Get Up, Stand Up: Don’t Give Up The Fight!
I’ve started doing running workouts since my last update. The first two workouts were both on grass in Churchill Park in Hamilton. I would of normally liked to ease into some fartlek off the bat but, I really don’t have that luxury with the time-line ahead of me so we got after some 400’s. The workout actually went well considering everything. The second workout of 600m and 200m intervals was also decent considering where I’m coming from.
Seeing that I wanted to race a 5000m on June 27th in France I had to get to the track sooner than later. I also needed to see how I was going to react to longer distances. Dave and I were playing the workout by feel and planned to adjust the length of the intervals and rests between intervals as I went on. I started with a km that didn’t feel too good at all. I was not getting much push-off from my left leg. And then the second km was even worse, I felt like I had a wooden leg. My left leg felt so weak and the time was so slow that I finished the interval and thought that was the end of the season. The fat lady was singing. I couldn’t fathom running a good 5000m at all. How could I? I couldn’t even get through one kilometer close to race pace. I literally walked off the track in tears. I was distraught because I thought that was it, I wasn’t even going to be able to attempt a race. I had focused on the 5000m Olympic trials to get me through every workout and now everything came to a sudden halt.
We then went to the cinder track at the University for a softer surface. But even after one easy lap around the track we knew that there wasn’t enough power from my left leg to continue running.
Dave could tell that my leg did not look like as good as it did the first workout back and convinced me it was just the day. Not that my leg was/is 100%, we know it’s not, but it shouldn’t of been that bad. So we decided to try something again in a couple of days if my leg recovered.
On Saturday we went to the cinder track and started with a couple of 400m’s and knew right away that my leg was better than a couple of days earlier. I then did a couple of 600m’s, a bunch of 400m’s and a couple of 200m’s to finish off the workout. I can really feel the lack of strength and quickness in my left leg with the 200m intervals as I cannot run fast, at all. In general it was not something I would normally call a good workout, but it was good that I got some work in and that I can see some light at the end of the tunnel again. It may not be much light, but it’s enough to keep pushing on.
It’s obvious that I need some (maybe a lot) of track work to get my legs going again. I’ll have to swallow some lackluster interval times in the meantime. I know it will come around if my calf can start recruiting normally, or at least close to normal.
On Friday I was able to see Dr. Tarnopolsky at McMaster who is an expert with nerve issues. Dr. Tarnopolsky is also a runner so it was great to get some insight from him. He conducted an EMG and it showed that I still have a slow H reflex in my left leg (involved in recruit, not surprising by the way I feel. The exciting part was that I finally felt a reflex in my ankle jerk/Achilles reflex. I’ve had it tested 6 times in the past 8 weeks and this past Friday was the first time I felt something. It’s very reassuring to know, for sure, that progress is being made with my neural recovery.