Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Pedal Stroke at a Time

It's been just about three weeks since I saw Dr. Greg Combs at Velosmart to see if he could help with my knee pain and weakness. And I'm pleased to report that so far, it appears his recommendations have been even more successful than I had ever dreamed at helping me start to get my life back, one pedal stroke at a time. It's a slow process - as he had said it would be - but so far I'm seeing very definite and significant improvement.
Since my evaluation at Velosmart, I've put roughly 53 miles in on the bike and have not as yet experienced any of the previous give-way weakness I was routinely having prior. I still have some very mild occasional twinges of slight tenderness, but nowhere near the intense ride-halting severe pain like before. Biking is becoming fun for me again.
I'm much more comfortable biking without the nagging severe knee pain, feel reasonably strong considering my lack of general fitness and current excess weight (which I'm working on), and I'm getting more confident than I've been in a while now that my knee does not appear to be giving way any more.
I'm consistently doing my pre-ride stretches and my strengthening exercises as instructed by Dr. Combs, and am trying to work on getting on and off the bike from both sides, although that is definitely proving to be a challenge for me as one-sided as I apparently am. I've tested the knee on several rides over the past couple of weeks and the results have been consistently good whether I'm tooling around an easy Crabtree loop or working on tackling some of the tougher trails in the area like New Light. Speaking of Crabtree, I joined Debbie's Friday Night Social Ride there last evening and had an absolute BLAST! It was so much fun to find a group ride being held just because biking is fun, without making it a workout or some kind of training ride - thanks Debbie! And when I joined our local group of really fast guys for the very challenging Wednesday evening ride - and promptly got dropped within the first quarter-mile of the trail - I was pleasantly shocked to find at the end of the ride that they were actually only a short distance ahead of me the whole time, putting my average speed barely 3/10 of a mile slower than theirs. I'm looking forward to regaining my fitness and honing my skills a bit more now that I can actually ride without intense searing pain and weakness. See you on the trail...