Friday, July 25, 2008

Another week

Things are coming along well.  The first week was about healing and recovery, trying to sort out what I was going to do and when I might be back.  This second week has also been about healing, but more importantly it has been about putting together a plan to strengthen my weaknesses and be fit when I am ready to start running again.

I was able to get over to Victoria for a bunch of appointments on Tuesday.  Having spent almost 7 years in Victoria, I was fortunate to put together a pretty amazing team of health practitioners.  Victoria is small enough that nothing is far away, but the size does not limit the number of amazing health practitioners as there are many National Training Centres located there (including rowing, cycling, and triathlon to name a few).  I was fortunate to get into see these practitioners on short notice.  First stop of the day was with Dr. Alain Leblanc.  He was our team doctor when I was training at the NTTC and I really wanted to get his opinion on my foot and what I could and could not do during rehab.  He spent good time with me and outlined a week by week plan in order to return to activity.  He was more conservative with his timeline for full return to action (8-12 weeks) than my chiro, Dr. Pelly was (6-8 weeks).  I like Dr. Pelly's timeline better, but Dr. Leblanc did give me a referral for another set of x-rays at 6 weeks, so we will get a pretty clear idea of healing at that point.  

I was also able to see my dentist, Dr. Rycraft.  Not really injury related, but it is nice to have clean teeth.  

Lastly, I saw my old massage therapist - actually, I saw his wife as he is not doing massage now that computers have stolen him away.  Jo-Ann was kind enough to see me outside her schedule and she did some fantastic work on the bone.  Both Rene and Jo-Ann practice medical Chi-Kung (from their website; Medical Chi-Kung harmonizes the body's blood circulation, nervous system and energy (chi or Qi) by using a wide array of healing techniques, including massage, acupressure, energy work, herbal medicine and exercise. Medical Chi-Kung is well suited for accelerating tissue rejuvenation, providing stress relief, energy balancing and re-supplementation. It is ideal for improving, maintaining and enhancing ones physical health.) I was skeptical the first time I went to see Rene, but after 5 years of working with both of them, I still cannot believe how well it works for me. This is the second time I have limped into their office, and walked out normally (or almost normally). Trust me when I say I was skeptical at the start, but now when I have a serious injury, I will go to Victoria just to see them.

But the week wasn't done there. While I was getting medical treatment, I also met with two of the best strength and conditioning coaches I know, who also happen to friends of mine. Trevor Millar, of Millar Performance Conditioning, gave me a program for strengthening my weakness, which is core stability. I have been through it once already and it made me sweat, even though is was only core work. In another fortunate circumstance, Craig Ballantyne of and was in town. Craig, a friend from my Kinesiology days at McMaster, has become a leading online Strength and Conditioning.  His programs and ideas are based on scientific research as well as care and concern for the whole person. His nutrition advice is spot on and he requires you to work hard for your results. In reading some his female specific program, he plainly states that if you follow his program and nutrition you will lose one pound a week. That is what is deemed healthy and the exact opposite of what is advertised by so many diet companies (15 pounds in 2 weeks!). Anyway, I believe in what he says (although we may differ about the importance of long, slow runs - but his clientele isn't looking to run sub-2:40). We met in downtown Vancouver and he went over some specific exercises that I could do on one leg to maintain proprioception in my right foot. I did his workout this afternoon and was once again sweating. Both these friends are challenging me in ways I haven't been challenged in quite awhile.

Today, Sonja and I hit the pool. In amongst the pirate-themed last day of swim lessons (complete with a pirate sword fight), I swam 1600m for the first time in years. I used a pull-buoy to minimize any kicking-motion as to not do any damage to the foot. I had forgotten why I didn't love swimming. It wasn't that bad, but my arms were most definitely in shock after about 200m. However, I did manage a 1:35 100m (short-course) before getting out, which wasn't too bad, although I would have shuddered at that during my peak swimming mileage at the Centre. More important than the time was getting an aerobic workout. I am pleased about being able to swim, although I am not sure where I will swim when I head back to Ontario next week.

It has been a big week, a good week. I am positive in my mindset and looking forward to getting back out running, but only once I am ready. I may have bought 4 running books while in Victoria (there were GREAT DEALS!), so I have lots to feed the mind. I am most excited about reading Brain Training for Runners, a book that Paul Krochak has been recommending for some time. It looks very good and, weirdly, links into my beliefs about education. After that is the Terry Fox biography, the Perfect Mile, and the Lore of Running (ok, I am not going to read that one, but it was only $13 at Russell's Used Books!). I am happy to have the chance to re-energize my desire for training and to work on weaknesses.  The ENDURrun is now a 1% chance, but I am excited about the coming Cross-Country season. I think I will race BC Cross, which is in Vancouver, as well as both Gunner Shaw races again this year (although I may be the only one that is tapering for them!).

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