My Journal through Injury

Oh well, i guess i dont even know where to begin. Anyways, i made it here to Australia to finish off my degree, and i was happy that the process was pretty smooth. I was jet-lagged though for nearly ten days! falling asleep during day, getting up during the night, god what a mess!

I made my first appearance here on the 27th of July. It was the quad relays and i was put on to run the third leg, the only thing that i didt know until the same day was that the relay was run in the unis park! When i first looked at it, it didnt look very good. I could tell there were sharp turnes, bit on grass and bit on concrete, i wouldve easily backed off if there were any subs, but we were the only people so it was too late, i wasnt gonna let the whole college down, it was gonna make me look bad.

When it was time for me to run, we were running second, the track was marked by cones which you had to follow or else you would take wrong turnes. The total distance was worked out to be 210m. Anyways the guy took a wrong turn and since i was running second, i just followed him until we both realised that we were running behind the fence, so the only option really was to get back in, so at that speed i jumped over the fence and landed on my left knee, i felt i twisted it, but i just kept on running anyways, i must have had atleast 120m to go.

After i finished my run, i just fell on the floor and like the pain came out on me all a sudden, it was unbearable, i have never felt such pain probably in my life! and i didnt know what to do and where to put my leg. I told my friend to get me some ice immediately and i could just see it swelling and swelling, and the pain was so bad it even got me sick!

I saw the unis doctor and she transferred me to a specialist straight away. He told me he thinks that i have torn my crucial ligament, but he wasnt sure he wanted me to do a scan. Here came the problem, i have only been here for not even two weeks, i have paid a lot of money to settle in, buying books, i just couldnt afford, there was NOTHING that i could do. My insurance would not cover an MRI scan!!! which was gonna cost me arounds $360, and then he suggested some form of operation!

By the time i got back to my room the swelling was so bad that my calves were unbelievably stiff, and my quads were tight too. In the middle of the night i would get up in pain, and my leg would feel numb, and i would just have to rub it and the numbness would go away. I thougth at that point, that my track career was over!!!

I thought to myself, just give it time, ice it ALL the time, take some anti-inflammatory pills, and take it easy. I started off by walking to uni, usually it would take 10min to get to class, but at that pace it would take 40min, sometimes even i would walk for 1min and rest for another 2min, it was terrible. It was until i noticed that my walking was looking almost normal, and from there i would try and bend my knees slowly and flex, just nice and easy, and obviously do the ice.

Time passed by until the swelling had gone down by chunks, but anytime i would flex my leg my quads wouldnt respond, and i could see that they have gone much much smaller in size than my other leg. I saved up some money so i was able to see a physio, who didnt know what to do, and he needed a scan as well, but i told him, look just treat it like i cant get one until we see what happens. Then i thought in my head, charlies favourite machine, EMS, i asked the physio if he had one, and he was very kind enough to lend it to me.

I started blasting them impulses, slowly, arounds my knee and stimulating my quad, and i couldnt take more than 5min and then my leg would feel tired and my intensity on a scale of one to eight, was at two!

Weeks passed by, until i was able to withstand an intensity of eight for 25min, and generally my leg was responding better to the contractions, it was like its alive again. And from there, my knee was improving pretty well. I started doing very very slow running, on grass, first time i did it, i went on for 8min, and all a sudden my quad cramped. Next day, i ran for 20min. From there i was able to build up to 40min runs on grass, and my pace was slowly picking itself up, i literally wansnt forcing anything, it was happening naturally.

I gave in the EMS machine since i had it for quite a bit and my physio suggested that we should start strengthening my leg, cause the stronger we develop the surrounding muscles, the better the knee would be supported. He suggested exercises like the leg press, leg curl, calf raisers and obviously any form of upper body training. I just did my sit ups and push ups in my room every night before bed.

So i decided to post a journal on my way back to track hopefully, i dont even know if i would be able to do so again, i will just keep building up and i will see where i go from there. But inside of me, there was this fire, that even with that sort of injury, wasnt put off, it was there but dormant, and now its driving me back. Lets see where i can go with this…

Monday 29/08

15min run on grass
Leg Press: 10x40, 10x80, 3x15x120kg
Leg Curls: 3x20x30kg
Bench Press: 10x40, 10x50, 3x10x60kg
15min cool down on bike

Its almost been a month since injury, its looking good so far, time is the only factor, lets not rush things

Tuesday 30/08

20min run on grass
Leg Press: 10x40, 10x80, 10x120, 3x15x160kg
Shoulder Press: 3x10x17.5kg
Db Curl: 3x10x12.5kg

Wednesday 31/08

15min run on grass
15min stretching
Diagonals x10 with 10press ups b4 run, 20 situps after run, rest: jog width

Today was very promising, i picked up the paced during the diagonal run and it was responding, i still feel more knee lift in the right leg obvioulsy but that should go away in time. My fitness was pretty good, i felt tired during the last two runs only

Damn, that sucks man. I tore a ligament in my hip a few summers ago when I was running and trying to gut it out for the last 50 meters of a race and I couldn’t do any high intensity sports for 3 months. If I could do it over again at the first site of pain I would have never finished the race.

