Before I can go too much into my recovery plan, I should probably explain what I did to my foot. As I said in my last post, I over did it by adding hills to every run. Of course, at first I thought whatever had popped in my foot would heal on its own so I just rested for a few days and tried a short run once it no longer hurt to walk or jog around my living room. That short run was great at first, but ended in excruciating pain. I realized this was a serious injury and called for a visit with my doc. He made a tentative diagnosis of ligament tear, which was wrong, but he sent me on to an orthopedic surgeon who knew what to look for and diagnosed the stress fracture. Unfortunately, the time from the initial injury, to diagnosis and being placed in a boot took over a month. Yep, for a whole month I walked around on a broken foot. Once I had the boot in place, my 6 to 8 weeks in it started.
Nearly everyone ends up injured at some point. Even if you are smart and do not injure yourself running, you still have the potential to step wrong off a curb, get in a car accident by no fault of your own, or be clobbered by a shopping cart on Black Friday, these things just happen. So, what to do when your usual workout routine is off the schedule? Find something, anything, to keep moving! Anyone can do it and it is tons of fun.) I also have good results using a foam roller on sore muscles and tight joints, particularly my ITBand.
Rheumatoid arthritis has taught me a lot about the importance of movement even when we feel it is impossible. Are you sore all over from a marathon? Go for a walk. Stress fracture in your foot? Lift some weights. Chronic illness? Don't give up, do what you can for now and when things are on the upswing, you will improve even more. If you are injured, do something so that once you are healed and ready to get back to training, you haven’t taken a huge step backwards. Taking advantage of an excuse to be lazy will only set you up for another injury. A forum friend said that if she had a cast on, she would just spend 6 weeks on the couch. I can only think about how much hard work it would take to get over 6 weeks of lethargy!
My doc told me I can do pretty much anything I want at the gym provided I can do it painlessly and in my boot. So far that includes the upright stationary bike, elliptical trainer, stair mill (like walking up the down escalator), and almost all of the weight machines (obviously working calves is out.) I am working out 6 days a week with 5 hours a week of cardio, plus weights, and stretching, in whatever
combination meets my needs, (generally the cardio is done in 1 hour blocks.) I now have 3 weeks in the boot done, hopefully only 3 to go, and feel good about my new workout routine. I am also taking supplements of calcium, magnesium, and Vit. D, along with watching the rest of my diet (also so I don’t gain weight on my running hiatus) while staying as active as possible. With limited mobility, it is important to stay flexible too. I love doing something fun like Yoga or belly dancing (which is amazing for core muscles and hip flexibility, I highly recommend this video, anyone can do it and it is tons of fun.) I also have had good results using a foam roller for sore muscles, tight joints, and ITBand problems.
I hope no one reading this ever has an injury to contend with, but if they do, I hope they will remember this and do everything in their power to keep moving, keep fit, and stay strong!