12 days post-PRP. 12 days of not being being able to bike or swim. Those were my saving graces in the 13 weeks that I wasn't able to run. I spent the first three days after my injection trying to be as immobile as possible. According to my doctor and what I read online, those days are most critical for healing to occur. It wasn't easy to be still but I knew it was important. I used the time to rest, cuddle with the kitties, and finally get back to reading Born to Run, which I started reading about 4 years ago. Now that I know a lot more about running, I'm finding it much more interesting and enjoyable than when I started reading it.
I knew I was healing and tried to remain positive; however, sitting around for 3 days with little movement started to mentally wear on me. I started to panic. If I was going this stir-crazy after only three days, what was I going to do for two weeks? Sure I could use weights for my upper body but I was craving some heart-pumping cardio. That's when I remembered the machine at the gym that is rarely used but would be perfect for me: the arm bike!
My spirits lifted when I thought of this! It isn't the cardio I'm used to but it's something. Since last Saturday, I've been at the gym every day, pedaling away for 30 minutes on the arm bike. It's harder than it looks! I get some cardio benefit while working my chest, shoulders, back, arms and core. I increase the watts to make it more challenging and sometimes try one arm at a time for variety. I found an article about arm bike benefits here.
I've also been working on strength training. At home I use my dumbbells for biceps, triceps, and shoulders. I have to be careful with core moves but can do crunches and Russian twists (feet on floor). Yesterday I went to Mechanics at Detroit Tough and Coach Terra put me through a rigorous arm workout. I did 4 circuits of biceps, triceps, chest, wall pushups, crunches, Russian twists, and shoulders (Y and T raises). My warm-up was 5 minutes of wall angels. I'm feeling those today!
I know a lot of people get injured and can't run. When that happens there are cross-training options - bike, swim, elliptical. I never imagined I'd see the day when I couldn't do any of the above. Instead of feeling sorry for myself (even though it was tempting to do so) I chose to embrace this opportunity to focus on strengthening my upper body.
I may not get to run. I may not get to bike or swim. But I get to use to arm bike!
Embrace your strength. Focus on what you get to do.