Sunday, May 15, 2011

The gift that keeps on giving...

I thought once the scabs healed and the stitches were out, my crash on January 30th in St. Wendel was behind me. But unbeknownst to me, as I continued to ski, run, bike & enjoy some time off, some serious skeletal and muscular imbalances were developing. And then once back on my training program, getting ready for a different kind of season, mixing up local and national mountain bike and road racing on my own terms with the support of River City Bicycles, Ridley and NoTubes, I didn't listen to my body.

I'm still wondering how I let this happen. I literally went from riding my bike almost every day, racing as recent as last Sunday to not moving very well at all. In one week. OK, I know, it didn't REALLY happen in one week, but until I get straightened out, literally, there won't be any fun race reports or exciting adventures to write about.

Quick history: all spring, my back/hips have been unusually tight. I had some strange pain skiing, which I ignored. I haven't been climbing as well as I think I should. I've felt "fine" riding, but something was a bit off. My legs haven't felt good at all. I kept telling Kendra that I couldn't wait to 'feel normal' again. I brushed it off to hard training blocks. I could do the workouts. I could put out the power. I struggled occasionally, but everyone has a bad day. But off the bike, I was struggling. I was getting acupuncture, doing yoga, getting the occasional massage, but mainly just riding/training through it. I had some really good early results locally and I thought everything was on track. WRONG!

So, the week before last, Ryan (Trebon) came and stayed with us and we did some riding. I was telling him about my symptoms and how my back had been getting worse. I knew he had dealt with back issues, so I wanted to see how he dealt with them.  Then he asked the question: "Sue, did you ever get checked out after your crash at worlds?"  Well, they took X-rays in Germany and nothing was broken. Except my helmet. Nope. Why would I??? What is there to check???

That was the question that got me thinking. I made an appointment for PT the following Monday. That weekend we went to Bend, riding a ton on Saturday and racing on Sunday. That race was an eye opener for me, as my hip tightened up to the point of not wanting to pedal. I found myself actually contemplating dropping out from the pain. Of course, I didn't. I pushed on and finished 2nd.

Monday's appointment confirmed what was suspect. I have gradually been wrecking myself. My SI joint was 'stuck' in a bad position. Apparently I was even walking crooked and had built up some great compensatory muscles to do what I do: Pedal. But they finally failed me. I have been causing all these problems by continuing to train through the pain. Note to self, when things hurt, go get them checked out right away. Or if you crash so hard you get a concussion, other things may be out of whack too.  

Last Thursday, my first PT session was painful, humbling and encouraging. I was reminded that I didn't do this overnight, so it is not going to correct overnight.  This past weekend, instead of racing and riding, I spent a lot of time on the floor, doing exercises to retrain my muscles and stretching the impossibly tight hips.  There is more of this in my near future.

I am still in shock that in one week, I can go from being able to ride and race to being totally useless. To have enough pain that I don't want to ride. But don't worry, I will be back in action soon. I don't know how long it will take, or how quickly I will recover and get myself straightened out. I am hopeful it won't be very long.  I remind myself that it could be worse. I just wish I wasn't so stubborn and would listened to my body in February or March when it was nagging me. Instead I waited until it debilitated me. I should have known better. Nevertheless, I am looking forward and know once I can actually pedal, I will do so with a vengeance.

1 comment:

Kyia said...

Take care of that body woman...your story seems all too familiar.