I'm 64 years of age and have been a very active person for most of my life. I ran competitively in high
school and college, played club rugby for many years following graduate school, and then began to
greatly enjoy participating in triathlons of various distances. Years ago, I unfortunately had to give up
running and biking following unsuccessful back surgery. At that point, I was limited to swimming and
gradually progressed to long distance open water events. In the summer of 2012, I was training for
several races and managed to badly irritate one or two of the nerve roots in the area of my prior back
surgery. In November of 2012, I finally turned to Mary and Alan DeLaney of Rehab 2 Racing [R2R] for
help. [Mary is a professional physical therapist and Alan is a medical doctor who specialized in pain
management.] Following an extensive three hour evaluation and examination by both of them, they
prescribed a multi-paged rehab plan that was not only detailed and thorough, but also positive and
encouraging. I immediately began to implement their suggestions and began to notice a gradual but
steady improvement in the intensity and duration of my daily swims as well as a reduction in post-
workout discomfort. In conclusion, I would not hesitate to recommend their services and expertise to
anyone seeking to recover from an athletic-related injury. Mac C.
I contacted Rehab to Racing after being given their business card by my Dr. I had already had all the usual tests to try to figure out what was wrong with my shins and calves, to include X-ray's, a bilateral MRI, and a Compartment Syndrome Pressure Test. I had heard wonderful things about them from my triathlon teammates, so off I went to the DeLaney's house for a comprehensive evaluation. It was completely thorough and after the evaluation we had a start to finding out the cause of my shin pain & numbness. Under their direction, I tried a few "tests" to get to the root of the pain. After a race with a lot of pain and numbness, I emailed them and Dr. Al immediately said "ok, we should go back to the Dr. for another Compartment Syndrome Test". Well, not only did I go back to the Dr., but Dr. Al and Mary came with me too! We re-did the test, and got the diagnosis! Compartment Syndrome requires surgery so I definitely hope to work with them in the future, to rehab back to racing post-surgery!
Thank you, Karis Kuper
I just wanted to say a big thank you to you all for putting on the Millbrook Quarry swims and opening them to people like me. My big race (the Half Full - my first Half Ironman) was last weekend, and it went wonderfully.
I've never been a strong swimmer, so preparing for the swim entailed about 9 months of fretting for me. Millbrook Quarry was my mental happy place that I could go back to when I was feeling panicked. It was one of the first places that I could finally relax and enjoy the experience, thinking about each stroke, enjoying the feel of the water and the sunshine. I also appreciated the pieces of advice I got from you along the way. I believe it was Allen that was nearby in a kayak the first time I got swum over in the quarry (which was kind of a testament to my poor sighting -- really - how do you get swum over in a huge quarry with a handful of other people??), and it couldn't have happened in a better place. Allen's calming presence and bits of advice about getting my cap and goggles back on reassured me. As I got into my swim on race day, I could also hear Stephanie encouraging me to stretch out farther with my stroke.
I know that putting together open water swims takes a lot of work. I so appreciate you all making the experience possible, and thank you for your encouragement along the way!
So everything paid off. The training, your consultation, the training camp and the early arrival in CO to acclimate to the altitude all contributed to a finish time of 10:28:46! I played with my position on the mtb almost up until the race, but found the perfect position. I experienced no pain in my hamstrings. Thank you so much for your help.
I tore a calf muscle two weeks before the DC Triathlon. I immediately contacted R2R to see if I had any hope of being able to compete in the race ( figured I had maybe a 10% chance of making it). They were kind enough to see me over a weekend, conducted a thorough evaluation that addressed systemic cramping problems I had been having as well as the torn muscle, and set up a treatment plan to address both of these problems. The improvement after my treatment was astounding and I had no problems during the race, despite the high heat and humidity. I can’t thank them enough for helping get me across the finish line along with an AG win to boot! Their starting point is “how do we safely get you back out there,” as opposed to the usual “take 6 weeks off” message so often received by athletes.
Well I raced on Sunday thanks in large part to the two of you. The swim went real well.