My advice is be very patient for it to heel and be 100%, do not rush it. Mine felt about 98% when I started playing hockey for the first time after the injury and it felt fine then but every now and then I’ll feel a little pain or an un-normal feeling in the same place that I injured. I’m sure if I waited a week or a week and half longer to start playing hockey I wouldn’t still be having those odd pains.

Another piece of advice which you seem to already be doing is don’t give up. I quit the track club I was going to because of this injury and I probably would have been way faster right now if I stuck with track training for those 2-3 years that I gave up.

Thursday 1/09

15min run on grass
10min stretching
Bench Press: 10x40, 10x50, 10x60, 10x70, 10x60kg
Leg Curls: 3x20x20kg
Leg Press: 10x40, 10x80, 10x120, 10x160, 3x10x200kg
Push Press: 8x40, 8x50, 8x60kg

side note: CaptainPain thanks for your advice, i do realise that an injury like this can be very decieving, and you think since there is no pain then its fine, when it really is not. Anyways i will give it all the time it needs. I personally dont think i should be sprinting until late december early january. Until then, i will focus on getting stronger through the weights, and fitter through tempo and will see where i can go from there.

eih yabni dah!!! Thank god something like that just cured its self although I would still scan my leg to be sure nothing’s wrong. But you know what. You are a very determined guy to go thrpough all that without loosing hope. As for me. I only did the relay for nationals and nothing more. I have a sum of back problems that would be enough to kick 100 normal people into the hospital!! Anyway. Just take care and good luck.

el eyes ya amro i dunno what to do man! Im all the way here and it hit me ONE last good time, but hey, this shouldnt get in your way, it only makes guys like us stronger and hungrier… Take care man. Sorry to hear about your back, but now that your season is over, do the required therapy and get it OUT of the way COMPLETELY, so that you can train all fall and not worry about anything. Goodluck man…

Hi komy,

Not sure If I understand correctly, but you have moved to Australia?

Where are you from / where are you living now?

Good luck with your recovery. How is your knee on more complex exercises? Squats, dead lifts, ect?

Hey flyer, complex lifts are avoided right now especially when it comes to explosive dynamic movements, so im entirely relying on leg presses, leg curls and tempo runs to develop my leg and condition my knee, thats pretty much all i could do now. When i tried push press with 60kg the other day, my knee felt funny so i will avoid any explosive movements.

I am egyptian, grew up in kuwait, and im living in Toowoomba now (queensland) in aus.

Saturday 3/09

15min run on grass
10min stretching
10x100m with 10press ups before run and 20situps after run. rest: jog back

very good session today. i practised at 11pm when it was dark and nobody around. i really enjoyed it. i kept pushing myself all the way and recovery was no problem at all…

Welcome to Australia komy! I am currently living in Brisbane, having moved from South Australia three years ago.

What is your performance level? Who have you trained with in the past? Who will you train with when you recover?

Also, why are you avoiding the complex lifts? I can understand omitting explosive movements, but what about controlled squats or dead lifts? If you can leg press, I would imagine you would be able to squat, given the right weight and speed.

I think squatting will help your regeneration every bit as much as leg press (if not more), and they are going to make your transition back to training and competing much smoother (far and away more specific than leg press).

I perfectly understand your point of view about squats, but my physio told me no free weights until two weeks atleast. So this is the second week, and honestly, i dont see any point in squatting until i can leg press atleast 350kg. So i still got more work before proper strength developments are there.

About Brisbane, all i can say is fantastic! I was down there the other weekend, i have a place in an area called coorparoo (raby street) and i will spend all summer down there anyway, so looks like we might be hookin up. What are your events? I ran a pb of 10.66FAT in a headwind, my 200 is at 22.12FAT, i trained hard last year and was more than ready to progress from those times especially my 200 since i got myself much fitter but there was no luck. Now as you can see, im starting all over again!

Sunday 4/09

45min continous run on grass

Again another late night session, beautiful. Now school starts tomorow so no more of this. Will start hitting on more lifts this week and i hope to see some progression happening. As far as my knee is concerned, it has been doing very good lately and i feel as though im 100% normal again (bending, flexing etc…)

Do you ever swim, to help your training and recovery. Also to add some variation.

