This past weekend I raced the 5000m at the Portland Track Festival, treating it as an opportunity to tune up for the 10,000m at the upcoming Olympic Trials. With the race scheduled on Sunday night, I purposely booked a massage at Active Bodywork in Sacramento as close to my arrival time back in Sacramento on Monday. As part of the transition to adopting a professional approach to my career, massage and Active Release Therapy have long represented pivotal components of my training, and I fully believe in their value.

Buckeye Ball

Buckeye Ball

My relationship with Todd Neider and Brandon Meline began on the heels of my injury last year, and they have accompanied me on the ups and downs of my road back to full health. Typically I use manual therapy as a weekly component of race preparation or recovery, but occasionally my LMT’s are called upon to serve more pressing needs. Last November, in the midst of my road season, I suffered an ankle sprain that threatened to derail my training and racing schedules. One mile into a medium long with my team, I stepped on a California Buckeye ball and my ankle completely rolled over. After limping back to the car in an effort to keep blood flowing, I promptly put the wheels in motion to manage the damage.

At the time I was ten days out from the .US 12k Championships, an important race on my fall schedule. Without prior experience treating a major ankle sprain, I wasn’t very concerned about whether or not I’d be able to toe the line, but Drew was immediately worried that not only would I not be able to race, but it would impact my ability to complete the necessary training I needed to prepare for my assault on the Olympic standard at the Pacific 10,000m Pursuit a few weeks later.

Ankle- 1 week out from race day

Ankle- 1 week out from race day

The chiropractor that I generally rely on to keep my body working smoothly happened to be on a family vacation that week, but we communicated via email (including pictures), and I was able to schedule an appointment with Brandon at Active Bodywork that afternoon. He worked on flushing some of the swelling out of the area and taped it to help with drainage. He was able to see me the following two afternoons for similar treatment, and after just three days of cross training and working with Brandon I was back to running again. I felt a little flat for a couple days due to taking three days without running, but otherwise I didn’t miss a beat and I was able to race at .US and the Pacific Pursuit without any ankle problems.

Luckily running is a sport that doesn’t often involve acute injuries, but it gives me confidence knowing that for whatever manual therapy needs arise, I have a team behind me that can get me back on my feet and to the starting line in a moments notice.