Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Power Squad! The "Physical Support Team" behind Team Gregg

For the past three years I have dealt with a nagging pain in my left upper hamstring. I was in a bad accident in a rollerskiing sprint race that caused very quick snap of my left leg forward before I hit the ground. It hurt when I ran, it hurt when I classic skied and it hurt when I sat for long periods of time. I would often go into a massage therapist and ask them to work on nothing but that of the 3 muscles in the hamstring group was so tight it kept me up at night.

This spring presented a new opportunity in the form of a USOC health insurance plan. Thanks to Brian making the 2014 Olympic Team he was given the choice of whether or not he wanted the coverage (that I as his wife would also receive) that is offered to all athletes who participated in the 2014 Games. For Brian and I it was an obvious decision and we applied immediately. With the new insurance plan activated I made my first Dr.'s appointment while I was still racing in AK so I could get home and see someone as soon as possible.

Fast forward to today and I have found out through an MRI and countless reviews from incredible Doctors and PTs all over the country that I have a partial avulsion at the proximal insertion of my left hamstring. There is a small section still hanging on but the other portion has retracted about a centimeter. Unfortunately the only way to heal an injury like this is surgery and the recovery from surgery is upwards of a year or more for an elite athlete. With World Cup starts on the horizon this fall there was no way I could go through surgery and be ready to compete for a spot on the 2015 World Championship Team.

With the help of Brian and some amazing friends I have decided to GO FOR IT! and not let my injury limit my potential this season. In past years I stayed far away from classic intensity and even further away from classic racing.  This fall I need to come out of gates charging and racing well in both distance classic as well as classic sprinting if I want to make the World Champs Team. I developed a great plan with the help and support of the best TEAM I could ever imagine behind me here in the Twin Cities!

Matt Miller of Horse Power Strength and Conditioning is my strength coach! I started working with him last summer and I LOVE every minute of my time in his gym. The attitude and effort of everyone I meet at Horse Power is incredible and it is hard not to be motivated with this group, This year Brian is joining me and he agrees that Matt has his programs dialed and we are in the best place possible! Matt knows about my injury but pushes me through the training in a smart way!

One of the best coaches I have ever worked with!
Getting Strong for sprinting!
This spring and summer I have also been in the amazing hands of the PT's and PTA's at Ortho Rehab Specialist in downtown Minneapolis.  We have figured out what my limitations are and I am meeting them 3 days a week to push through my weaknesses and become as balanced as possible! So far I have worked with Jennifer, Mark, Brittany, Michelle and Billy and they are all extremely knowledgeable and resourceful! The best PT group around!

Jennifer Martin is a brilliant PT and also a tremendous ambassador for female athletes! She started a great organization behind her slogan "You just got Chicked." I was honored to represent the organization at my recent Ski to Sea race with my teammates and I wear my t-shirt EVERYWHERE now:
Mark is setting me up on the Cybex machine where we tested and measured my strength and weaknesses of my left hamstring and glute.
In the pain cave but getting stronger safely!
Adding Pilates into the routine as well!
Becoming stronger and more flexible!
With all my strength and PT work as well as my time spent outside logging hours of running, bounding and rollerskiing I was in need of a Massage Therapist who knew how to work with athletes! I found one at Podium Sports Therapy with Dana Rutt!!! She is amazing and every time I leave her office I preform better the next day! Brian has started seeing her too and he agrees that she knows how to work on athletes! Dana has been helping me with my tightness and flexibility around my injured leg. The idea is too keep everything else functioning well so that I do not get additional injuries from compensating for my weakness on the left side. Having completed in Ironman Triathlons helps Dana understand exactly where we are coming from in terms of fatigue and the need for rejuvination as well!

Team Gregg with Dana in her foam rolling room! The best recovery room EVER!

Thanks to the great support of the USOC Medical Network I was able to connect with Dr. Andy Klein a local Chiropractor who served as the head Chiropractor for Team USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympics! He is incredible and has great enthusiasm and energy for working with athletes! He has helped insure that through all my rehab my body is staying aligned and balanced! He has a fantastic approach to his work and I have had a blast working with him. I am not sure how but he seems to find the minor details that lead to big blocks in my efficiency of movement.

My fellow New Yorker (NYC) who moved to the Midwest
Of course I would not be where I am today without the unyielding support of Piotr Bednarski and the programming and opportunities from the Loppet Foundation. I have been having a blast working with the local junior and competition team members all fall and early summer and Love sharing my passion and excitement with all of them. I am so proud to call LNR (Loppet Nordic Racing) my home club and represent them around the country and world!

Piotr getting me out on the bike!
The LNR Comp Team joining Team Gregg for a rollerski from Wirth Park!
Last but not least is my awesome husband Brian Gregg who has been the best support out there! We are sharing a pretty unique experience by both being Elite Cross Country Skeirs and chasing our dreams outside of National Team support! We just finished up a 30 hour week and it's hard to describe how tired, hungry and satisfied we are at the end of it. Tomorrow we start off the week with Adventure Camp for the 15 kids from the Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club! It should be a great week for them and with a few rest days on our schedule we are looking forward to getting out and coaching them at the rollerski station!


1 comment:

Bill Weber said...

Caitlin, I had an injury in that location 30 years ago, I didn't get the therapy that you're getting, and, therefore,I still get sore if I overdo it. So, please know your limit, stay loose and listen to your hamstring. Bill Weber