting a bit again - I have faith that I will keep most of the fitness. I'm also thinking positively that I will expand my horizons and re-exercise some of those muscles that running may ignore, but that will benefit my running as part of a stronger all-round package. Whats the point in a minor setback defeating me I always aim to come back stronger and have from past injury lay-offs. Watch this space for a few PB's!!!!