Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On To The Next One

I made it safely out of camp a little injured but still functioning.  I wasn’t able to do all of the workouts, but I did do the last hard workout with the group.  Every year we finish the camp with a Brazilian, not the wax, a circuit.  This year was no exception, and to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tucson camp, the coaches pulled out a retro Brazilian from back in the day.  I tried my best to stay near the front of the pack for the workouts and for the last run I gave it all I had.  It was definitely tough, but I felt pretty good when it was all said and done. 

I took the next day off before starting my adventure back to Canada.  It was hard to believe I’d been in Arizona for almost two months, it seemed like I had just got there.  I did some last minute shopping and sun bathing, then prepared to head back home.  Some how when I packed my bags they seemed lighter than when I came down, I’m not complaining though, it made it a lot easy to get on the road.  After a stop off in Scottsdale to pick up some clothes that were left behind, I headed on the road.  My training partner Wade and I drove back to Canada in our other partner’s, Nathan, car and over the span of the two day drive we experienced all four seasons.  The drive started off nice through Arizona and Utah, the sun was out but not beating down on us and the sky was pretty clear.  As we got closer to Colorado the wind started to pick up and tossed the little car back and forth on the highway.  As we started our way up into the mountains the clouds came out to play and the temperature started to drop.  Before we knew it, it was raining, then soon after it was snowing.  For 5 hours straight we drove through the snow before stopping off in Wyoming for the night.  When we got out of the car we were clearly not prepared or dressed for the weather. We ran into the hotel and instantly pumped up the heat in the room.  The next morning we found out the highways heading east to west were closed because of all the snow! Lucky for us, we were heading north.  The snow had stopped falling but there was still plenty of it on the roads.  Wade did most of the driving, which both of us were pretty ok with.  It had been a while since I drove at all let alone in snow, so this probably wasn’t the time to start.  Slowly but surely though, the clouds started to part and the snow turned to sleet, then rain and finally it was clear.  It seemed like we turned a corner and it all disappeared, then next thing we knew, we were in Montana.  I drove a bit once the roads cleared up and with only one state left till we were home, I didn’t hold back on the gas :-)

The two day tripped when faster then I thought it would and I was super happy to be home.  The stay was a short one though.  We got home on the 12th and by the 17th I was on a plane heading to Toronto. 

I arrived yesterday and the plane ride was remarkable quick and comfortable.  I got a whole row to myself so as soon as we reached cruising altitude I sprawled out across all three seats.  Once we landed I found Toronto a little cooler than I thought it was going to me, so I instantly put on two sweater even before I was out of the building.  I found my uncle right away when I got out and we headed straight to the track to check it out. 

By the time we got home and I got settled in it was already 7 but it definitely didn’t feel that late.  I ate supper and headed to bed by 930 in hopes of getting the time change under control.

So far I haven’t worked out yet, but I’m hoping to get on the track today.  The track is 45 minutes away which is just a bit farther then I would drive back at home. I’m still in the process of figuring out how I’m going to get to and from practice, but I know something will work out…

Friday, May 7, 2010


After resting up my leg and taking it easy for a couple days I decided it was time to test how its doing.  Wednesday morning I did some short speed, but just on the grass to see how things felt.  My hamstring held up pretty well for most of it and I was looking forward to finally lighting it up in the afternoon session.  The workout for the afternoon was some starts on the corner then some speed endurance, 150-120-80 with three minutes break.  After the starts things were feeling pretty good, I could still feel a knot in my leg but things were definitely better.  My coach was a little hesitant to let me do the speed endurance workout, but I was able to convince her that I was ready to run.  Several days of ‘easy’ workouts were really starting to get to me, I was ready to run!  I told my coach that if I felt anything funny I would stop running and call it a day.  I lined up and awaited the commands.  I felt like I was ready both mentally and physically.  *GO!* I pushed off hard and everything was feeling good.  As I came off the bend I went from pushing, to standing up tall and pushing down on the track.  Halfway through the stretch I started to feel something, I had felt this before.  I could feel the knot in my hamstring starting to grab.  Everything was feeling so good! Why was this happening!  I let up at the first feel of the grab and coasted in for the remainder.  I thought I could just walk it off and be ready for the next one.  I started to walk back, and as I did my leg started to burn.  From my bum to my calf was on fire and I could barely move.  As each second passed, the pain got worse and I had to stop in my tracks.  I knew this was going to be the end of my workout.  I took off my spikes are retreated to the pole vault mat to raise my leg and hopefully keep down some inflammation.  I spent the rest of the evening icing and taking Advil trying to keep it from getting any worse.  I knew going into the workout it was possible this was going to happen, so I wasn’t too upset about it. 

I took the next morning off and did an easy workout the following evening. I continued to feel the soreness, so I didn’t push it. After doing some weights and some general drills my hamstring was still holding up pretty well.  I continued to ice all night with hopes of being able to get back to normal workouts. 

This morning I was able to put spikes back on and do some short speed without any pain.  I’m hoping that tonight I’ll be able to do a full workout again without any pain.  I think for the rest of the camp I’ll just try to get the most out of the workouts that I can and not get anymore injured.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Slowly But Surely

Each day since my physio appointment my hamstring has slowly gotten a bit better.  I can still feel some tightness but with each day its definitely getting better.

For the past couple workouts I haven’t been able to do my full workouts and I’ve been kind of disappointed with it.  I’ve been doing a lot of REALLY short speed, 10 meters then shut it down.  Today I was able to do some easy stuff on the grass and I was feeling ok.  I got my hamstring taped up a bit and I think it helped, so tomorrow I get to try out a full workout.

