Determined To Recover

This should be an interesting journal chronicling my attempt to proving wrong my doctor’s opinion that most likely I’d never run very fast again. He actually opinioned that it could be a year to 2 years before I could even jog at a decent pace, given that I am no longer 25 years old. I smiled, myself thinking “Thanks doc we will see about that” This was April 2, 2006. Bilateral knee fractures with bilateral Patella tendon ruptures. There have been a lot of tears since then and many days when I thought the doc was right…

So 2 weeks ago my progress has been such that I can move off the treadmill and stair-climber and onto the track, football field and real stairs. Ground-based training is definitely different than running on a moving belt. I definetely have a long way to go but I am way ahead of where everyone though I’d be. So from here on out I’ll will post my progress. I plan to video stages of my recovery as well so if you guys/gals have suggestions where to post them that would be great.

All the best.

Wow, your determination is impressive and I wish you the best of luck and strength!! May I ask how you got injured??

Just remember many people in past times have proven experts wrong… in the end, it’s only a matter of will and character :slight_smile:

It wasn’t track related. I was training with the Police department… lost my footing approaching the 6 foot barrier… my knees crashed thru the barrier breaking both knees. Just a freak accident.

Thanks for the words Stef

What have you been doing as part of your recovery before you were able to hit the treadmill? Good luck man–prove em wrong.

My recovery was restricted to riding the bike to further improve my range of motion and the leg press. Later I added weightless leg extensions; I’d lie on my back and extend my leg against gravity. I started doing that when I notice that although my leg press was improving my knees would still buckle every now and again while walking. I also found a that during leg presses there was as paticular point during the press where my legs wobbled greatly so I found a press with adjustable resistance points ( start, mid point, end). Once I found that machine my knees improved greatly. I still have discomfort at the top of my knees but it’s expected. The pain gets better and better each week though.

Anyway, my weekly workout which helped me get strong enough to start joging, then running on the treadmill looked like this:

Monday-Friday 20 minutes bike (light resistance), 2 times a day

Leg Press: 5 sets. 25-50 reps- just the weight of the plateform, no plates in the beginning. Today I can press 3 plates on each side for 15 reps.

Weightless Leg Extension: (alternate legs) 10 sets; 20 reps. I can use some weight now.

Iso-tension quad excecise to improve my knee tracking- 5 sets; 50 reps (I just sit and contract my quad)

Walking forward plant foot and go backwards.

Thursday 3/8/07 training:

15 minute warmup on the bike in my gym then walk across street to a dirt track

1 lap warmup
Light stretch
200 meter jog w/ arm circles
200 meter shuffle
A&B skips
Butt kicks
Butt kicks variation (I extend my leg back then bring my heel toward my butt for a great stretch in my patella tendon/lower quad repair)

3-4 80 meter stride outs.
2 x 300 meter break downs (not timed for now but around a 18 second 100 pace)
300- walk 200
200- walk 100
150- walk 100
100- walk 300
Next set…
My knees start to wobble a bit toward the end of the second 150. They use to start to wobble during the second 300 so that is an improvement already.

Leg extension:
Pyramid up 5 sets 10 reps- 20, 30, 45, 60
Alternate extension:
5 sets 10-15 reps- 15-20 lbs
Negative extensions: Bring weight up wit both legs; use one leg and slowly lower weight. (15-20 lbs)

Assisted Squat (well below parallel) I hold the squat rack, go all the way down and drive back up. Right now the discomfort under stress is the limiting factor. I know that I am strong enough to get up. Intermittingly I will let go of the rack and tough it out. Maybe twice in 10 reps.- 1 set 10 reps
#2 Below parallel to midpoint squat- 1 set10 reps
#3 Midpoint to finish- 1 set 10 reps

Reverse leg press- 3 sets I’m assuming the #10 plate means 100 lbs.

Stiff leg Deads- 2 sets 10 reps 225 lbs

Friday 3/9/07- 1 hour on the bike
I use today as you would a tempo between sprint work day. The bike helps my knees recover from the track work.

Saturday 3/10/07 “Knee Day”
20 min bike
John Smith’s “Drive Phase” work on StairClimber. Right now I can’t actually “drive off” from a low angle as you would when starting any run. I kind of take a few lighter steps to get going. Once I’m upright I can then speed up to a good pace. To improve my strenght at that angle I do one of two things- Walk up actual stairs while holding that “drive positon” or this stair maching thing. Here what I do: I place my hands on the top part of the machine so I look like I’m crawling up the stairs. Everyone looks at me like I’m an idiot but hell, I have figured out a way to get myself into the proper angle and do what I need to do. To quote Tyra Banks, “SO WHAT?!!”

