At the start of the New Year, my tri friends and I started emailing about races. I couldn’t help myself – I was extremely excited to get back into it after giving my knee a rest for the last 6 months. So, I signed up for a sprint race in May and an Olympic Aquabike in June. There’s just one problem – I haven’t run since July. I could walk the 5K sprint run course if I had to, I reasoned. But, of course, the athlete in me now says that just won’t do. And, I still really want to do a full Olympic distance race.
So, I need a plan. Going back to the “sports medicine” orthopedist I had seen wasn’t the right path since he lacked an understanding of running mechanics. I liked the physical therapist, a triathlete himself, whom I had consulted. He took a more holistic view of my running form and balance while the orthopedist had just zeroed in on the knee. But, I would need a prescription and there was the issue that I was paying out-of-pocket since he wasn’t in my insurance network.
I consulted with friends for recommendations and searched for sports medicine physicians. I was delighted to find that Dr. Jordan Metzl, a NYC based physician, is in my insurance network. I already knew of him from the annual multi-sport conference he puts on at Columbia University. Of the many emails that now clog my inbox, his newsletter was one that I occasionally clicked on for useful information, and I’ve come across his articles in Triathlete magazine.
“That’s crazy!” proclaimed Dr. Metzl when I told him my tale and woes of the advice I had been given. He said I’ve probably had the articular cartilage defect all along (as I suspected). “We’re going to completely make you over,” he declared. He went on to say something about a good “Connecticut System” -- I misheard that – a “Kinectic System” is the key to preventing injury. Essentially, your whole body is connected head to toe so if it’s not all moving and supporting the movement properly, you will be prone to injury. So his six week prescription includes:
1) A pair of orthotics that I’ve put in my shoes - no need to buy new sneakers.
2) The GRID -- http://tptherapy.com/shop/smrt-core-products/the-grid.html
My muscles are very tight and so I need to self massage them with The GRID daily – I thought after my first use that I would name this foam roller the BEAST but it got easier. The IT Band exercise in his book, The Athlete’s Guide to Home Remedies, was particularly painful at first!
3) His Ironstrength Workout twice a week, which you can find at http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/ironstrength-workout
Stay tuned, and I’ll let you know how I’m doing!