It was a no wet suit allowed race so I was a little nervous and almost pulled out of the
race. I decided to do it and if I had to pull out I would. So the horn sounded and I was
off. It went real well no pain in the shoulder at the half way. It seemed like the swim
was taking forever but I continued. I used the modified stroke when I remembered.
The second half of the swim went as well as the first but it just seemed to last forever.
Out of the water to the transition I went. No pain in the shoulder till I tried to but my shirt
on. O well guess when I lose the way that will become easier. Off on the bike. I made
good time and stayed in aero bars for about 3/4 of the ride. I saw the lead pro go by me
at the 10 mile mark. Off the bike and hit the run course. It was a long hot run. I did
walk some. Wally caught me at the 9 mile mark and we walked ran the rest together.
All in all the race was great not my best time 7:23 but I had good time. Wally found
out yesterday that the swim was missed marked and was actually 1.5 miles that is why
it seemed to take forever. I am taking the week off per you instruction. I have been
doing my exercises. I can not thank you both enough for all you have done for me.
Without your help I would never had made it to the starting line...
Not only do you all specialize in helping injured athletes return to racing physically – you helped get me mentally back in the game for Sunday’s race amazingly quickly after our crash today.
From Steph’s rapid “triage” call (with Rob on another phone), to Al’s diagnostic call from Italy(!), to Rob’s final check in and pre-race pep talk – all taking place within 90 minutes of my first panicked call to Rob – I am impressed and grateful at the level of response, efficiency and caring from you all.
R2R has my loyalty for life.
Coaches Mary and Al Delaney with Rehab-to-Racing helped me continue my service as a Marine Corps officer. Two years after a tib/fib fracture with IM nail fixation, I was still unable to run and pain was unbearable. Pain management therapy had failed, and doctors had nearly given up on my rehabilitation. Frustrated, and facing medical separation from the military, I sought assistance from Mary and Al Delaney. The coaches immediately took an interest in my case and began to research my medical history to pinpoint the source of my pain. They were very thorough and assured me that within a few months time I would be able to run again. They provided me with personalized monthly workout schedules and followed up regularly on my progress. My strength grew exponentially, and just as Mary and Al predicted, I was soon running pain free! I am now medically cleared for full active duty service in the Marine Corps, and I credit my successful rehabilitation to the Rehab-to-Racing coaches. Thank you!
2ndLt Crystal Allen, USMC
Having battled knee problems for quite a while my run was the least exciting and most challenging part of this sprint race. I had only been running for 2 months although my training had begun in November. In the off-season I did a full evaluation on my knee with the help of Rehab to Racing. This was money and time well spent. Using weights, pool running, and a balance ball I had my knee in better shape than it had ever been. This meant the running was not in the cards early and most of my training was in the pool, on a trainer, or shoveling snow in the blizzard of 2010! I was passed by every size and shape of runner. I did not let this discourage me, I stayed in my head and repeated positive things over and over again. The course was not easy, a lot of rolling hills, I enjoyed myself and pushed to a level I had not previously been to.
The start and finish had a wooded section with roots, stumps, rocks, you name it…it was there. I took my time and just focused on watching my footing. I have to credit coach Rob, Al, and Mary from R2R in helping me design a plan to keep my knee strong and balance my training.
Ryan Stille (excerpt from his Race Report from his first triathlon, April 2010)
In January of this year, while training to have a 'personal best' time in a half marathon I came down with hip bursitis. After an initial meeting with both a doctor and a physical therapist I was told that the best way to recovery was to start at square one by alternating one minute of walking and one minute of running. While this may have been a sure road to recovery, it did not align with my plans to complete my first Ironman in a mere nine months. That is when I sought out Mary and Al for a second opinion. After speaking with them about my problems and plans they gave me a realistic time frame that got me back in the game. They gave me strength and stretching exercises to follow that lead to positive results. Two months after my first meeting with Rehab to Racing, I slowly started my training again and PR'ed for the half marathon leg of the Eagleman Half-Ironman competition. After this I feel confident that I can complete my season goal of Ironman Louisville this summer. Thanks guys!
