If you’ve ever been injured, you are well aware of how tough the road to recovery is. I have suffered injuries over the years of course, but outside of my health condition, nothing has ever put me on the sidelines until now. Hearing the words “You can’t run” was like hearing I was sentenced to death. I will admit, a tad bit dramatic seeing as though I was only told to refrain from lacing up for 4-6 weeks but that really did seem like an eternity at the time. Plus, I was just about to begin training for a half marathon in the Cayman Islands in December.
This injury is a result of one simple thing. Not listening to my body. After suffering a second degree ankle sprain back in May on a trail run, instead of staying off of it completely, I continued to train for the Nike Women’s 15k, hike, cycle, paddle board, skateboard, mountain bike all while traveling working on projects. Overcompensating for my injured ankle resulted in a painful hip pointer injury combined with hamstring tendonosis. Rest with a solid recovery and performance program was my only option after sitting down with Dr. Jaritt Ptolemy and my Strength and Conditioning Coach Danford Gomes. At the beginning of September, I began my three phase road to recovery program created by the guys at The Movement Academy here in Toronto to get to that Cayman Islands Half Marathon start line on December 6th.
Phase one in September meant putting away my running shoes and committing to a strength training program in the gym three times a week, while getting electro acupuncture and facial stretch therapy treatments twice a week. I will be the first to admit, weight training is not my jam but I am willing to do what I need to do to return to running. With my crazy busy work and travel schedule, it’s a challenge to find time in the day to work out with a coach and I am left squeezing in workouts when I can, often times at crazy hours. In lieu of working out with Danford in person, we are using a new wearable technology called PUSH that is designed to optimize my training by tracking my movement during my workout so Danford can analyze my performance and make the necessary changes to my program to help me get stronger. He has the ability to monitor the duration of my workouts (both overall time and active time), the velocity output, and use key metrics to ensure my training is properly optimized. It’s almost as if Dan knew my true feelings about weight training and knew I needed something for accountability. To be honest, if I didn’t wear this band, there would be a high probability of some skipped workouts here and there. Training with PUSH takes accountability to a whole new level. Coach Danford can even see how long my breaks are between each set, usually predicting that I have stopped at some point to take a selfie or check Instagram.
For the month of September, my rebuilding stability program looked something like this 3 times per week with 15 minutes of light cardio to warm-up:
Move 1: Alternating step ups on a box with 10 lbs weights in hand (12 Reps x 4 Sets)
Move 2: Inverted standing row with TRX (12 Reps x 4 Sets)
Move 3: Left leg split squats with 10 lbs weights in hand (10 Reps x 4 Sets)
Move 4: Right leg split squats with 10 lbs weights in hand (10 Reps x 4 Sets)
Move 4: Seated row with 40 lbs (10 Reps x 4 Sets)
Move 5: Deadlifts with 40 lbs (5 Reps x 10)
With the development of poor mechanics from running with the ankle injury, I am forced to start from the beginning and learn to run. Not only does Dr. Jaritt help with my treatment and mobility, but he is also assisting me with developing better form. Learning the “proper” technique for doing dynamic warm-ups like A, B’s and C’s, and getting my legs used to running again by with doing strides and band sprints on turf has also been a priority in order to get me to a place to begin hitting the pavement again in October.
Apparel courtesy of Nike Canada Photography by Nathalia Allen AMillionMinds.ca
My patience and hard work in September has paid off and I am being rewarded with running again next week – finally! I know it will begin extremely short distances and slow paces at first but it’s better than nothing. Based on the requests and questions I have been getting from you guys on social media and email, I will be sharing my progress from now until race day here and will also be having Dr. Jaritt share critical tips that will be useful for any of you that are currently injured or looking to prevent injury. You can follow along on my recovery journey on social media by using the hashtag #SSRoadToRecovery