“The Road is Long, With many a winding turn that leads us to who knows where”
Over the past 13 weeks I have been on a long slow road to recovery, but my focus has always remained the same – to run across America in 2017.
Having been given the green light by my surgeon I couldn’t wait to get outside and start running. My first session went well and although my knee swelled slightly afterwards there was no pain so very happy.
I am extremely lucky to have the support of the Sports Science Department at Kent University who will look after me during my rehab to get me up and running safely and come back even stronger. I was desperate to get going but quite rightly they wouldn’t see me until after I had seen my surgeon and given the go ahead to start running (slowly), so I made my first appointment the day after seeing Mr. Goddard!
Deana Stephens is the lady who has kindly taken me on which I’m delighted about. You can imagine my delight when I “googled” Deana her picture showed she had pink hair – I knew we would get on! Deana is a Sports Therapy Lecturer and Graduate Sports Rehabilitator/Therapist at Kent University and has previously worked with the Wasps, Saracens RFC & Gillingham FC Under 16s. I feel extremely privileged to be treated by someone of this caliber as well as having access to some of the best sporting facilities.
My first session began with an assessment of my past history, injuries & current injury as well as discussing my goals (thankfully Deana didn’t fall off the chair when I mentioned America!) followed by a full examination and assessment of my knee. Although I was only 6 weeks 1 day post surgery she was more than happy with the progress of my knee and actually I was further ahead of my recovery than she thought I would be. All this made me feel a lot happier about the next few weeks ahead.
Although my knee has recovered, I still have another 6-8 weeks to go until it’s completely healed so we still have to tread carefully.
After the assessment Deana took me up to the Alter G treadmill for my first session which as you can imagine I was very excited about.
First of all I had to put on a pair of very large thick lycra shorts then step onto the treadmill. Once on the TM the top of the shorts are tucked in and I’m zipped into the large bag that encases the machine. (No farting allowed we all might faint when the bag is unzipped!!)
The on switch is pressed and the machine blows up with air to weigh me! This felt very weird as my feet were gradually lifted off the floor and I felt as though the shorts were giving me a wedgie! Once weighed Deana set the machine so that I was only using 50% of my body weight.
“Does my bum look big in this!”
Initially I began by doing a walk which felt very odd. My arms had to be held very high because of the “bag” but it was good to be doing something AND again with no pain. The first session was very short, Deana than massaged my knee again and off I went home feeling extremely positive and upbeat.
The following day I went to the gym where I biked for 45 mins then did 30 mins on the Cross trainer – my legs felt quite tired so only managed a rather pathetic 15 mins on the X-Trainer followed by my weights.
The weights that I’m using at the moment aren’t heavy as I’m not allowed to put strain or pressure on the knee joint. Rather I have to build up endurance and continue to increase my range of movement (which actually isn’t too bad)
Sunday I got well over excited and dragged HWMBO and the dog out for a 5 mile 4 min power-walk, 1 min run. By about 4 miles my knee was acing (the muscles around the knee rather than the join) especially behind the knee. Once home I iced and massaged the knee and the felt rather stupid as perhaps I had done way too much and caused damage. Thankfully I saw Deana on Monday and although the knee was swollen no damage done just very angry muscles so no Alter G treadmill that day! (slappy hand moment!)
It’s very difficult knowing how much is too much or whether I’m doing enough. For most of us going out and doing 5 miles is easy so I thought that was a good distance, what I have to remember is my knee hasn’t done any form of running for 12 weeks so perhaps I should have done 3 miles and built up to 5 – who knows! I knew I couldn’t just put my trainers on and run but I was slightly shocked at how sore my muscles were on the inside of the knee – apparently they have to get used to being used again for running.
Today (wednesday) I had another session at Kent University after a day at the gym yesterday and everything seems to be going in the right direction. I have added a “walking” round in circles in the pool for 20 mins to my daily exercise regime as this is great for the muscles.
On top of using the Alter G treadmill I will also be given a gait analysis to show my weaknesses as well as a few other bits and pieces – I have to keep pinching myself that I’m being looked after so brilliantly.
Onwards and upwards – my goal is to run 2,832 miles across America in April so my focus is 100% on that.
Happy Training, stay positive and lets do this!
“Don’t stop believing” by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers