Sunday, March 31, 2013

Never Waste a Nice Day

The bike path on a spring day with a front rolling through.

After ten days of really not-so-nice Spring weather, which is perfectly normal here, I finally was able to get back out on my bike on Friday.  The weather was warm, in the mid-60's, the sky generally sunny but with some clouds, and there was no wind.  I rode 14.5 miles, my usual route.  My knees are still angry, but I ignore them and push on.  The ankle is twinge-y afterwards, but during the ride itself it does not hurt.  Biking, fortunately, is not weight-bearing, so doesn't put the kind of pressure on my leg and ankle that walking would.

I do miss walking, for sure.  But right now walking is off the exercise menu.  I don't know when it will be back on the menu.  I still limp if I walk too fast or if the surface is uneven.  I don't necessarily favor the foot, but I'm also very careful to look where I'm walking, so I don't accidentally step off the side of the pavement or into a hole.  There are still certain movements that bring sharp pain, and I learned long ago to never ignore or discount sharp pain.  Stiffness and achiness is one thing; sharp pain is not something to mess around with.

I don't know how much of the sharp pain is from all the hardware in there, or just ligaments and other soft tissue readjusting itself.  There is still a lot of soft tissue damage, a lot of healing remains.  But I will keep biking, and work on that leg, until it is as good as the other one.

Saturday's bike ride was a bit more of a challenge for me than Friday.  The weather was still warm, but a busy Friday and ten days since the last time I'd biked had taken their toll.  And, there was a brisk wind, probably about 10-12 miles per hour, as a front was moving through.  This made for really great cloud-watching, but not so great when trying to pedal against that wind.  I did ten hard miles, fighting either a head- or cross-wind the entire time.  I don't regret doing it, but my thighs are sore today.  I'm going to put off riding today, and hope to get more bike rides in later this week.  We are, of course, supposed to get another round of snow/rain/cold over the next four days, so it's a good thing I won't have time to ride.

Brass mile marker on the bike path.  There is a marker ever half mile.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Back At It

Thursday my doctor gave me the all-clear to do whatever I wanted "as tolerated."  This, to me, means, if it hurts a little, it's still okay, so go for it! 

I couldn't wait to get back on my bike, as you well know.  And the weather was going to cooperate, too.  It was in the mid-60's by mid-morning Friday, so I loaded up my bike and headed to the greenway.  Finally got to use my new bike rack, using the adapter bar for my bike that I got for Christmas.  It fits nicely, although I had to make some adjustments to get it just right.  I drove to the flattest part of the greenway, parked and got on my bike.  There was a moment or two of trepidation as I flexed my foot and pushed off for the first time, but once I was moving, I was fine.  It felt wonderful to be moving like that again, and my legs fell into rhythm and I had no trouble.  I rode at a moderate pace for about 2 1/2 miles, then took the trip back at a more leisurely pace.  I didn't want to overdo it, and to be honest my knees aren't all that happy for me right now.

Today I rode 9 miles, the first half working the legs pretty hard, the second half a much more lazy pace.  The legs feel fine, the ankle feels fine, so I'm going to work back up to my 15 miles over the next week or so, weather permitting.

It feels great to be up and moving again, great to be active.  Now I can get back to my plans of getting back in shape, losing a little weight, and overall just taking good care of myself.  I need to do this for myself!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

One More Week...

One more week...

On Thursday I see my surgeon for the second followup from my December 31st surgery.  It has been ten weeks since I broke my leg up there on the mountain.  The cast has been off for just over three weeks, and unless I'm outside of the house, I am going barefoot/in socks.  I go up and down the stairs, sometimes foot over foot, but usually one step at a time.  I definitely have a limp, unless I walk slowly and with shorter steps, then it is virtually unnoticeable.  The leg itself is still swollen from the knee down,some days worse than others, and the ankle and foot are swollen as well.  I expect that will be the case for months.

In a week, I hope to be on my bike again.  I may only go a few miles, rather than my usual 15.  I may stay in one very flat area, rather than to risk inclines or declines.  But I'm going to be on my bike, and I'm going to be riding.  My right knee, from months of non-use because that leg had to be non-weight-bearing, is back to its creaky, painful state.  The first two weeks in the cam boot were so painful to my knee I didn't notice any pain in my foot.  That right knee is the worst of the two, and it had benefited the most from the biking.  It has gotten better over the last week, likely just because I've been getting around more, putting that knee to more use. 

The weather is supposed to cooperate this week.  We had snow yesterday, but it's a spring-like snow.  Wet and melting right away.  We're supposed to have temperatures in the 60's and touching 70 most of the week.  Friday morning, I'm going to load my bike onto the bike rack on my car and drive up to the bike shop and let them air up the tires and give it a looking over.  It's been sitting since right after Christmas, I'm sure the tires need at least air.  After it is given a clean bill of health, I'm going to drive to the flattest of our green spaces and see how I do. 

Will I overdo it?  That is likely, but it is also just as likely that I'll push my limits and stop when I should stop, and come home to ice the ankle and maybe the knee, and rest up.  Then I will do it again on Saturday.  And maybe on Sunday. 

I am anxious to get moving again.  I'm anxious to be on my bike, wind in my hair, my muscles doing what muscles are supposed to do.  It may be a while until I can ride that 15 miles again.  But I'll be closer than I am today, and I'll still be circling all those people who are just sitting on the couch. 

And that will be good enough for me.