Head to the field across the street.
Cone drills 3 sets each. Typical American Football drills. All done with light jogging pace.
Jogging forward then planting to back pedal; change of direction drills; back pedaling up hill. When planting my foot I try to add a bit more pressure on my knees as I go.

I don’t do any weights on knee day. The stairs and cone work are enough stress. I always remind myself that whenever I think I’m ready to intensify the work load to purposely back off. I know that I’m most at risk to a set back when I THINK that I am ready for more.

Sunday 3/11/07 Off

Watched “The Illusionist” with Ed Norton. I thought it was pretty good.

wow awesome!

good luck man im definitely rooting for you! you should read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy great book and i think youd like it.

Monday 3/12/07
bike- 20 minutes- then go to track (dirt)
1 lap; light stretch
200 m jog w/arm circles (grass)
200 m shuffle (grass)
3 x 20 m A&B skips (track)
2 x 20 butt kicks (track)
3x 60 meter stride outs

Obviously my warmup is much shorter than what is probably normal. Reason being that for now, I can’t run very fast so I don’t really need an extended warmup. Plus I have to consider the volume of foot contacts and it’s stress on my knees. That is why I ride for 20 minutes and run only jog one lap instead of maybe just running 3 laps to begin with. Also, the drills are at this point more of a way to judge how my knees/tendons are resonding to ground contacts and being stretched than anything to do with sprinting.

Workout (not timed)
6 x 200 meters (stopped a 5)

My knees weakend and started to buckle a bit coming out of curve on the 5th 200. That is about 500 meters short of when they would typically start to buckle. I figure it was do to the extended curve running. That was the only thing different from previous sessions.

Assisted Squat:
1 x 10 rock bottom (3 reps done unassistance
1 x 10 bottom to midpoint
1 x 10 midpoint to finish

Tuesday 3/14/2007

Biked for 45 minutes and abs.

Wednesday 3/14/2007

Warmup 20 minutes bike
1 lap- on grass
Light stretching
Hip Circles and trunk twists
200 meter Arm Circles
200 meter Shuffle
Carioca (probably misspelled)
Light Stretching
A&B Skips- 3 x 20 meters
Hight Knees- 1 x 20 meter
Butt kicks- 2 x 20 meter

Work: 1 x 300 meter breakdowns (not timed)
300- walk 200 meters
200- walk 150 meters
150- walk 100 m

Work: 5 x 150 meters (not timed but the pace was a bit faster)

So far so good I guess. I think I am at place now where I can start timing my runs now. It seems that I can push off at the start of each run with a little more force. Visually you probably would not notice but I certainly “feel” it. I was really worried about getting off the treadmill and onto the track or field. I’m 25 pounds heavier than I should be so naturally I was worried how my knees would handle the extra fat weight. I can only expect them to feel even better as my weight continues to drop, which by the way was set back by 2 Entenmann’s Glazed Doughnuts late last night.

Gym- I did this latter climber machine. I didn’t count the sets or reps.

Monday 3/19/2007
I decided my knees needed some down time after 3 weeks of ground based running so I got off the track and just rode the bike. I’m still not sure what to do about jogging. Right now it’s not very comfortable, obvioulsy because they spend more time under pressure than when running. I think I’ll increase my warmup lap to 2 laps and see if it shortens the training distance I am presently capable of handling before my legs start to wobble. Not counting warmup, I am good for about 1700 meters of work; about 500 meters less if doing a lot of curve (200’s).

Monday’s session (not timed)
3 x 200 meter breakdowns
200 (walked to start of 150)
150 (walked 100 m)
100 (walked 300 before next set)

Wednesday 3/21/2007

5 minutes on bike
2 laps (increase from 1)
short stretch
200 meters arm circles
200 meters shuffle
hip circles
short stretch
3 x A&B skip- 30 meters (increase from 20)
3 x streached butt kicks
3 x butt kicks
1 x hands on hip high knee
2 x 60 meter stride outs

Session: Timed
4 x 200 meters- 33-34 seconds (walk back to start)
4 x 150 meters: NA

My first day with a stopwatch! The pace was definitly picked up a bit but it felt pretty good. I’ll have to get off this dirt starting next week. My feet are slidding a bit and I’m no where near ready for spikes. Good thing I work near 2 schools with nice tracks. Anyway, after my duces and a 10 minute break I was not able to do my 150’s. The increase warmup along with the faster 200’s left my legs unresponsive after the 10 minute break following the 4-200’s. My knees weren’t even tracking as well. So I headed off to the gym.

