DURING lockdown Phil Healy’s coach, Shane McCormack, taking instructions from a physio over a FaceTime call, had to pop the Ballineen bullet’s shoulder back into place after she dislocated it in her home-made gym in Wexford.
‘I was doing a max snatch in the gym, it went over my head and my shoulder popped on the way back down,’ she explained.
‘I couldn’t see a physio for weeks because it was a time when everything was in lockdown. Shane popped in it, he was on FaceTime with our physio and she showed him what to do. That affected my gym for a while. My strength levels dropped, and when my strength drops my speed drops.’
That was at the end of April but it didn’t knock Healy’s training off track for long.
‘I wasn’t allowed run for a week and a half because I did have a good bit of pain in it. I have strengthened it up enough so it won’t pop again at the smallest of things,’ she said.
‘I did a lot on the bike for that week and a half. It was a time when nothing was going on anyway so it didn’t matter that I had to go on the bike. It’s fine now, I got the full range of mobility and motion back very quickly.’
With sport shut down for months Healy didn’t miss any event with the injury and she’s back up to speed now ahead of the national senior championships in Morton Stadium, Santry this weekend.
This year the nationals will be spread over two successive weekends and Ireland’s fastest woman Healy will be in action on both. First up is the 100 metres this Sunday.
‘I haven’t raced a 100 since the varsities last year, April 2019,’ she noted.
‘It is something different again. I did run the 60m at the indoor championships (in February) which was out of my comfort zone but with the year that it is, it’s about going and enjoying this. The 200m is my event, but with the way the nationals have lined up over two weekends I have the opportunity to have some fun. But like any athlete I want to get on the podium and finish the season on a high.’
Healy’s last race was on March 1st at the national indoor championships in Abbotstown. The previous day she won gold in the her favoured 200m. A few weeks before that she set a new national record in the 200m indoor, good company for her two other national records (100m and 200m outdoors). She’s not expecting to break records over the next two weekends. Instead, she’s glad to be back in action again before the season finishes.
‘I am going from one nationals to the next, from indoor to outdoor, but it could have been a longer spell if they cancelled the outdoors,’ Healy said.
‘It’s super for all athletes that it’s going ahead. Regardless of what shape people are in, it’s an opportunity to compete because if it was cancelled then the season is over. There is nothing on for the rest of the year so we’ll race the next two weekends, finish off for the end of August, then take a break and come back fresh for the winter season.’
Before Covid-19 came along Healy was on course to qualify to represent Ireland at this summer’s Olympics, which will now take place in the summer of 2021. The national senior championships are now her major event of the year – but before she takes to the track for the 100m the Waterford IT Applied Computing student hopes to finish her masters’ thesis this week.
‘I had planned to do it with the Olympics and looking now at all the work gone into it, what the hell was I thinking!’ she laughed.
‘It’s based on data governance for storage systems so it’s in the computer line of things and a mix of both business and IT.’
With her thesis out of the way, Healy can focus on the nationals and ending the athletics year on a high.