As a collegiate track athlete, I had unlimited access to trainers, ice baths, and all the best recovery and rehab equipment available. But it was not until I started seeing Brad McKay at Performance Therapy that I really knew what recovery felt or looked like. I came out of college with some chronic aches and pains that no trainer, foam roller, or “stick” could eliminate. Everything I tried to do only seemed to temporarily mask a bigger problem, which was not identified until I began seeing Brad on a regular basis.
Brad is specially trained in Active Release Therapy (ART), a soft tissue system and movement-based technique that is used to treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. ART does not feel like your regular massage, there is a lot of movement and even some minor pain involved, but he always makes me feel like a new person after every session. Along with regular visits for ART treatment, Brad frequently coached me on proper running form. After making small adjustments each week to my form, my chronic pain diminished and my running efficiency skyrocketed. I have been seeing Brad for only a few months, but I can say with confidence that I am a new, and soon-to-be pain-free, runner.
Over the past few years of my running, I have noticed the better your legs feel, the better training you can log. Sure it is ideal for a runner to get a massage after every run or interval session, but who has the time and the money for that? I have tried foam rollers, ice massages, rolling sticks, and countless other remedies to pamper my legs after knocking out the miles. But nothing seemed to really mimic the sensation of a masseuse’s hands digging into your legs and flushing out them out.
Recently I was fortunate enough to be receive a ROLL Recovery R8 as a gift from my parents. From the first moment I tried the device, I felt it really getting to the knots in my muscles. The process required little effort to dig into your muscles (less than with a rolling stick) nor as much energy as needed to move it up and down your legs after a run (such is the case with foam rollers as you have to hold yourself up and get a core workout as you flush out your legs). It is a great product, one I shared with my teammates and physical therapist, who immediately fell in love with it.
The fact the product does most of the work is great. You can easily enjoy watching TV as you slowly move R8 up and down your legs. It’s easily transported in a carry bag and small enough to fit into your track bag for practice and travel. The ease and convenience of using the product make it great not only for your top tier athletes, but for all hardworking runners.
I would not trade my R8 for anything. It keeps my legs fresh and poppy between scheduled massages and keeps me healthy.
Most people probably can't fit their entire life into a Mazda 3, but then again I'm not most people. Four weeks ago, I was barreling down I-20 in a car packed beyond reasonable capacity. I had just left my home, my job, my family, and many dear friends behind. All of this to chase a dream, and to have a deeper understanding of myself
It felt like something out of a Jack Kerouac novel, a young man On the Road on a journey to find a greater personal meaning in life. Except of course, I wasn't a beatnik following the jazz scene out west, but rather a long distance runner following a dream that has a chance to flourish out east.
I arrived in Greenville on a Monday morning. The Caldwell's provided the most warm, and receptive welcoming I have ever experienced, and made me feel as though Greenville had been my home for years. Words fail to adequately describe how receptive and helpful they have been in this process for me. I mean that in all honesty.
The last four weeks have essentially been a blur. Though I've devoted most of my time to training diligently for the USA half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minnesota, getting to know my fabulous teammates, and settling in, I have been able to soak in much that Greenville has to offer.
There is a certain charm to this city that resonates highly with me. The downtown has a very inviting feel, with a lot of local pride and flavor that suites me nicely. Everyone has been receptive and kind. This is the quickly becoming the type of city I am proud to call home.
Despite an illness last week, I've been putting solid workouts together without fail. With Coach Caldwell's guidance, help from my teammates, and the generous support of ASICS, the Greenville Track Club, Soleus watches, and Boston Bill sunglasses, I feel as though I will be ready to toe the line with confidence at USAs.