thumbing my ride…

June 15, 2010

So, I am out of the Livestrong Ride this Saturday due to a busted up thump and hand.   I feel on my left thumb/hand when I said hello to that blackberry bush during the Ski to Sea race on 5/30.  It swelled all up and hurt bad for quite a while.  Just as it was starting to get better, I tripped and fell on it again this Saturday (wine might have been involved).  Now it is back to being swollen with a bit of blue for color.  Went to the doctor, and the good news is I didn’t break anything in there.  The bad news is  –  it is a tendon injury and I need to keep weight off of it for three weeks.  I am not even supposed to open a jar.  Great.  It finally got sunny and I have to go back to a stationary bike for a few weeks.

I might try my sit upright commuter bike with the really good disc brakes (so I only need to use one) to commute to work.  But sustained rides are out for a bit.  It is a bummer.  At least I helped raise a wee bit of money to fight cancer, which was the whole point anyways.

So, I will set my sights on the Tour de Whatcom.   I did the 25 miles distance last year with my 8 year old son.  He did the whole thing on a mountain bike!  He wants to do it again this year.  We bought him a 24″ wheel road bike last summer (old steel peugeot ) and he is looking forward to riding that this year.  He wants to do the 50 – but not sure he’d finish it.  Maybe next year!

I am also going to think about the Chuckanut Century, maybe try to do at least the 50.  We shall see.

In the meantime, once the thumb heals up, I am going to start training here  (but ummm, much much sloowwweerrr…)!


Not gonna worry about it

May 18, 2010

My hips are always going to hurt me a bit.  Maybe sometimes, more than a bit.  I’ll never run a marathon.  I’ll never climb Mount Rainier (unless I get a volunteer to carry me).  But, I am not going to worry about any of that stuff anymore.  I am just going to go hard until I can’t go any farther.  Then I’ll sit and have a beer.  I am just tired of thinking and worrying about it.   Seems pointless and exhausting.  I want to have some fun darn it!

I saw this poster the other day, and it made me laugh for 5 minutes!  I think I am going to get it made into a T-shirt.

Ski to Sea is in 2 weeks.  I have been very busy at work and haven’t had much time to train.  But, I think I’ll be ok.  Slow, but ok.   Here are some videos of what the course was like last year.   I am looking forward to it.

I updated by Training Page, although using the word “updated” is probably reaching.

42 road + 15 dirt does not quite equal 71

March 31, 2010

I hated to make this decision – but I have decided to downgrade my road ride in the Livestrong Challenge Ride to 42 miles.  I have thought long and hard about this – and my work and family schedule have just not provided me enough time to train properly for a 71 mile ride that includes a pretty good sized climb.  In addition, my left hip (non-operated side) has gone downhill quickly the last month.  It will most likely be going under the knife in September.  So, I don’t want to put too much pressure on it heading into surgery. 

But although I have removed 30 road miles from my upcoming plans (and a big hill), I have added 15 miles of dirt (a.k,a. fun).  I am going to be taking part in Bellingham’s annual Ski to Sea Race.   It is a relay from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay and includes almost every type of recreational activity one can imagine.  I participated on our corporate team last year.  This was our team photo last year (which I took):

The one with the green “hat” is me.  Last year I did the canoe leg – 18 miles of paddling on the Nooksack river.  It was a long long long way to paddle a canoe.   This year I’ll be doing the mountain bike leg!  It is 15 miles and the course is not too challenging.  Since I have personally seen several folks finish the coarse dressed as giant strawberries or in gorrila suits, I think I can pull it off.  It should be a lot of fun.

5 month Post-PAO Checkup

March 13, 2010

On Tuesday I made the 2 1/2 hour trek to Tacoma to see my surgeon and check up on how my right hip is healing post PAO (surgery was on 10/12/2009).  It has been feeling pretty good the last several weeks – so I was interested in what the professionals thought.  I got a look at x-rays of righty from December and the one they took that day – and what an amazing difference.  You really can’t see where the cuts were made in the bone anymore – they are all healed over.  I was told “if it wasn’t for all the screws your hip would look pretty normal!”  HA! 

So, I think at this point I can say that the surgery was worth it.  My hip is not perfect, it never will be.  There will always be some pulling, some clacking and some hurting.  But it is very minor compared to what it was like 1 year ago.  Except for the clacking – that is pretty much the same, but you can’t have everything.

Now, lefty is on the chopping block.  I gotta decide if I am going to get surgery on her or not.  My plan for now is to wait until the summer is over and see how she holds up.  Hopefully, the left hip will not go down hill as fast as the right one did.  My measuring stick will be this — as soon as the left hip bothers me more than the right one does post-op, then it goes under the knife (or saw or whatever the heck they use that I don’t want to know about). 

Tomorrow is the day I put the seat back on my road bike (it is on my comfort bike right now) and take it out on the pavement.  I was hoping to do it earlier this week – but it was just too windy.  I am already at a disadvantage with hip and hill climbs – I don’t need wind too!  We shall see how it goes.  By the end of this month I’ll know if I need to bump the Livestrong Challenge Ride down to 40 miles.

PT Week 2

January 11, 2010

Week 1 of PT went well.  I can get through all of the exercises with only the hip adduction still giving me some trouble.  I can do it – but I have to use very low weight.  I am up to 15 comfortable minutes on the stationary bike.  I have to still use low resistance (level 2) but I can spin at 80 rpm or so – which is a good sign I think.  I am going to up it to 20 minutes starting tomorrow with the first 10 minutes set at level 3 and see how that feels.  