Leg extensions (various One leg, negatives, drop sets…) This day I didn’t count sets I just did them until I felt like stopping.
Reverse Leg Press:
3 x 8 Reps- 120 lbs
2 x 10 Reps- 225
Abs and checked out the hotties
I think I just spotted my next ex-girlfriend!

HAHA thats an awesome line “I think I just spotted my next ex-girlfriend!”

Thursday and friday I rested my knees knowing that I was going to be running on a nice track and wanted them to be well recovered. My training on both days consisted of what is actually my warm up. Then I rode the bike and watched College BBall.

Saturday: 3/24/07
I have yet to reconcile with the fact that I committed myself to filming stages of my recovery. Well I did tape this session and lets just say that I keep telling myself that I was immobile, depresssed and ate whatever I wanted for about 8 months… Saturday I watched in horror as this blob of a man, who looked mysteriously like me, struggling to move a load of fat around the track. I looked like an out of shape fullback. A mini Nate Newton (Dallas Cowboys) in Tights! I knew I was WAY OVERWEIGHT and decided that I’d keep my shirt off for motivation but damn!.. Oh well, Phuck it. I’m sticking to my plan to do both- video and shirt off. As soon as I figure out how to load it, you guys can all use me to feel good about youselves Hahaha. Maybe there’s a chuncky guy out there who is trying to get in shape. He can use my fat ass as motivation. I won’t look or move like this for long baby.

As it’s been so far. (knees actally felt great)

Session: Timed
4 x 200- 32.5-33 seconds- walk back to start (it took 3 minutes)
4 x 150- 22 seconds- walk back ( I purposely stopped after the second 150 even thought I probably could have done the other 2)

Even with the extra blubber I’m increasing the amount of stress I can take. I’m really excited about this. I jogged 2 laps on the sport turf and my knees felt much stronger throughout the session. In the aftermath of seeing myself… err… I mean that fat guy who looks like me running around I’ve tightend up my diet considerably…

  • 2 packs of instant grits w/ 10 grapes- 220 calories
  • Protein Shake- 110 calories
  • chicken breast w/ 1/4 cup of cooked rice- 210 calories
  • Protein Shake- 220 calories
  • Protein Shake- 110 calories
    *chicken breast w/ 1/4 cup veggies- 210

I stepped on a scale last week, and I am now seeing THE TRUTH in the mirror. Not what I wish was there, used to be, will be, hope will be --no, after seeing that ungodly number on the scale, the mirror now shows me the ugly awful truth. I have made fat loss job #1 and screw everything else. I don’t have what it takes to post pics, but damn. I had a guy tell me tonight that he used to be over 400! and took off 200 lbs. in 18 months. So I can do it, just have to be consistent about getting the lard off. So at least you aren’t as horrible as me :rolleyes:

Monday 3/26/07

Warmup (As it’s been thus far)
Knee work:
Various football mobility drills:
Still a jogging pace at this point. The knees are responding well, with less discomfort each session.


Sep ups: 2 Foot platform.
3 x 10 Reps - Simi-Assited
2 x 10 Reps - Unassisted
This was my first real attempt at this excersise. I tried it about 2 months ago and damn near fainted from the effort. And that was on the first rep. I terminated the session that second. Now the discomfort is tolerable, granted it took a few “don’t be a pussy” self-motivation to get thru it but watching my knees wobble a bit on the initial press upwards kinda sucked. But its a massive improvement from 2 months ago.

Reverse Leg Press:
1 x 10 reps- 100 lbs
2 x 8 reps- 150 lbs
Stiff Leg Deads:
1 x 10 Reps- 135 lbs
2 x 10 Reps: 225

Lying Leg Curls
2 x 8 Reps 90 lbs

Tuesday 3/27/07 Rained Out
Rode Bike
Ab Work.

