January 13, 2011

In the clear!

A quick update - after visiting the orthopedic doctors office yesterday, and enduring some leg tweaking, pulling, yanking, poking, squeezing, twisting, and about ten x-rays from varied angles, the verdict is in: apparently, there's nothing wrong with me.
That's exceptionally good news, actually ... while a touch frustrating because there is still some lingering "awareness" in the leg. However, according to the doctor and a good hour of discussion and showing me the insides of my leg on a screen, I feel pretty good getting some confirmation. Whatever WAS wrong with my leg has either completely healed, or is strictly muscular in nature. The knee joints, from every conceivable angle, don't have any damage, arthritis, or alignment issues. The tendons are rock stable and solid, and the ligaments are in great shape. Giant sigh of relief, for sure... and confirmation that, despite the set-backs, I've been doing the right things. Save for this injury, it was invaluable to get a picture of the ankles, knees and hips and basically find that the last thirteen years of cycling haven't done any damage. I feel very blessed.

So, I'm probably on the back-side of things - confirmed. The pain is likely leftover, and as long as it doesn't flare up I'm in good shape to keep ramping up mileage - if I want to. I still have my eyes, therefore, on the 200 kilometer brevet at the end of March. He wants to see me again shortly after that, just in case - but basically said if I can pull that off pain-free, I'm effectively in the clear. The take-aways involved ramping up slowly, don't pile on too much too quickly, and listen to the leg. Common sense stuff, sure... but it's helpful to hear it directly from a medically-trained source. The last three indoor trainer sessions haven't produced any twinges or tweaks or flares... so the bike fit, as hoped, is apparently where it should be again.

The roads have been better... and it's been cold... but I hope to return to the road with a commute... possibly tomorrow. I've been riding indoors to stay warm, stay out of the weather, and make some minor tweaks to dial out the pain - with the added bonus that if anything DOES happen, I can simply stop pedaling, unclip, and stop immediately. Therefore, riding on the road until I received yesterday's verdict was a point of nervousness. Now that I've got the "green", I'm anxious to get back out there - even if it was only zero-degrees F this morning!

Granted, the dynamics of riding without the rock-solid platform of the indoor trainer underneath me might cause my leg to move out of alignment a bit, but the key is taking it slow. I'm going to avoid the steeper climbs on my usual route, and stay in the small chain-ring for sure. Every passing day, I feel stronger.

In staying with the previous post: yeah, I still want to achieve a finish at the Tejas 500: but, I'm not going crazy simply because there's "nothing wrong". Nothing changed overnight. No strict spreadsheets, no "sessions", no craziness, no stress. I can be successful, achieve a finish, and still have fun on the road to the event. No record-breaking runs: just finish. If I can ride a 600k straight through, I can do it. That's the objective, long term. Short term, get ready for the 200k on March 26th. Shorter-term, save some gas money and get back to enjoying the ride to work. The rest of the "training" will take care of itself. If it stops being "fun", I'll take some steps backwards. If things aren't lining up, push it to 2013, 2014, 2020... just like I mentioned previously. Take it as it comes.

And, with that: that's as far down this road as we're going to venture. You may see some mention of "the leg" here-and-there in subsequent posts, but we're now back to ride reports and commuting reports. That's the fun stuff, the reason I write, and the reason you read.

I'm done over-thinking things... time to ride!

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