About this time last week I was ready to throw in the towel on physical therapy. My knee and hip were regressing and I was getting frustrated.
Then I raise my saddle a couple of millimeters on Little Nellie. It seemed to help. Surprisingly the new position didn’t bother my back either.
When Little Nellie’s front shifting went to hell, I switched to the Cross Check. Again, I raised my saddle a couple of millimeters. The first ride didn’t cause me pain but I felt like I was getting no power transfer to the pedals. My physical therapist suggested I leave the seat up and see if my body adapts to it.
That night, Monday of this week, I went to a concert in DC. I stood on concrete for over four hours. If you have a messed up leg and a back back, standing on concrete for hours is not a great idea. My legs were incredibly tight for the last hour of the concert. And my lower back was aching.
It took about an hour to get home by car. When I got out of the car my left hip and knee were screaming at me. They felt like they did before the cortisone shot and the PT. I thought I had screwed the pooch.
I took two ibuprofen PMs (with a sedative) and went to sleep. About six hours later I woke up with my left knee screaming at me. In a few minutes the sedative put me back to sleep.
I slept until 9:30. It’s the latest I’ve slept in months. I woke up groggy only to learn that I had overslept my 7:30 doctor appointment. I’ve never missed a doctor appointment. (He fit me in anyway.)
Then I went for a bike ride on the Cross Check.
I was expecting to feel like a cripple. Instead, I rode like I had a tailwind. Other than some brief soreness on the outside of my left hip, my legs felt great. My back did too. I rode 32 miles and could have gone on for another 10 without any difficulty.
Today, I rode the Cross Check again. That little bit of soreness outside my left hip came and went within 10 minutes. I rode hard into a headwind without discomfort. My route took me from the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River up the Custis Trail, a roller coaster of short, sometimes steep hills. No problem. I didn’t notice any discomfort beneath my left knee cap or near my left hip.
The ride home was a blast because I had a tailwind and it was gently downhill back to the river. I flew in a big gear. 35 1/2 miles with plenty of pop left in my legs.
I haven’t felt this strong on a bike since last year when I came home from riding to Portland.
So much for throwing in the towel.