Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Whoops! Things have been a little busy, so forgive my tardiness. I wrapped up shooting and editing for Red Right! You can by a copy of it here. The book came out really well, I’m thrilled to have published it. I spent the better part of three months shooting and editing cyclocross and I hope that the hard work I put into it shows. I think it does 😉
I also spent some time on the campaign trail, covering the the New Hampshire primary. That was chaos. Pure chaos. Imagine a cyclocross race, but instead of bikes you have cameras. And the course tape is ever-changing and moving. And security guards with those little earpieces and microphones are the obstacles you have to hurdle. I even saw two video guys get into a shoving match following a Ron Paul event. There’s a pic below. Like I said, it was chaos.
Heath-wise, things are getting there (hence, the title of this blog post! Hazaah!). I had stopped going to PT all together for November and started up again in late December after my second, yes, SECOND cortisone shot. Getting the shot in my hip flexor tendon is not fun. The lovely needle has to go about 1 1/2 to 2 inches into my leg and then Dr. Ochiai injects it into the tendon. It has given me a little relief, but it’s not like it’s “oh my gosh, I feel so much better now!” It wears off quicker than you would think. I’m pretty confident that I will not be getting one of those again.
I’ve been going to PT once a week and doing their prescribed modalities, stretches and whatnot while I’m there. It does help and it is what the doctor has prescribed so I will stick with it. I have started a regime at home that includes a variety of core exercises as well as stretches. Abs of steel coming soon! I am also spending a little time on the bike each day. I can’t do a heck of a lot on the bike yet. One thing I have come to realize is that whatever skills and fitness I had in 2010 are history. Long gone. I am starting over completely. But, I am riding. I ride outside when the weather and time make it feasible, but mostly I am on the trainer. I rode with fellow Coppi-rehab rider Richard Elder last Sunday and we both couldn’t keep up with the first part of the Sunday ride that goes through Rock Creek Parkway. We tried to tell the guys ahead to just go, but they couldn’t hear. I decided to bridge the gap and tell them to go ahead, and that zapped me. It was hard as Hell! They slowed up a little but before we got to East-West Highway I had to stop and turn around. My hip flexor was hurting a bit and I was cooked. We headed back to the Java Shack and called it a day. The way back, even slightly downhill, was bugging my hip. By this point in the ride my form was terrible. I could see my right leg was stronger pedaling than my left. Not trying to make excuses, but I haven’t trained on the bike in over a year. I used to easily carry a conversation on the first part of the team ride. After 20 miles I could barely push the pedals. When I got home, I stretched quite a bit and iced it for 20 minutes. I can’t begin to explain how good ice feels to a sore hip. Surprisingly, the next day I was OK. I wasn’t in terrible pain and I wasn’t having the mobility issues I have had in the past. But, I’m not going to be trying to keep that pace again for a while.
The trick is going to be finding a balance between building base fitness and what my hip flexor can handle. The last few days I have spent 20-25 minutes on the trainer. I’m finding that 39-19 is a good gear ratio for me to start in, and I’ve been adding intervals of 30 seconds at 53-16. Yesterday I did 10 minutes at 39-19, 30 seconds at 53-16, 5 minutes at 39-19, 30 seconds at 53-16, 5 minutes at 39-19, one final 30 seconds at 53-16 and then 5 minutes at 39-19. Today I took it easy and just spun for 20 minutes in 39-19. Mind you I’m keeping my cadence at or above 90 rpm. I’ll probably keep my indoor work on the bike to 30 minutes or less for at least a couple more weeks and of course continue the core exercises. I’m confident the core work is helping to take stress off my hip flexor.
The way things are going it is doubtful I will be able to race this road season. I had high hopes. I even dreamed and wished and boasted I would be trying some TTs this year. No way is that going to happen. The strain on the hip flexor in an aero position is something I can’t handle and won’t be able to for a long time. Even when I go down to the drops on my road bike I can feel it. My racing future in 2012 all depends on how fast I can get over this tendinitis. It’s a shame because I bought an amazing set of custom-built November Bicycles RFSC 58s with Chris King R45 hubs. The wheels look amazing and roll great. Am I able to take advantage of the aero benefits of 58mm carbon wheels? Not now and probably not for a while. The wheels have about 45 miles on them and will probably sit all season. My hope now is to build up enough base and get training in time for cyclocross season this fall. After photographing it all last season I have got to race cross! Not just your run of the mill cross racing, mind you, but SINGLE SPEED cyclocross. Sure, it’ll be hard, but isn’t that what racing is supposed to be? Honestly, the fields are little smaller and I know there are guys that race it that I’m sure I can be competitive with. Wish me luck! Hopefully no one is filming…