So, I am late in week 3 – post surgery. This was a big week. A lot went on with work and with my knee.
At work, I had 5 full days. 2 days of meetings with all of our sales people from around the world, and then 3 days out of the office at our annual planning meeting. Normally that would just be my job, but with trying to do my rehab on my knee 3 times per day it was tough.
I also had my 2nd PT appointment this week, which was great because they set me up with a couple of goals. The first goal was to try and start using the bike to pump more of the swelling out of my knee. At my appointment I was only getting my knee to flex to 105 degrees, and the therapist said that I probably needed to be at about 115-120 degrees to get around the top of the pedal stroke. He suggested that I would just be using the pedals in a half moon arc to pump the knee. But, he said that if I could get over the top, I should.
So, I set up a mountain bike on a trainer with a 140mm crank from a kids bike. My friend Travis Brown told me that was a strategy he had used with a previous knee injury. The logic was that if I could start with a smaller circle, I might be able to get over the top sooner. And, it worked. In about 3 minutes, I managed to loosen up my knee enough to get all the way around.
I then progressed to a 157mm crank from a bigger kids bike, and also after a few minutes of working it around was able to get over the top of that crank. I was pretty stoked. I mean, there was zero resistance on the trainer and I had the bike set in the easiest gear, but I got my knee to move through the motion.
Then I had to go out of town to our meeting. The place I stayed had a gym in the basement with a recumbent exercise bike. The crank was full length though, so I was worried. I spent 3 days getting myself around the top of that crank, but by the time I left there I was able to get my knee all the way around the top.
As soon as I got home, I set my road bike up in the trainer here at the house with a standard set of flat pedals. I worked at it 3 times during the day on Saturday, and I can get all the way around the pedal stroke on that. I am so stoked. Granted, I am not clipped in, my foot is just with the pedal in the middle of my foot and it is 3-4 more weeks before I will really be using some resistance on the trainer, but I can spin it around for 5 minutes 3 times per day.
As a result of all of this knee range of motion stuff, the swelling in my knee is almost gone. It still swells up after I exercise it, and I have a clicking sound in it that I am told is normal (the clicking sound is a bit freaky though). But, after I exercise it I always ice it and that helps as well.
The 2nd goal of the week, was to loose the crutches. I woke up on Friday and just decided that was the day. I used them to get to the meeting in the morning and then left them against the wall for the rest of the day. I have not used them since. This may not sound like much to you, but having 2 free hands to carry something with you when you are moving around is huge.
So, I am almost at the end of week 3 and I am using the bike to rehab and I am completely off the crutches. I still have the knee brace for safety, but I don’t feel like I am actually using it much.
I am pretty proud for my teammate/riding partner Scott. He quietly went about winning the district championship this year. He did it in a similar way to how I won my overall last year. He was super consistent, he always raced in the top 3 of each race, and he made every race and every position in each race count. He also did it against guys a lot younger than him, which was the same for me. When I won my class overall last year, I was 45 and the other 2 guys in the top 3 overall were 25 and 20 respectively. That is similar to Scott, in that the other guys in the top 3 overall in his class are in their 20’s.
Soon we should be able to start posting stories about prepping the van, the trailer, the bikes, and gear for next years GNCC series. Before that though, we will be heading down to Crawfordsville next weekend for the last GNCC race of this year. Scott will be racing and I will be his pit bitch, goggles and gas in hand.
See you there.