Friday before the weekend I had a PT visit with Jacquie.  My appointments are always at 7:30am, and begin the same each time.  I head in and warm up for 5 minutes on the exercise bike, then stretch and use the foam rollers.  At some point in this process Jacquie appears and asks if things have gotten better / worse etc.  Usually I respond that things are more of the same, a good day here, a bad pain day there.  I think it threw her off that I said they’ve been fine.  I’ve been biking minimally, swimming regularly, and doing stretches and exercises daily.  That’s not to say that I think I’m all better, my knee still throbs a bit before I stretch, or when I’m going down stairs, but things seems to be normalizing at the level of activity that I’ve been maintaining for the past few weeks.

To celebrate this minor victory and enjoy the (relatively) warm and sunny afternoon on Sunday, I rode to the grocery store to pick up the week’s supplies.  The store is less than a mile away, so if things got bad, I could just walk it in a pinch. 

I made it to the store in no time, and continued on another mile just for the sake of it.  I remember why I am drawn to jogging and biking, but often have to force myself to go swimming.  I love that cold feeling in my lungs as I’m riding downhill, and the warmth of the sun.  I had to reason with myself for a mile before practicality won the conversation and I turned around.  I woke up and swam this morning without incedent or stiffness.  I’m very relieved and reinvigorated…I really needed this boost of confidence that I’m progressing, as well as the reminder of what I’m getting myself back into shape for.

There’s still snow on the ground, but my knees are feeling stronger and the sun is shining.  I think a short ride may be in the cards today.  Wish me luck!

because I sure as hell have missed you all.  It’s been a little batty lately.  I had a great Christmas and New Year’s, which feels like it was so long ago.  Emily and I went on vacation out to North Adams, MA to visit Mass MoCA, which you can read all about here.

I know you’re dying to hear about my knees, which are slowly improving.  I have been biking fairly minimally, and am still waiting until spring to jog.  Swimming has been improving, which has been a wonderful way to start my morning.  When I began a month ago, I could hardly make it one pool length without gasping for air as soon as I touched the wall.  Now I am swimming a full lap without stopping, and am building my lung strength (and moreso my confidence) and this week am planning to try for two laps without stopping.

Jacquie and I are meeting once every other Friday basically just to check-in, but for the most part I am self-sufficient for the time being.  I’m doing low-stress cardio (swimming & biking) and on my rest days, am doing fairly intensive quad, hamstring, and glute workouts with my theraband and foam roller.

New Year’s blogsolution: more frequent posts, shorter length, less complaining.

Rach sent me a link that brightened my day. Remember that cop in New York that tackled a Critical Mass cyclist to the ground over the summer? Looks like he got his. So says the New York Times:

The officer, Patrick Pogan, has been instructed to report to State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Tuesday for the unsealing of the indictment…prosecutors were seeking felony charges of filing false records in connection with the police report that Officer Pogan filed after arresting the bicyclist, Christopher Long. Officer Pogan also could be charged with a misdemeanor count of assault.

After having been on the force for a whole 3 weeks, Pogan tackled Long, the cyclist, then arrested and pressed false charges against him.  This guy is a prick, and with any luck he’ll be losing his badge.  It scares me that this is what happened after a month on the force.  Classy move, it’s too bad they can’t all be Lennie Briscoe.

When I began this blog way back in March, I never really took into consideration what I would write about during the winter months.  Granted there are many folks who ride through the winter, and to them my helmet is off.  But me, once the freezing rain starts falling, I bring my steed inside, give it one last wash for the season, and retire myself to my indoor trainer.  Knee injury aside, I probably wouldn’t be riding right now anyway, so what to write about?  I could weave a tale about how exciting it is getting up early, watching the news on mute and putting in a few miles before work…but I’ll spare you.

In PT related news, I’m only going once every week or two, just checking in with Jacquie as we slowly build my quads without flaring up my patella tendon.  I’ve been swimming, which is kicking my ass.  I thought that being a reasonably in-shape person would transfer to being able to swim pretty well of f the bat, but this is no where near truth.  I can barely swim freestyle down and back without stopping, and feel sore in muscles I didn’t really even know I was using.  The instep of my feet, my fingers, and pretty much every muscle that has gotten lazy on the upper half of my body.  Basically I’m planning to keep doing what I’m doing until spring.  Biking on the trainer will keep those muscles in use, and swimming is helping me mentally.  I was getting a bit antsy and stir crazy not being able to bike or jog, so until the snow melts, I will just stick with what seems to be working right now.

Someone out there visited spokencontract by searching “stuck behind a “dick in a pick-up truck”” – if this was you, my curiosity is piqued, so drop me a comment or email (spokencontract[at]gmail[dot]com), I’d love to hear the story that inspired your search.

I just got back from my first time swimming in almost two years.  I’m hoping to keep the strain on my knees to a minimum, and I totally forgot how exhausting swimming laps is.  I can’t tell if my knees are sore yet because everything is sore.  My legs were bouncy as I walked back out to the parking lot, and right now my fingers are complaining that they’ve worked hard enough today, why do they now have to type?  I walked over to the Sterling Center Y to get a membership last night, and am very impressed with their faciliities.  The pool is really 2.5 pools, in an L shape.  They have free laps in the mornings on the long portion of the L, laps with a coach on the smaller straightaway, and freeswim in the square on the corner.

The only other lap swimming experience I have is from a few years ago at Northeastern.  It was so luxurious, for $50 I had access to the pool, a coach 3 mornings a week, and never once shared a lane.  This morning I shared my lane with a really nice 60+ gentleman who chatted with me about how busy it was, and even though  it was cold, what a beautiful morning it is.  I agreed, and then proceeded to have my ass handed to me.  Slow and steady, I kept trying to think, I naturally try to swim to hard and fast, and get tired before I even finish one lap.  This guy had slow and steady down pat.  This unassuming guy slowly and steadily swam lap after lap after lap.  But I suppose those lifers are the same ones passing me when I’m jogging by the Charles, or biking down Mass Ave.  If my knees will keep up, I just hope I can keep going long enough to impress a 20-something in 2050.

Emily‘s brother Toby showed me this great site called Chainlove.  I’ve never heard of it, but each day they have hugely discounted deals on biking gear from glove to deraileurs and everything in between.  Is it fair to buy gifts for myself during the holiday season, or does that defeat the purpose?

I went out to see Dan G at his folks’ place on Friday.  We lounged about, had dinner in Nashua, and watched BBC.  Flying Circus was on, and I was reminded of this little bit of brilliance.  Enjoy.

Vote early, vote often for my Raleigh as “Old Ten Speed of the Month.”

Happy Turkey Day!

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