The quads take a union break
It's hard to justify saying "I won't go into the gym today because I'm in pain," when you know that, at that very moment, one of your friends is in labor at a nearby hospital. It tends to put your pain in a bit of perspective. Suffice it to say, Friday morning, I grabbed my gym equipment, coaxed myself into a standing position, and got myself to the gym.I've had to learn a good bit about quadriceps since Thursday night's gym class. Laura had encouraged me to try it, saying that she thought I was ready for it, but I wasn't entirely sure. Since the first few weeks had gone so well, I agreed. Why not see if I could add in something new and interesting to my routine?
Ten minutes in, I knew I was in serious, serious trouble. Thirty minutes in, my legs were shaking, and I stopped doing the full 40 reps for each exercise, and instead did between twenty and thirty instead. When the class was over, I put up my equipment, grabbed my keys, and drove home through a pounding rainstorm, hoping to get home before my legs seized up on me.
I've had workout-related soreness most of the time since I started working out, but it's been the good sore, the sore of muscles used and worked, but not overworked; the kind of soreness that comes on after a night's sleep, telling you that you need another full day to recuperate before going at it again. This feeling, after the Thursday night class, felt less of 'sore' and more of 'pain,' and there was no delay in onset. I was having trouble walking by the time I got into the house, and when I sat down at my computer desk, I realized it wasn't easing up as I cooled down.
I ran the water in the tub as hot as I could stand it.
Then there was great amusement as I tried to figure out how to get in the tub without my legs screaming in pain. Eventually, I realized there was no way, and just got in the damn tub and got it over with. I spent forty minutes in the slowly-cooling water, letting my legs (for once, my thankfully short legs) float with the current of the water. It helped.
Then I tried to get out of the tub.
Friday morning found me trying to tough my way through the pain. The sad truth is that I really don't know how to draw the line between an injury that can be worked through and an injury that must be left alone to heal. I don't have any experience with this, and if I've learned anything firsthand, it's that many bits of soreness sometimes have a way of working themselves out through an easier-than-usual aerobic workout.
Friday morning, I ended up toughing out thirty minutes of slow walking on the easiest level, hoping the pain would ease down. It didn't. I got off the machine at the end of the thirty minutes feeling exactly as bad as I did before I started the workout.
I walked out of the gym. Very, very slowly. If you've never tried to walk on quads that are screaming for mercy, there are two things you should know. One, you are going to walk very, very slowly. Two, you're probably going to stumble like a drunk while you're doing so.
I got home and promptly put myself right back in the tub, still trying to think of some possible way that I could get back into the gym today to do the weights workout I missed on Friday. My Friday weights workout can be put off until Saturday if necessary, so long as I give myself Sunday to rest up before doing it again on Monday.
Somewhere around three a.m. this morning, I acknowledged what my spouse and most of my friends have known since Thursday night - I am a dumbass, and I'm trying so hard to get back in the gym, to see more progress, that I'm likely to hurt myself even more if I'm not careful. (Especially given that my current regimen slates quads work.) The sad truth of the matter was that I wanted to get the workout in so that I could stay on-schedule, regardless of the fact that I was probably incapable of doing any more than just the upper-body workout.
I didn't go into the gym today.
The sheer laughability of this statement becomes clear when you realize that I can neither stand up nor sit down without wincing and hoping that no one hears the small whimpering noises I'm making. Not to mention that I've still got the drunken stumble characteristic of someone who is trying to walk about while using their quads as little as possible.
I've led a pretty quiet life since Thursday night, hoping that the quiet and the enforced muscular rest will allow me to get back to work in the gym on Monday with manageable levels of soreness. (I don't expect to be fully back to normal.) Not just because I want to stay on schedule—I do, because I just started seeing results and that has me excited—but ... because I've missed it.