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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.

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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.

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.

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!

fuck cancer, he’s Ezra:

I WIN!  Ya heard?

shared by Brenda

My bike has been preserved for the ages on Old Ten Speed Gallery. I realized that I haven’t every posted photos up here other than a few over my handlebars, so go over to OTSG to check out the old girl. While you’re there, I know a lot of you out there are riding old ten speeds, go ahead and send yours in for eternal documentation and mild smarminess.

For some reason when I’m not biking as much, my desire to buy cycling paraphernalia has grown. Distance makes the heart grow fonder I guess. I am often tempted to pick up a new helmet, maybe some some new tires, and I’ve even been considering getting a new bike (GASP). I do love my bike, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if that’s because I haven’t ridden anything but it in so long and don’t know what I’m missing.

This week I have been giddy with excitement. The kind that sort of embarrasses me when I realize how glad I am to get to ride tomorrow morning. Upon Jacquie’s suggestion, I tried to go for a jog last weekend and didn’t make it more than a block. I was feeling the same excitement that I do now; glad to get outside and get moving. Emily came with me for moral support, and after jogging around the corner I had to stop. The pain wasn’t any worse than it had been earlier this summer, but I knew well enough not to push it. In June when I had pain like this I would just ignore it and run through it, knowing that after a half mile or so it would go away.

I partially feel like suggesting I go jogging was a clever way to trick me into realizing that even though we’re making progress in my knee rehabilitation, I’m not ready to jump back in. Luckily when I told Jacquie about the pain, rather than advising I take another few weeks off, she took to my suggestion that I could ride to our appointments as a warm-up. It’s only 1.5 miles, totally flat, I’ll take it easy I promise. I tried not to push too hard or seem too excited by the thought, that somehow the suggestion is so fragile that it would smash if I try to force it.

I can’t help but feel a bit silly about my injury. I realize it isn’t anything TOO serious, but still. Thousands of people ride their bikes each day, many of them riding more miles with less experience and conditioning…so what did I do wrong? I expect it was all those days I got lazy and didn’t stretch before riding home from work, or having never gotten a bike fitting. But I am not alone! Yesterday I found Chris‘ page. Finally, someone who is a more experienced rider having the same troubles as I am. I hate to say it, but misery loves company, but at least I’m in good company.