I know I haven't blogged in a long time. Between deer season and the holidays, I guess something had to give. And it seems that blogging is the thing I’ve most neglected.
If you remember who I am at all, you may also recall that last summer I set a goal to run a half-marathon to celebrate my 50th birthday. During training, I promptly injured my knee. Namely, a proximal medial tibial stress fracture. Ouch! This, combined with cartilage damage in both knees that I have dealt with for a long time, brought my running to a screeching halt.
After I was finally able to walk pain free, the doctor released me to exercise and recommended I use my elliptical trainer to strengthen my knees. I’ve been doing that, but have never really gotten back to the point I was before the injury. I am very concerned about these jacked up knees of mine!
One of my friends recently had double knee replacement surgery. I talked to him in depth about how his knees were originally injured, how they slowly degenerated, the lifestyle changes that were necessary as the result of his bad knees and his experiences with the knee replacement surgery and rehabilitation. While I’m very happy for him that he is able to walk normally again, I definitely do not want to follow that long and grueling path.
All this to say that I’ve come to the decision that high impact running is just not worth the risk of further injuring my already not-quite-right knees. I plan to take my original knees with me to the grave.
I will still run a half-marathon.
But I will do it on an ELLIPTICAL.
Don't tell mom, but I'm running in the house! I will certainly not be the first to do this. Lots of people run 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and even marathons on ellipticals. And it makes great sense! It has ALL the cardiovascular benefits of running but with MUCH less risk of injury. And I'm sure my knees will love me for it!
The first step was finding out what resistance setting on the elliptical is the cardiovascular equivalent of real running. This was relatively easy to do because I had been wearing a heart monitor when I ran and had collected the data for time, distance, calories burned, etc. So all I had to do is wear my heart monitor on the elliptical and find out (by trial and error) which resistance level would cause me to burn the same number of calories while running the same distance in the same amount of time as I did when I was actually running. It takes a resistance setting of 12 (out of 15) on my particular machine to equal the same amount of calorie burn as running.
I have already begun training for my elliptical half-marathon. So far, I have worked up to 4.0 miles. That's a long way from the 13.1 miles of a half-marathon. But it's a start!