I completed my first triathlon today. It was a sprint: 300 yard pool swim, 17.8 mile bike, 2 mile run. I completed it in 1:31:24 starting at Worldgate Sport and Health.
Your knowledge, advice on training intensity, coming back slowly plus the Tri Strength training helped me achieve this goal which I could not have accomplished alone. I was ready to give up running until you taught me to balance my training with biking and swimming and sport-specific strength training.
Paul Grems Duncan
Mary and Al have been my coaches since
I had my knee scoped February '07 and through analysis, rehab, and clubbing
me over the head to slow down I am able to train for my first HIM here in
June. This past October I ran the MCM 10K with a PR, and matched my
previous year ('06) Reston Tri numbers last September ('07), all without
injury. They know what they are doing, and how to deal with stubborn people
such as triathletes.
The best triathlon decision I have ever made was going to see Mary and Allen
Delaney at Rehab-to-Racing in Herndon. For more than 3 years I struggled with
knee problems. I had been to more than two dozen of the VERY BEST doctors and
physical therapists in Virginia. My guess is that I spent about $30,000 on
surgeries and physical therapy and nothing worked. My final stop was Allen and
Mary. Individually they are incredible, but together they are a tremendous team
that will stop at nothing to get at the root of your problem. Many RATS know
them because they are fixtures in the local triathlon scene, but here is a
little about them...
Mary has been a PT for about 30 years. Allen is the Medical Director of a large
Orthopedic practice in Reston. He now focuses on anesthesiology, but he has an
extensive surgical background. Both are USAT coaches and top age group
But what really sets them apart is that they work as a team. It's almost like
they are detectives. The evaluation they do is about 5 times more thorough than
any exam I have ever gone through. The action plan they provide you a day or two
after your appointment is several pages long and will tell you exactly what you
need to do to solve your problems. I believe the cost is a few hundred dollars
which is nothing compared to what you get.
My only regret is that I didn't see these guys earlier. I feel like everything I
did prior to meeting with them was a waste of time. I promise you that they will
study everything about you until they figure out what is causing your hip pain.
They will then help you make the necessary changes to prevent your pain and to
hopefully avoid a costly surgery.
I have no financial interest in Rehab-to-Racing, but I feel forever indebted to
them for what they did for me. Although I will forever be in the middle of the
back of the pack, I am grateful that I finally have the opportunity to race pain
“It might just be time for you to stop running” (or swimming or biking.) These are the most dreaded words a doctor can say to any athlete. I have had 3 different doctors tell me these words on numerous occasions and it is not a phrase I ever want to hear again. 6 years ago, I was training for what would have been my 1st marathon, Marine Corp. My final long run called for a 22 miler, but I decided to push it to 25. After the run, I felt OK, but spent. As that day went on, my right leg began to hurt from the hip to the ankle, throbbing at first then gradually to stabbing and cramping. Thinking that I just over-did it, and that I was starting my 2 week taper before the race, I just rested, iced and elevated the leg. As the days went on, the pain was not receding. I was having difficulty walking without a limp and running was out of the question. During the next week, I went to doctors and chiropractors to try and get me in shape enough to at least run the marathon. No luck. Race day came and went with me sitting on the sidelines dreaming what could have been.
The next five years were spend running for a few months, developing severe cramps in my right calf sideling me for weeks at a time, getting frustrated, seeing doctors, having them not be able to diagnose any problem and then giving up for a few months. Repeat the above scenario over and over again. (Note: The only positive thing that came out of this injury is that my wife got me into swimming which in a roundabout way, led me to meet the Mary and Al.)
“What are your running goals?” This is one of the first questions the DeLaneys asked me after we spoke about my injury history. That’s not a question a Dr. has ever asked me before. “Run a marathon,” was my response. Within 1 day, the initial diagnosis was compartment syndrome, which would require further clinical testing to verify. A week later, the testing proved the diagnoses and by the end of the month, I had surgery to correct the issue. This was the end of Feb, 2007. By the end of March, I was back in the pool and in May, I started running again.
