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Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm back, baby!

Has it been that long since my last post? I remember thinking about needing to post. So much has happened since then...

This is us at the Dunlap time trial on June 7th. Headwind from 3 directions, gusts brutal at times. We were 6th of 7 tandems. It's generally used as a "warm-up" to the district championships the following week. Our plan was to do that this year, but that crash changed everything.

On June 12, Kameo took the day off and suggested a ride. I didn't tell anyone I was going with her. I had a follow-up visit with my surgeon's PA on the 17th, when I expected to be released for riding, and except for tandeming I hadn't been on the Diva outside since March 14. I figured this was low-risk -- flats, reasonable pace, my BFF -- and off we went. Ah, it was glorious! We got caught up on what she's up to, we rode 35 miles, I felt great. My arm fatigued some but obviously not enough to stop me.

I rode the next 3 days, too, and got back that piece of me that was missing.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Musings on a Saturday night from the patio

The sun is down, the sky nearly dark. A few clouds linger overhead, deep gray/blue. A robin was singing as the sun slipped behind the mountains and has evidently gone back to its nest, as I no longer hear its song. Ludovico Einaudi plays like a river on my iPod, the music ebbing and flowing and smoothly progressing all the way to the inevitable end. This is a peaceful evening in the yard.

This kind of zen is what I crave before and after events that require adrenaline. Tomorrow is our first tandem time trial of the year and we haven't trained for it. I never got on the trainer all week to even spin. My disappointment with my newly-found ability to negotiate my workouts is huge and a discussion for another time.

We got in 25 miles today, pretty much a flat ride to Winters and then through the orchards the short way home. We had some wind, which I expect we'll have tomorrow. We did some accelerations and my legs were like lead. It was all I could do to turn circles.

We plan to warm up on our single bikes on trainers, then jump on the tandem at the last possible minute and ride to the start. Last year we tried to warm up on the tandem -- an unsatisfactory exercise. I want to be lathered at the start.

We stopped at Steady Eddy's while in Winters; Chris used the faciilities and I got an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade). So tart and wonderful. We saw a runner come in; she looked out of place among all the cyclists. She was wearing silver and pink Nike Shok shoes. She gave them a rave review and told me where she bought them. I asked out loud if my sister could run a 1/2 marathon (we did Big Sur in '06; she tore her Achilles tendon at the calf the next year and is just now back to competing). Chris said, "Why don't you ask her?"

So after I picked myself up a pair of silver and pink Nike Shoks I called her. She's pretty sure she's in. Yay for a new goal.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Broken Wrist -- Recovery Update

Today I finished my 5th session of physical therapy. Myra, my Princess of Pain, changed up what we've been doing. She used to massage my hand/thumb/wrist and do passive stretching, then have me do the exercises and play with the toys, then give me 15 min. of electrical stimulation while my hand was in an icy mitten. While not a fan of frozen fingertips, the e-stim offered some pain relief.

Since the PT exercises have aggravated the tendons that pass over the lateral epicondyle Myra took a different approach today. I dipped my hand/wrist into some orange-colored and -smelling wax, let it harden, and repeat. Five layers later she wrapped my in plastic wrap and slid an oven mitt over my hand and gave me 10 minutes to warm up. This has got to be the most passive warm up ever.

She then rolled the wax off my hand, and massaged and stretched my stiff muscles and tendons, kneading them into submission and eliciting more flexion and extension than I usually achieve. Her hands are so soft, and small, and insistent; I invited her to move in with us and she'd not have to cook, just massage us and keep us injury-free. I'm too poor for the lifestyle I want. Boo. I Blame Drew's Cancer for that.

After that heavenly and painful massage she took out the toys: Chinese steel balls (rotated clockwise and counter-clockwise in my hand), a kind of 3-D maze to move a coin from one end to another by wrist rotation only, shuffling a deck of cards, putting clothespins on a yardstick, remove, repeat; thumb-pull downs with a rubberband and a U-shaped plastic frame; picking up tiny grooved stainless steel pins, putting them into a board, then removing them; rolling different sized cylinders covered in Velcro on a Velcro covered board (for wrist rotation); squeezing a sponge; and pulling apart special putty (ball it up, pull apart, ball it up, pull it apart, etc.).

Today, instead of e-stim, Myra took some special tape and measured and cut and placed it on my arm as illustrated. She said I'm to wear it a couple of days. It's to pull the muscle up and allow better lymph drainage and blood circulation, in hopes of relieving my tendonitis.

I'm to continue with my exercises (flexion & extension range of motion mostly) and see Myra just once next week. The week after I head back for my 10 wk. post-op visit. I hope then to get clearance to begin strength training and to ride my bike again. I'm optomistic and realistic: It may be the end of June before I can ride my bike. Meanwhile, I'll do what I'm told, and work toward my goal.

Later, I went home and was about to change for my trainer workout when a client/friend whom I sold a home around the corner stopped by. She's a cop; she rode her bike over after running her dog while she rode the bike. Our dogs are close to the same size and they all played while she & I hung out and caught up. She's a soccer star, a rock/wall climber, mountain biker, and wannabe roadie. I hope to sway her to the dark side; I'm happy she's got 3 bikes. Chris came home and made a fabulous off-the-cuff pizza; my friend went home then came back and had pizza with us while we watched "The Big Bang" together. What a fun way to spend the evening!