Summer ridding is canceled. At least most real long rides for now. I've have not been able to do a decent ride in months. I get this dull pain in the upper left leg area that tells me I need to slow down or stop all together. Dr. prescribed an anti-inflammatory that I took for two weeks, that did not help much, then I had x-rays and then an MRI. The verdict, it seems there is some small damage that a cortisone injection right in the joint between cartilage and bone should fix, not sure about that.
A big deal for me, not because of the actual injection but more because of the potential to have a problem that can cut my recreational riding "career" short.
What would you do if you could not do the type of riding you enjoy anymore? What about life without epic rides, brevets and touring anymore? I mean I've been doing these very low intensity/effort rides but my head is asking for more. I know I can't push it right now but what if I can't ever push it again? Golf is not a sport, I played tennis and was not bad at it but you need another warm body to do it, squash the same thing plus I gave up squash and took cycling because bad ankles, trail running sounds like fun but again bad ankles (however this sounds like the most appealing alternative.) I need cycling to get the trash out of my brain and body, therapy I tell you. Nothing like a good hill to go over an issue that bothers me, a technical section to explore my limitations and remember what pain feels like and be humble. Cycling makes me a better person; without it I am just, well, one of them golf players who takes pleasure on driving a cart around a man made garden for exercise.
But good news since I started writing this, last weekend I went on a couple of "test" short mixed terrain rides, about 2500ft of climbing, ~1500 on fireroads to see how the leg would react to off road climbing which is more demanding than road climbing. Happy to see all changes I've done from my seating position at the desk at work to stretching exercises and gloucosamine supplements have paid of. It may be the fact that the body is simply healing slowly or because any single one of my changes but I am not complaining.
On Saturday I rode with friends, they were climbing at a decent pace and I was trying to keep up with them without pushing the leg to much, still it was a brisk pace. We all climbed together and I did not felt to much discomfort after the ride. On Sunday I repeated the same ride but this time alone and did it in my average time for that route. Also not to much discomfort on the leg after the ride. So that means I am healed? No, but I am getting better. I don't like putting drugs in my body, not even ibuprofen if I don't really needed, I think I will pass on the cortisone injection and just keep listening to my body as I ride.
Next weekend I will try do do a longer mixed terrain that involves more climbing but will do it at a very easy pace. This route has some decent sustained climbs that I think will help me get used to the effort. Still an easy ride by my standard but a good workout never the less. More updates to come.
(First posted June-27-2008 at 02:47 pm)