Six months later, I am running 3-4 miles, 3 times a week. I have a long way to go to reach my goal, but just being able to run, pain free again after 6 years, is a blessing. The DeLaneys are very kind and caring individuals with an incredible wealth of experience who have a genuine concern about you as a person and you being able to achieve your goals. To this day, we still talk regularly regarding my recovery and my training. I will continue to utilize their services to achieve my goal.
Thanks to Mary and Al for helping make my 1st 1/2 Ironman a reality at
I found Rehab to Racing through my physical therapist while recovering
from rotator cuff surgery. My goal was to complete a 1/2 IM but I only
had 15 weeks to prepare. My initial interest was to work with Al and
Mary to resolve shoulder and neck pain as a result of poor bike fit and
position. Mission accomplished!
Two additional benefits came out of our engagement. Their thorough
discovery session uncovered that I was in the early phases of plantar
fasciitis. They also provided some efficiency tips on my swim stroke
which yielded immediate improvement in my swim times. Multiple tips and
pointers based on their years of experience were invaluable to my
success in the 1/2 Ironman.
My time spent with Mary and Al was invaluable in my quest for finishing
a 1/2 Ironman pain free. I am signed up next year to do it again!
Thanks so much for meeting with me. For the first time, I feel like someone understands my “trick knee” and my race goals. You guys make a great team!
The Columbia triathlon went very well. I beat last year's time by 36 minutes! I
was shocked since I hadn't put in the training that I had hoped to, as my knee pain was so bad. I had no problems on the swim, the bike, and 5 miles of the run. At mile
marker 5, my knee pain returned and I had to walk the last mile. But, prior to
that point, my knee felt great so I didn't run/walk like I had planned. I
kept my cadence high and my steps small but I think the hills just got to my
knees after a while. When I first saw you on May 1, the knee pain started after as little as
1 mile so I was prepared to bail out of Virginia Run and Columbia. I implemented the changes you recommended and three weeks later, I could go 5 miles without pain. I think this is great progress and am very happy that I was able to finish both races.
Thanks again for all your help!
Saturday, June 30th. It’s my last long training ride before the long awaited taper for IMUSA… seven hours on the bike followed by a one hour run. This is my best training ride of the year. I’m feeling strong in the saddle, maintaining a high cadence, my nutrition plan is dialed in and I’m going to ride for 110 plus miles for the first time ever. This ride is almost in the record books until a 10 year old girl rides her bike directly right in front of me without looking for oncoming traffic. I’m in my aero bars, moving at 20MPH, and I don’t have time to brake or swerve. It’s a direct hit and we both crash to the pavement. I hit the ground hard landing on my head and left shoulder. My helmet cracks in three places, the shoulder pain is instant and my bike is damaged. A small crowd forms and the little girl quickly disappears. According to the bystanders she does not have significant injuries. This could be a season ending injury, seven months of training wasted.
Traveling to the hospital, the outlook does not look good. It was going to be a long, painful and uncertain weekend. However, good news starts coming in small increments. The emergency room confirms that I did not break bones, I merely separated my shoulder but I may need surgery. I’ll need to see an orthopedist on Monday. Charlotte calls Al and Mary from Rehab to Racing. They provide a number of suggestions, call the orthopedist for me personally and have me scheduled for the first appointment on Monday morning. The orthopedist confirms that I have a level three AC separation. His diagnosis:
- Surgery may be required but not right away.
- My shoulder will “hurt like hell” but I can not do additional injury.
- I can do Iron Man if I regain mobility and feel up to it. Incidentally, the doctor tells me that he advises “normal people” to refrain from physical activity during recovery but triathletes are “different” because we are more physically fit and have a high pain threshold.
- I should see Mary at Rehab to Racing to learn about taping and mobility exercises. A few days later Mary teaches “Shoulder Taping 101” and she provides me with exercises to regain mobility. They work great and my arm movement returns significantly. In fact, days after my visit I can raise my arm above my head.
