Thursday, 17 January 2013

Back in the Saddle

So far this week I've ridden 24 miles in two rides. Last week I did one ride of 12 miles. This week my target is to do 30 miles and this month, 100. The weather in December was really awful - lots of rain - so I didn't get out much. But now it feels like the training has started properly. I'm really unfit of course - it feels like there's nothing in my thighs at all, especially the left one. The right one I get a burn in quite quickly, but so far I haven't felt much in the left. I'm swapping between my road bike and my newly modified mountain bike, depending on what route I choose to do. There are some hills around here which I doubt I could get up on my road bike at the moment!
With these leggings on you can barely tell there's been anything wrong!
It's been snowing this week and is trying to lay down a covering right now but hopefully I'll be able to complete my weekly target tomorrow afternoon or Saturday morning with a short-ish ride. I'm trying to establish some routes that I can come back to every month to see any improvements.
My physio thinks I'm crazy because I like measuring and recording everything. But she is very good - I'm seeing her once a week now and she's working mostly on my foot, ankle and calf, trying to get some mobility back in my ankle and loosening up the muscles in my foot and calf, which apparently have been very very knotted up. It is really helping - I always feel much looser and better after my appointment there. I guess I'll be seeing her for the forseeable future!
At the moment I can readily believe that I will get back to where I was before on the bike. There's an issue with my ankle - every time I change gear or go over any kind of bump, it hurts. So I think proper off-road riding is off the cards for the time being. After the rides my ankle is very sore and I am hobbling around worse than usual for the next day, but I hope that will subside and in any case I can tolerate that if it means I can ride properly again. It will take time, but I can see building up the strength in my quads and calves and achieving my target of being able to do a 'proper' ride of 90 miles or so around the Peak District by June/July. Then the plan will be to enter the Bradley Wiggins Sportive on August 18, for my return to 'competition'.

Where I will end up walking-wise though, I really can't say. I knew a long time ago that I'd be cycling again way before I was able to walk, and so it is proving. I can manage a short walk to the shops without crutches, but by the time I'm back my walking pattern has deteriorated a lot because of fatigue. It's going to take a long time and a lot of work before I can go up Kinder Scout again unaided... Right now, weather not-withstanding, I could probably take the Glossop bus up onto the hill and walk across the moor with one stick. I should do that soon because I really miss the moors! Maybe I should look into getting a walking pole - something I swore I'd never ever have, but now maybe it would help. Or I could get a more traditional walking stick - how cool would I look then?!

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