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Validation (@karathrowsjav blog)

posted by Kara Throws Javelin
Friday, January 4, 2013 at 8:29am EST

The American Record holder in the javelin shares about everything that goes on in her professional javelin thrower life; injuries, training, competition, friendships, hardships, and victories, plus rest and recreation.

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I've been in Colorado Springs now for a little bit over a month!  I was getting used to my new surroundings, taking online assessments for grad school, my computer died, and then I traveled home and to see friends for the holidays.  Busy times, but all along, kneehab has gone really well.

I wanted to outline a bit of what my normal schedule is.  Sometimes injury is kind of a mystery to people who haven’t gone through it, or people simply watch for results and don’t realize what goes on in the off-season or in times of trial.  Here’s a week in my life right now:Monday/Wednesday/Friday:Warm-up.  Elliptical or bike for 20 minutes.  The elliptical is great for me because I can practice getting full extension in my knee with some resistance.  I don’t push the resistance too high…yet.Medball throws.  Currently, I’m seated on the floor with my back against a swiss ball, throwing a 6-pound medball forward overhead (getting lots of stretch behind me).  I’m up to 655 of these throws total this week.Lift.  A variation each day of straight arm pullovers, bench (incline and flat), and rows, plus an ab/shoulder/hamstring circuit.  I’ll get to start lower body lifting in two weeks!Rehab.  Soft tissue with Amber, then about an hour, sometimes more, of rehab exercises.  I’ve progressed to some jumping and single-leg stuff.Alter-G.  I’m up to 96% of my body weight; SO close to running on my own!  Can’t wait!  I alternate walking for one minute and jogging for four minutes for 20 minutes total, increasing the percentage every 5 minutes.NormaTec.  Recovery for 30 minutes.Game Ready.  More recovery for 20 minutes.
Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday:Warm-up.  Treadmill walk at a 10% incline for 20 minutes.  I do my best to stay at 4 mph the whole time!Medball throws (just on Tuesday/Thursday).  Seated on the floor with my legs straight out in front of me, I throw sideways against a wall.  160 each side this week.Rehab.  Soft tissue and then an hour/hour and a half of another set of exercises.Swimming.  Aqua jogging, crossovers in the pool, gentle kicking, and alternating freestyle with backstroke pulling.  I love the CSOTCpoolNormaTec.  30 minutes.Game Ready.  20 minutes.
Sunday:REST.
I’m so happy with the progress I’ve seen so far, and (I think I’ve said this before) it’s so fun to know that I’m actually working toward being completely healthy.  When I was rehabbing in preparation for London, the harsh reality was that no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t grow my ACL back for the Olympics.Any athlete experiences doubts from time to time, and I’ve questioned whether making the trip to London was worth it or not.  I didn’t second-guess the decision at the time, because that would’ve meant a lapse in confidence and a miserable turnout, but a few months later I reflected on whether I’d gone down the right path.  Here are a few reasons why I wouldn’t change a thing.

1. I now know how tough I can be.  I’ve always had major confidence in my ability to put everything into a throw or a workout, but competing under adversity is a different story.  I’ve shown myself glimpses of this in the past (slight 2010 back pain), but this was another level for me.  If something isn’t quite on my side in the future, I know I’ll be ready with tenacity.

2. Keeping my diagnosis to myself gave me strength.  Depending only on myself and a few people close to me in preparation for London taught me the power of a strong support system, not to mention strength of will.  Only I could decide to move forward positively.

3. Throwing injured gives me perspective.  This sounds silly, but I recently realized that the next time I throw a javelin, I’ll have an ACL!  My reality for a month was throwing without one, and throwing without one at high intensity was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.  I’m confident that no matter how nervous I am trying to throw again, it’ll be better than the last time I did it, and I’m so excited about that.  Also, I’m very happy that my most recent memory of throwing isn’t my last attempt at the Trials.  Tearing my ACL as my freshest throwing memory seems to me like it’d set me up for failure.  I moved forward even before I could fully move forward.

4. Good preparation for surgery.  They say that the rehab you do before surgery makes rehab after surgery a lot easier.  I haven’t had any operations before now, so I can’t speak to that, but my people tell me I’m doing great!  The time I spent working with Chris before London and afterward on my own got me as ready as I possibly could have been to hit the ground running after going under the knife.

5. I became a two-time Olympian.  The London Olympics were fabulous.  Being able to converse with local people on trains and in the city about how exciting the whole thing was was so much fun, and so different from Beijing.  The entire experience was awesome, and I did better than I did the first time around.  Plus, I got to watch a fellow Boilermakerwin gold!!

6. Motivation for the future.  I was in awesome shape at the Trials.  I was definitely running out of chances to release a big throw when I got injured, but I believe that Ty had me in excellent condition for the summer’s most important meets.  The fact that I still managed to be semi-competitive with my injury gets me so excited for the future, because if I can beat some people at the Olympics significantly injured, what can I do healthy?  Wait and see. Has something happened in your life that you could’ve done differently?  How did the decision you made make a positive impact on what’s happening now?  Keep looking for the good.  Here's what was good at home for Christmas! :) My parents as reindeer!
Craig (in the star) and I (the little circle) on the tree.
Beau and Brandy being good dogs in their Santa hats! 

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