I went to PT this morning, and have several new exercises added on to the old ones.  The first is added to the gym routine – the multi-hip machine.  All four movements with 3 sets of 10 reps.  The movements include (1) standing knee lift – knee is under the padded bar and you push up (see below), (2) standing leg abduction – padded bar is against the outside of  leg and you push out, (3) Standing Hip/glut extension – padded bar underneath your raised knee and you push down and back, and (3) standing leg adduction – bar is against the inside of your leg and you push down. 

I have a problem with #1, the Standing Knee lift.  Here is a picture of the movement on the machine.  This one makes my hip click.  The click occurs when the leg is coming back down from the lift.  It doesn’t hurt – but I am thinking that weighted movements that make the hip click are a no-g0 for life.  I am going to be emailing my doctor this week to see what he says.  For now, I am not going to be doing this one.  My PT agrees with this.

The second addition is to my “everyday at home” routine.  It is a change to the stand on one leg exercise.  I now  have to stand on one leg and point the other toe to each of  7 “clock positions” one at a time:  12,11,10,9,8,7,6.  I have to make sure to stand straight and not slouch and not go too fast.   

In terms of my training plan for the ride in June, I was hoping to be up to 30 minutes on the stationary bike by now.  I think I could be doing this – I get through the 15 minutes pretty easily, but have been told not to push it.  The next milestone was to be riding 10 miles on the stationary bike on flat course by Feb 1.   I am going to change this to 5 miles at slight incline instead (say level 5).   Mostly because I don’t think there is any way I can sit on a stationary bike for that long and not die of boredom.   Hopefully, I’ll be allowed on a real bike by the end of the month, and I can up the distance then.

PT begins

January 7, 2010

It has been about 12 weeks since I had my hip surgery (PAO on right hip, 10/12/09).  I finally went to my first PT appointment on Monday (the 4th).  I was not sure what to expect – I am NOT a fan of being stood over while I suffer.    I was happy to discover that she was both casual and thorough.  She had knowledge of the procedure I had done, seemed exicted to work with me, and was took limitations listed in my PT script (of which there are many) seriously.   These limitations are:

  • No squats
  • No lunges
  • No forward leg lifts
  • No running (oh, darn)
  • No jumping (repeatedly)
  • Leg press is ok, but low weight/high rep only

Her assesment was that my range of motion is very good; therefore I will not need to come in several times a week to work with her on that aspect of recovery.  I will need to work on strength and endurance.  She set up a program for the first week that we will build upon over the next few months.  I will go back to see her once a week for the month of January, and then we will see.  The program includes a set of excercises I will do everyday at home and then a 2-3 day a week program for the gym:

At home everyday:

  1. Bridging – 10 times holding for 10 seconds
  2. Isometric Hip Adduction (with pillow or soccer ball as resistance)- 10 times holding for 10 seconds
  3. Standing Bilateral Heel Rise (stand on my toes) – 3 sets of 15 reps (progress to doing on one foot at a time)
  4. Clam Shells (laying on your side with bent knees and raising the knee to the side) – 3 sets of 15
  5. One Foot Balance – Hold for 30 seconds, three sets, both legs.  Once I can do 30 seconds, do this with my eyes closed (suprised how much harder this made it!)

Gym Routine (2-3 times per week):

  1. Stationary Bike: 10-30 minutes (I am currently doing 15 minutes)
  2. Pool: forward walk, backward walk, side stepping, total time of 15 minutes.  Can do on different days then the bike until endurance builds up
  3. Leg press: < 70 degree hip angle, 50 pounds, 3 sets of fifteen
  4. Seated Hip Adbuction: 30 pounds, 3 sets of fifteen
  5. Seated Hip Adduction: 20 pounds, 3 sets of fifteen  

My biggest difficulties are very tight hamstring on the operated leg, very weak on any sort of hip adduction (pushing  inward) on the operated leg, and my core is pretty much shot.    So far, I can get through the excercises without too much pain afterwards.  However, I do stiffen up after I sit for a while now.  I suppose that is normal.  Looking forward to upping the bike to 30 minutes, but that is probably a few weeks off. 

I am not going to try to project my progress through to June right now.  I don’t want to get my hopes up, or on the other hand, discourage myself too much right now.  I am going to just take it one week at a time.

First ride – the (sortof)event

January 3, 2010

It has been about three months since I have been on any bicycle.  Friday was supposed to be my first ride post surgery – I even had a route planned and everything (see previous post).  It wasn’t an epic (2 whole miles) but I was looking forward to it.  And then – we got to start the new year with a typical winter day in Bellingham.   The full stats from weather underground can be viewed here.  In summary – steady rain, 45 degress F, sustained winds of 25-30mph from the south, gusting (often!) to 50 mph.  

So, I moped around the house until my husband suggested that I take the bike up and down the street, at least.  I got the commuter bike out (since it has a full set of lights on it) and took off down the street in the pouring rain.  It was so great to be back on the bike!  The hip felt great – almost no pain while peddling on the flats.  I flew down the street (heading north) with almost no effort at all.  Until…I turned around into the 30 mph head wind.  I had to downshift and peddle pretty hard, but I made it back to the house and still didn’t have any pain in the hip while on the bike.  It was raining pretty hard and had gotten dark – so the only picture I have of the event is below.   That is me riding the bike you can barely see with the bright front head light.

 This wasn’t what I had planned – but it wasn’t a total disaster.  I now have SOME hope for June.