Wednesday 3/28 07
Warm up:
2 laps
Hip circles
200 meters- arm circles
200 meters- shuffle
3 x 30 meters carioca
3 x 30 meters A skips
2 x 30 meters B skips
2 x 30 meters high knees
2 x 30 meters butt kicks
2 X 60 m Strideouts

4 x 200 meters. (walk back to start. 3 minutes)
#1- 33.5 seconds
#2- 31.5 seconds
#3- 30.3 seconds
#4- 30.3 seconds
Walked a lap- finish
What I wanted to do was see how my knees would respond to a little faster pace with each run. Well they felt fine. I didn’t recall noticing my patella tendon being stretched plus my previously casual take-offs were done with a little more force- A little more. For the first time I actually felt the effects of being out of shape (hams and glutes tightening up) before I felt any weaknesses with my legs.

I’m trying to be cautious but sometimes I wonder if I’m being too careful. So far I have not tried to complete a session even though I’m pretty sure I could. As far as the gym stuff goes, I know that step ups, lunges, squats and the like will be the very last thing I improve in but as far as just upright running, I think I am ready to for 3 consecutive days of running. I’ll record another session this weekend.

IMHO, it depends on what is limiting you. Before you got hurt you knew the difference between what was sensible and safe and what wasn’t. So now you have some other factors to deal with but the principles are the same. I’d say to work harder than you think you should, while being easier on the knees than you think you really need to be.

My thought is to bag the step-ups and lunges. Lunges can be hard on healthy knees, and doing step-ups when you are lacking strength means that you are more likely to put lateral stresses on the knees, and/or change form due to weakness/fatigue and put more stress on the knee suddenly. Plus, I don’t get why the hurry to run. Yes you will run well again, but let’s make sure you aren’t doing other damage by running on legs that aren’t strong yet. Let’s see, who said

What about walking more? How about those assisted squats? It seems like you have skipped a phase or two in your recovery – you’re now going for running as much as you can without building up the support first. Biking, walking, non-joint-stressful strength work. I know you are sick of that and wanting to run but it isn’t, “do rehab crap until I can train like an athlete again”, but rather transistioning smoothly from being weak and wobbly to putting out force safely.

What you’re working through is super hard and I applaud your efforts. Just don’t set yourself back in the process.

Thursday 3/29/07
Tempo Circuit

Man, I hate these. My knees felt ok throughout

Friday 3/30/07

Saturday 3/31/07
4 x 200 meters
4 x 150 meters
1- 31.5
2- 31.6
3- 30.8
4- 31.7
8 minute break
Clearly I’m not healthy enough. I can’t complete my workout. I’m not in pain but there is absolutely not response from my legs when I moved to the 150’s. It’s both depressing and interesting feeling your body NOT respond to what you want it to do. Instead of ending the session all together, I choise to “finish” even if I had to jog the four 150’s. So that’s what i did; I jogged each one with a walk back.

I’m going to have to learn how to put together a long to short program since obviously I can’t “sprint” yet. I figured it woud take a full year to get to where I could run on a track again. Well it’s a year and a day. I’m way ahead of where my doctor’s prediction. So now I surmise it will take a full year to get to where I can sprint. Long to short followed by short to long looks like an obvious way to go about it. I also need to have an actual preparation phase. Right now I am sort of addressing my poor condition on some days and seeing how much stress I can take on other days. I think I’m heathy enough for a plan and not some hoge-podge collection of workouts.

Thanks for the words. You’re right.

Sunday April 1ST. A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY. For me at least. One year ago I was sobbing like a baby; Wondering if I’d ever perform an athletic movement of any kind again. You never really know what you’re capable of handling until you’re actually staring it in the face. Since I didnt roll myself onto on coming traffic at any point during the weeks I as confined to a wheelchair, I think I passed. But for sure there were some very dark moments. There is some value to being an arrogant, stand-offish dick that thinks way too much of himself after all. But that’s just what my mother said. So here’s the big middle finger to all those who said I’d walk with a limp and probably never run right again.

I took this day off. I’m not superstitious… make that stupidstitious but if I were to have a set-back it wasn’t going to be on this day.

Monday 4/2/07
3 x 3 x 300 meter breakdowns

First set:
300-- 51.0
200-- 34.0
150-- 21.5
5 minute break
Second set:
300-- 55.7
200-- 34.1
150-- ?
Third Set:
300-- Literally crashed at 230 meters. For a moment I actually thought I started to run in place. LOL Anyway, I fell off so much that I thought this particular workout is a good starting point for a general pre phase. I wasn’t upset at all. I’m overweight by a good 20 pounds. Everthing up to this point was basically testing what I the ole knees could actually handle. Now I know. And this particular workout highlighted my fitness level. Now I know that too.

Tuesday Off. And the first time my glutes were a little sore.

I think ems might be useful in your situation, have you tried it before?