Monthly Archives: November 2011

Time to ride

It’s been 4 months since I had my surgery and I decided that yesterday was the day. The day I head outside on my bike. It was nearly 70 degree, how could I not go out on my bike? I pumped up the tires, strapped on the heart rate monitor and kit and headed out the door.

I think it was May when I last rode outside and it felt amazing to be on the road. The first thing I noticed was the front end seemed a little more twitchy than I recalled. I had replaced my 42cm aluminum bars with carbon 40cm ones and it took me a moment to get a feel for them. But geez they felt good. I headed down the hill on 14th St. toward the Iwo Jima statue and pressed on to the trail toward the Memorial Bridge. It felt just incredible to be outside, the wind in my face, and my legs moving the pedals. I made my way to Hains Point and settled into a good cadence, around 100 or so, in the little ring and just rode. I got my hear rate up for a little bit, far more than it had been in a while. I cruised around the point and noticed a little tail wind so I went up to the big ring and dropped a couple cogs on the rear and pedaled hard for 30 seconds. The burn in my legs never felt so good. Back into the 39 and and a lighter gear on the back and I cruised back toward Independence. I rested my forearms on the bars and felt a little tightness in my hip flexor so I popped back up on the hoods. It’s going to be a while before I can get too aero on the bike, that’s for sure. I kept the cadence up the whole ride, and paid particular attention to my form and my ability to ride as smooth as possible.

I did one loop around Hains Point and figured I shouldn’t over do it and decided to head home. Back over the bridge and down the trail by Arlington Cemetery, I noticed the bike felt a little sluggish. Sure, my fitness is crap, but it can’t be THAT bad, can it? I looked at the front wheel and noticed I was seeing a heck of a lot of sidewall. My tire was going flat and I had to get back up the hill on 14th street! I dropped to 39/21 and I put a little more effort than I had wanted/expected, but I made it, with no significant discomfort/pain. I spun a little around my neighborhood to cool down and that was it. I have no idea how far I rode, or what my top speed was, but for about 40 minutes I was on my bike. Outside. And it was awesome.

Anniversaries

Anniversaries are special, right? I have passed a couple of them, recently. It’s been one year that my amazing girlfriend Madeline and I have been living together. It’s been a wonderful year and I look forward to many more. I couldn’t be happier to share my life with her.

The other anniversary? It’s been one year since I first started experiencing pain in my hip. One year since this pain began and snowballed into multiple doctor visits and MRIs and X-Rays and surgery and physical therapy. I’m getting better but I still have moments of intense pain. Hopefully this new year will bring less pain, and I can get back to riding and training on my bike for the “good” kind of pain.

I photographed the Rockburn Cross race yesterday, here are a few pics and a link to a gallery is here.

Teammate Brad Evans over the barriers

Do it, do it.

It’s time to do it. The hip is feeling fine. I’m not 100% but I feel good. I will be going for a ride on my bike this week.

I end up taking a lot of pics at ‘cross races. Why? Because it’s awesome! Cyclocross embodies everything that I love about cycling: speed, intensity and camaraderie among teammates and competitors alike. Spend a day at a cyclocross race and I dare you to walk away without a smile on your face. Except when you have to leave early for work (which I had to do today). Below are a couple of my favorites from today’s race, and here are a few links to the races I photographed. They are grouped in race start times to make it easier to sort through. But I’d recommend looking through all of them anyway.

2011 Schooley Mill CX 8:30 am races

2011 Schooley Mill CX 10:00 am races

2011 Schooley Mill CX 11:00 am races

2011 Schooley Mill CX 12:00 races

Dave Kirkpatrick getting it done on his way to a 7th place finish.

Let’s get it started

Yesterday was a bell weather day for my recovery. I didn’t get great news at a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t have a good physical therapy session. I walked. I walked from my 4th floor apartment to the Rosslyn metro station, down a steep hill and up another, all while carrying my laptop and camera gear over my shoulders. I walked 3/4 of a mile in about 12 minutes carrying a full load of gear and had no issues. No strains, no pains, no problems. If I can do that, I can ride my damn bike.

Once my new wheelset from November Bicycles comes in, I think I’m going to have to take them for a spin. Time to get it started.

I had a great time shooting the Ed Sander Cyclocross race on Sunday, here are a couple of my favorites and my full take is here.

Sol Schott gets upended on the drop in.

Gus Grissom charging hard.

What’s next

As rehab’s go, mine is going slow. I’m in physical therapy once a week and all I do is basic stretching. I continue the basic stretching at home and try my best (unsuccessfully) to stay off my feet. The cortisone shot has relieved the pain in my hip flexor, for the most part. I still have some tightness in my hip flexor and if I am on my feet too long I get a little pain late in the day. The anti-inflammatories I have been prescribed don’t seem to be doing much except tearing up my stomach so I decided to try over the counter pain relievers. One thing that is helping a lot is Advil PM. After weeks of restless nights it’s nice to be able to sleep through the night, it makes the next day a lot easier. The only downside is the “medicine head” feeling when I wake up but a couple cups of coffee take care of that.

There have been a few moments where I am relatively pain-free and trust me, I’ve been enjoying that! And they seem to be happening a bit more frequently. But if I take a little too long of a stride when I walk, or I put a little too much pressure as I go up a flight of stairs, I feel a strain. I am trying to be cautious throughout the day and not overdue it. I also make sure to ice it plenty when I get home.

So, what next? I don’t know. I have an appointment with Dr. Ochiai on November 12th and we will reevaluate my rehab then. Hopefully I can resume a more robust physical therapy regime and include some spinning on the bike with it. I was hoping to be able to ride outside by now, but I will take what I can get at this point.

I’ve been a little slack on the blog, but I promise to pick up the pace. Look for regular posts on Fridays and Tuesdays.

I’m a little late with pics from DCCX, but since the past weekend was an off weekend for the MABRA Super8, I’ll indulge a little. Here are a couple of my favorites, and check out a gallery of my pics from DCCX here.

Racers reach the top of the turnaround as the sun rises.

Gus Grissom descends in the morning light.