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recovery update: day 74 (back on the horse)

It’s been 74 days since my adductor/glute injury, and things are progressing well, albeit slowly.

Four weeks ago, I was cleared to ride a bike indoors, and I’ve done a few indoor trainer sessions – not thrilling, but useful, as I’ve been able to work on weak points in my pedaling mechanics.

Three weeks ago, I was cleared to ride my bike outdoors for commuting, slow and steady, spinning the entire time. That was a very uplifting thing, and I’ve enjoyed every pedal stroke along the way.

Not long after, my doctor gave me the OK to ride longer distances outdoors, limited by time and intensity (i.e. no big “dancing on the pedals” climbs, no sprints, mostly a smooth spin).

And I hadn’t really put that last step to the test until last Wednesday, when the Potomac Pedalers’ “Downtown Breakaway” (DTB) ride embarked on its third installment for the season. I had my doctor’s marching orders:

– Nothing intense.
– Ride no more than 1:15.
– Spin a lot – a lot!

So I rode up to Mitchell Park, where the ride starts, for the first time this season, having walked up the first two times simply to sign people in. I said hello to all my friends, introduced myself to the new DTB riders, and shoved off with the group at 6:00pm.

And it was great!

Yes, I was slower than usual, and on the one major climb I did, I was dropped almost immediately by most of the riders. But I was all smiles.

I ended up riding “sweep,” which was good, as I was able to direct some riders who hadn’t grabbed a cue sheet with ride directions (the DTB route is, to say the least, chock full of twists and turns in its first half).

So I ended up covering 15.1 miles in 1:04, climbing a little under 1,000 feet along the way.

I followed up with some stretching, the new routine.

Since then, my doctor has approved longer rides, and I’ve been out with Chris and Ed on a loop out of Glen Echo (31.1 miles), and on this week’s DTB, where I went for 25 miles and wasn’t the last one up the Chain Bridge Road climb (though I was still far from the front).

So I’m back on the horse. By no measure am I ready to tackle big rides (especially ones with big, long climbs), but those will come around in due time. And physical therapy continues off the bike: deep tissue massage, a lot of stretching, resistance work, more stretching – this will remain the case for at least another 4 to 6 weeks.

For now, though, I’m happy to be riding again.

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