Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Quick Update

After coming back from Italy, I competed at the Loughborough International, where I came 3rd in the 100m in 10.15. Unfortunately for me, this was accompanied by a following wind of +3.5m/s, which is over the allowable limit, and so my time does not count for record or qualification purposes.

I am due to race in Hengelo, Holland this Sunday, and then Ostrava next Tuesday. Hopefully the conditions will be a little more favourable, and I can build on my performance at Loughborough and hopefully run under 10.25 seconds legally, which will be a big step towards the World Championships qualifying standard of 10.18 seconds. I face tough competition though - Usain Bolt will be in Ostrava!

I will keep you posted with my results.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Next Steps

So now that the spasm was settling down, I was able to start to sit down for controlled periods of time, in order to get some spinal flexion back. I could also progress my rehab on to much more challenging exercises, and for the second and third weeks I was doing up to four hours of these exercises every day. This really wasn’t fun, but I was pretty motivated to achieve my goal of beating the doctor’s timescale of comeback. There were times where I didn’t want to do the rehab (it was insanely boring), but I forced myself to do it.

Exactly two weeks after my injury, I was allowed to do three very slow jogs over 30m. This might not seem like anything, but for me it felt like a huge breakthrough! Week three I was allowed to do some form of gym work, although not much at all. I also started to do slightly more structured running sessions, although no spikes as of yet. I was allowed to do 50% of my reps in spikes 4 weeks post-injury, and again this felt like a big breakthrough. Five weeks post-injury I was able to start doing some runs from a four-point start without blocks. Blocks were the last thing to be added in, coming 8 weeks post-injury. Nine weeks post injury; I competed in my race, running 10.39 seconds. To put this in perspective, it is only 0.01 seconds slower than I ran last year. In addition to this, it was in a very small competition, and I usually run my best times in big competitions when the adrenaline is flowing. So, all in all, I am fairly happy with how things have progressed.

So that is where I am now. I still cant do power cleans or squats, the two mainstays of my lifting programme. Instead, I have had to get creative with how I set up my lifting sessions. I can’t lift any weights off the floor, or take any large loads on my shoulders in order to protect my spine. One day I might be able to do these again, but for now I just have to accept my limitations!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The First Week

The first week post-injury was also fairly difficult. The first couple of days were focused on helping the disc settle down as much as we could. To achieve this, I wasn’t able to flex my spine at all (i.e. no sitting down), and couldn’t do any real exercise. I was able to do some very slight rehabilitation exercises, with the focus being at regaining control of the muscles in and around my core I also managed to get hold of some prescription painkillers which helped it all settle down.

Three days post-injury I went for an MRI scan, and I got the results the next day. The injury was diagnosed as a disc protrusion between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. This was the sight of my existing protrusion – however, it had got significantly worse. I was given a time frame of around 8-10 weeks until I was back to full fitness. Immediately, I formulated a goal to beat that timescale, and to facilitate this goal I entered myself in a competition nine weeks down the line.

The rest of the week was just treatment to get rid of the spasm, and rehabilitation exercises four times per day. Finally, at the end of the week, I had an epidural injection to settle down some of the spasm that myself and the physiotherapists couldn’t get rid of. For those of you that don’t know, an epidural is an injection into the dura that runs alongside the spinal column. It’s certainly an interesting experience, but it did really help settle down the muscle spasm, and I awoke the next day feeling much better.