I hope you recover from your injury, and am sure you will with a positive atitude. The mind is the most underestimated tool we have.

I wish you the best in your training, never stop beleaving.

Thank you

WOW. Sounds like a nightmare. I was getting that weird feeling one gets when imagining injuries. I hope you can make it back. It sounds like you might have had chondromalacia patellae, which is a pretty common injury caused by lack of strenth or flexibility. It happened to me 3 years ago, I couldn’t walk well and was in so much pain till I finally saw a kinesiologist which made me develop strength and flexibility and then it started going away alone. If you had torn a cartiledge or meniscus the pain wouldn’t have gone away. I recommend you don’t neglect flexibility. Lot’s of quads stretching and be on the look out for other problems. When I was trying to come back to the track from that injury I went through a myriad of other little injuries and niggles caused by the imbalance in strength and flexibility tightness in the side of my hips, pain on the side of my knees, tendinitis, etc. Careful with the weights too. I got tendinitis on both knees because I started pushing it too hard with weights once I began feeling good.

Thanks aln, yes i will definitely keep strengthening my legs and make sure there are NO imbalances anywhere. As you can see all im doing is grass and weights. About the weights, yes you are right, i need someone to always tell me to take it easy but i keep slowing down myself, even if my lifts are getting better i will always try and take it easy. I cant really do a lot of stretching to the quads since i cant bend my knee 100% yet, but its slowly getting there and it has been taking more time for that last bit. I will not start any form of sprinting until late december anyway so i hope that is enough time. Anyways how long did it take you before you got back 100%??

Mr Shumon thanks for your motivation, and yes i believe that one can do A LOT with their minds, psychology does miracles sometimes and its the determination thats keeping me going. I have no access to a pool, and it wouldve eased my recovery a lot especially in the early stages but all i used was EMS to get my surrounding muscles working without having to use my knee at all. Now that i can im relying on tempo running (grass) and lifting (which is aln said, should take easy).

Monday 5/09

15min run on grass
Leg Press: 10x80, 10x120, 10x160, 10x200, 3x10x240kg
Leg Curls: 3x20x40kg
SL Deadlift: 8x60, 8x80, 8x100kg
Abs x60reps (variety)

Cool session today, will see how tempo goes tomorow

komy, good to see your recovery is going well!

Leg press numbers are looking good - how deep are you going?

I think you could incorporate some squatting in your program, maybe only half squats (depending upon your level of flexibility), 3 x 6 with maybe 40kg.

I can understand you wanting to stay away from squats because of your physios recomendation, but (from my experience) physio’s tend to have an unwarranted fear of free weights!

I think they tend to associate them with heavy weight, strained movement, poor technique, etc. but as long as you are maintaining good (make that perfect) form throughout your lifts, squats are no more dangerous than leg press. However they are going to offer you the benefit of sprint specific movements, which will definetly help in getting those old motor pathways firing! :cool:

Tuesday 6/09

10min run on grass
Tempo 10x100m on grass with jog back recoveries
Bench Press: 10x40, 3x10x60kg
Lat Pull Down (front): 3x10x50kg
Seated Rows: 10x50, 10x60, 10x70kg

Upper body strength is definitely behind, but to be honest im not looking very forwward to inncreasing my upper body lifting and hence the unneccessary mass, been there, done that. I lost flexibility, had a very good 40m phase only and then fell apart (heavy), and was vulnearable to injury (like a time bomb set to expolde at any time).

I am more interested in developing my quads and hamstrings, and strengthening the knee, from there my aim strengthening tool will be the HILLS. I hardly ever did those in my life, so it should be interesting seeing what effect those would have on my running.

Flyer, i go as deep as i can with the leg press, basically until i cant go down any more and then i push with my legs and explode as hard as i can, thats the only way i try and make this exercise useful. I will start squats this week, one session per week and then i will build on from there. Once im am fit, the ONLY lifts i will be interested in are cleans, squats, deads and push press, and that shoudl provide maximum stimulation of the motor units. Goodluck

Wednesday 7/09

10min run on grass
Parallel Squats: 3x10x60, 3x10x70, 3x10x80kg

That was pretty much it for today. Upper body sore from yesterday, generally i felt tired today, and i know that sooner or later i will need to get myself some supplements to help my body adapt to training and develop. Will see physio again tomorow, its been two weeks so it should be interesting knowing how things are going with my knee, i really hope its good news

Thursday 8/09

10min run on grass
10min stretching
4x30m strides
diagonals x10 with 10press ups b4 run and 20 situps after run. rest: jog width

cool relaxing session, very sore upper body again today, and my legs were a bit tight too. So todays session was very relaxing, and i had no problem with recovery all the way