Five days after the accident I resume training starting with the bicycle. There is pain in my shoulder but I can tolerate it. Eight days after the accident I begin to run again. There is more pain in my shoulder but I can tolerate it. As the days go by the pain gradually turns into discomfort. Two weeks after the accident and eight days before the Iron Man I go for the big test, swimming. I managed to swim for 45 minutes. I was headed to Lake Placid! So I completed my Iron Man!
You may be familiar with an old saying: it takes a village to raise a child. I can also tell you that it also takes a village to raise an Iron Man and a village crossed the finish line with me on that very special Sunday evening. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.
I feel most fortunate to have been put on the "road to recovery" by Allen
and Mary DeLaney. How lucky can one be to find a sports-oriented doctor,
who himself is an athlete, willing to discuss your physical problem in
detail and offer a really comprehensive and workable solution? His discovery of the hernia I experienced almost one year ago and his accurate diagnosis of a subsequent hernia resulting in two operations last fall by an excellent doctor he recommended, helped to get me started on a much needed program designed to get me back in the physical shape I was in over a year ago.
Mary's program consisting of specific stretching exercises along with
Allen's 90-day exercise plan have finally begun to "pay off" although I had
my doubts at first. The pain in my groin, the result of my bike accident
seven years ago, has not gone away but I am managing to handle it both
physically and mentally, thanks mostly to Allen's expertise and his
optimistic outlook as to my recovery. At age 82, after 30 years of
competitive running, I thought last fall that my days of running were
definitely over. Today, after my one mile walk which gets easier daily, I
am thinking I just might manage a 5K race come late fall or more
realistically next spring. At the risk of sounding over solicitous, kudos
to the DeLaneys for their "Rehab to Racing" Program.
Yvette F Ziols
Thank you Coaches DeLaneys ~ I am back on the course again!
I thought I would be stuck on the sidelines for the rest of my triathalon training career with the chronic hip pain I was experiencing. Over the course of almost two years, I had been to see five doctors, two physical therapists, had a series of MRI's and x-rays to try and get to the bottom of my hip issues with absolutely no avail.
It wasn't until recently when a friend told me about the DeLaney's, http://rehabtoracing.com/ that I decided to give it one more shot before I turned my back on seeing any transition area again.
In a little over an hour, the DeLaney's asked boat loads of questions, made lots of small changes, but I walked away with monumental improvements and the diagnose I had been waiting for for years! Their approach to finding problems is age old, but again, it has proven to be more effective than the dozens of medical professionals I encountered had suggested.
The DeLaney's not only properly diagnosed me (with piriformus syndrome and bursitis in my hip) but they also devised the right training schedule to stop me from training improperly (over-training). Without their approach, knowledge and complete wisdom, I wouldn't have been able to see the drastic improvements and increases in my overall fitness level and I certainly wouldn't be continuing to train for my 1/2 Ironman! Thank you!!
When I called the DeLaney’s I wasn’t sure what was possible. Would I be able to meet them, plea my desperation to finish the largest race I’ve ever done and accomplish these goals before time ran out? Before I began working with them, I had thoughts of giving up racing, but after tapping into their vast knowledge and skills of ‘repairing injured athletes’, I was back to training. We worked hard over several months; tweaking schedules and methods, conducting daily check–ins and anything to get me on track. I finally felt I was making progress and I certainly wouldn’t be writing this race report if it hadn’t been for them, so thank you Mary and Al!
Thanks to Mary and Al I am on the road to recovery after over 2 years with a stress fracture in my femoral neck. After starting to work with them we found out I have osteoporosis in my hips. Why osteoporosis at 28? Then we discovered that I have Celiac disease, when you do not absorb nutrients, such as calcium, as a result of a gluten-intolerance. So I am finally starting to heal and getting so much stronger along the way. They are wonderful and treat me as their own daughter. I always call them after my races or big training events, and especially when they go well. I want them to be proud of me.
Last weekend Mary and Al accompanied Julie O and I to the Burlington YMCA 8-mile swim across Lake Champlain from NY to VT. Mary was my support kayak. The last mile or so the current turned towards us and I really started to lose it. She was my only encouragement at this time and I don't know how I would have done it without her. She was probably ready to beat me wth her paddles when I started having a temper tantrum with about a mile left. :)