I got back on the bike today for the first time since January 23, when I was forced to make the difficult decision to take some time off due to achilles tendonitis and some knee issues. As previously reported, my physical therapy is going well, and the therapist told me I could get back on the bike if I would keep the distance below 30 miles and stop if I felt any signs of pain or discomfort. Of course, the prospect of riding my bike was something that I would not refuse to do. I wondered if I would have the discipline to keep the mileage down if I was feeling good, although I hoped that I would.
I was all pumped up on Friday night after work. On the drive home, I contemplated the route that I would take on my ride the next morning. Maybe ride up Bouquet Canyon. Maybe go out to Camp 9. Maybe just take it easy on the river trails. Ultimately, I made the sensible decision “just” to ride on the river trails, and avoid climbing as much as possible. I live up on top of a hill, so some climbing at the end of the ride is unavoidable (thank goodness!).
When I arrived home, I was excited and happy to get back to my usual night-before-riding routine: check over my bike and make any necessary adjustments, think over the kit I would wear, make sure my electronics were charged up, and shave my arms and legs. With regard to the latter, since I hadn’t been on the bike in more than a couple of weeks, more than the usual amount of work was required, but it wasn’t unmanageable. My wife commented that it was nice to see me happy and back to my usual routine.
Saturday morning arrived: I did a short warmup and the stretches prescribed by my therapist and headed out the door. My legs were feeling pretty good, and, man, what a beautiful day! Sunny and warm, clear blue skies, with some wind. Here’s a short video taken from a section of the river path near the Bridgeport community:
I rode 50km. Although I kept my power output in Zone 2 or below, I pushed the pace a little bit on several occasions–not too much, not too long, just a little bit, just to see how it felt. And, man, did I feel out of shape! I guess being completely off the bike for a little more than two weeks, and not training consistently for at least a month or more can have that effect. But, on the bright side, I learned that my injuries are healing and I am moving in the right direction.
The Legs Held Up!
I did not experience any pain or discomfort during the ride, but I was worried that I would experience some inflammation of my Achilles tendonitis or some knee pain following the ride.
After returning home, I did my recovery routine (a protein shake, a bottle of Cheribundi Pure, and stretches). Although I felt some tightness in the injured areas of my legs, it did not feel aggravated by my activity. Good news! I’m hoping that I can start thinking about putting together some kind of training plan for the remainder of physical therapy, or at least get some direction on ramping up the volume in terms of both distance and vertical miles.
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