I’m hoping my hamstring loosens up and I can train for the remainder of the camp. So far its looking good, so I’ll have to wait for the morning and see if my leg holds up.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tucson Camp Begins

Every year since my first year of university I have been coming down to Tucson for a high performance training camp.  It runs from April 29th until May 8th and each day usually has two to three workouts in it.  We drove down Thursday early in the afternoon and got in around 3:00.  In the past I had stayed in the camp hotel, but this year we decided to rent a house instead.  It ended up being the same price as staying at the hotel, except now we have a kitchen so we can save some money and cook for ourselves.  Once we finally got in and settled we headed to the track for a nice light warm up to get the drive out of our legs.  When we got to the track there were some University of Arizona athletes training, as well as some of the other members of the camp.  Walking into the track facility brought back many memories of the past camps.  The camp is pretty intense and some days I feel like dying from the workouts.  It was a bit cooler then expected it to be and I actually wore sweats for my whole warm up. 

Friday morning the camp got into full swing.  It was an early rise with a 6am morning run.  My run was 30 minutes, and the guys was only 20, so we woke up at the same time, but immediately parted ways.  The run started off really crappy because it was still pretty cool out in the morning. I ran on campus which was really nice, and by the second half of my run, I had finally warmed up.  I was pretty pooped by the time I got back home, so went back to bed for an hour then got ready for the second workout of the day.  We met at the track at 9 and got a chance to meet the rest of the people attending the camp this year.  There are 12 athletes this year and four coaches.  The weather was still surprisingly cool so the majority of my warm up was done in sweats again.  It felt really strange to be in Arizona and in sweats.  The whole time I was in Scottsdale the weather was really nice, and the last couple days were blazing! We worked on some technical parts of running as a group with one of the coaches.  We worked on quickening our contact on the ground, which meant a lot of ankle exercises.  The drills seemed to take a lot of ‘not thinking’ which I had a pretty hard time doing.  I ended up over thinking a lot of them, then just messing everything up!  I’ll continue to work on them though, because I think they will be really helpful.  We finished up just before 12 then headed home for lunch.  After a little time in the hot tub, I squeezed in a nap before our afternoon session came around.  It was back to the track at 4 for workout number three of the day.  After warming up as a group, everyone slit off into their events.  It was just me and one other girl with the sprints coach.  My blocks still have some way to go, and that’s all the evening practice worked on.  With some help and encouragement from the coach, my starts were beginning to look a lot better.  We finished off the workout with some longer speed, 3 x 150 full out with a 5 minute break.  Some of the other athletes joined us for this part of the workout, so six of us ran them together.  It has been a while since I’ve really trained with anyone, so having five other girls doing these with me was really nice.  The first two felt amazing, and I was able to finish them with out a problem and I wasn’t even tired.  After the second rep though I started to feel a bit of tightness in my hamstring.  I tried to shake it off and not think about it, I had one more left and I’d be done.  The sprints coach told us to just try and run the most technically sounds 150 we could.  He said not to worry about what the time was, and just keep everything together.  Coming off the corner I felt a little bit off, and something just didn’t feel right.  I tried to be tall down the home stretch and I pumped my arms fast and relaxed.  With 50 meters left something was feeling really wrong in my right leg.  It wasn’t a pull, but I could definitely feel my hamstring knotting up.  I eased up and just coasted through the line.  I know my time and my form weren’t the greatest for the last one, but something was feeling very wrong.  After cooling down a bit I could still feel a little something in my hamstring so when I got home I jumped right into the hot tub and put the jets on my hamstring to help work the knot out.  I did a bit more self recovery exercises before I went to bed and hoped it would feel better in the morning.

For Saturday morning we didn’t have a morning run, which I was very happy about.  When I woke up I could still feel a little something in my leg, but it was definitely better than the night before.  I started off practice with some weights and then moved into the running portion.  I didn’t feel too much while lifted weights, so I thought maybe my hamstring would be alright.  Some light split jerks, squats, squat jumps and finished off with incline press.  I hadn’t lifted since last week and it felt good to push a little weight again.  We headed out to the grass to do the running and I felt ready to go.  They were just easy runs, so I thought this would be a good time to test out the leg.  I didn’t go out too hard, but strong enough to see how things felt.  After the first four reps I was feeling ok, but I knew something was still a little off.  I did eight more, and I could feel the tightness building. It wasn’t painful but I knew it wasn’t right.  I finished the last four reps a little slower and eased off a bit.  It was so early into the camp, and it seemed like I was injured already.  We got the afternoon off because there was a meet in the evening at the track.  I had originally planed to go watch, but given how bad my hamstring was feeling, I had an appointment with physio instead. 

I spent about an hour with physio and so far its been the worst hour of this camp.  I’ve never been good with needles, so when acupuncture was recommended I immediately started to panic.  As I was prepped for the needles I could feel my heart start to race and my palms start to sweat.  My coach came with me to help comfort me, and I will admit it did help a bit.  With each prick of the needle though I began to sweat more and all I could think was ‘when is this going to end!’  I maybe got a total of eight needles, but to me if felt like a million.  This was only the second time I had gotten acupuncture and I just hoped it would work. 

I woke up with a bit of soreness from the acupuncture, but my hammy definitely felt a bit better.  Today I took it easy and just tested out how it feels.  I’m really hoping the tightness lets up and I’m able to do some quality training while at this camp.  I hate sitting on the sideline being quasi injured.  Even though the needles really sucked, if its going to help me out I’m willing to do it again.  I’ll just remember to bring an extra t-shirt next time!