Well, A LOT has happened since my last post and I haven't written about it at last partly because things were so uncertain and I didn't want to think about that uncertainty so, obviously, I couldn't write about it.
Okay, that sounds a bit melodramatic (though only because I'm back on my bike now) so let me cut to the chase: I didn't race Nationals because compartment syndrome forced me off my bike for about two weeks which cost me way too much fitness.
I tried a couple of times to ride my bike the week after the 50 miler but when I tried to go any faster than a snail's pace I could feel the CS in my right leg. After about the third attempt at riding my bike, I hit rock bottom. There I was in one of my favorite places to mountain bike (Moscow, ID), but I couldn't. Just as I should have been doing loads of interval work, I could barely turn over the pedals. The summer I had planned for myself vanished before my eyes. But then my survival instincts kicked in. I told myself I was going to take a week off the bike and make an appointment with a doctor. A week wouldn't cost me too much fitness, I reasoned. I'd probably be so well rested I'd demolish my intervals and a doctor must have some really great anti-inflammatories that would have me up an running ASAP. Fortunately, too, my friends had a great long weekend planned so unless I was using my leg to get up from a sitting position and that shooting pain reminded me, it was relatively easy to keep my mind off the fact that I wasn't riding my bike.
We went rafting:
We went to Burgdorf Hotsprings (Which are incredible! If you're ever in McCall you have to check them out.). Here's a picture of the big pool, the view from the big pool, and our super comfy cabin:And we went rafting again:
We also went to Lilith Fair:
And when I got back I went to the doctor. I always love going to the doctor in smallish towns because the people who work at the hospital and in the offices are these really sweet older women with tons of pictures of their grandchildren and doilies all over their offices and they call you sweetie. Plus, with such a low volume of people coming through, they are super efficient. I had x-rays taken and printed about 15 minutes after arriving at the doctor's office. Plus, the doctor took her time and explained in great detail what she thought was going on and what my treatment options are. Unfortunately, this is where things went a bit sour. As much as I wanted to ignore the fact that RICE was going to be my best treatment option (short of surgery) that is in fact what she suggested I do. She had no magic potions for me. Well, except for this topical anti -inflammatory:
So this became my treatment regime: Wake up, turn on the Tour, work out the tightness in my shin with a tennis ball, ice, and apply anti-inflammatory. Oh, and of course coffee. Really, really strong coffee. It makes me sooooo happy. After my first cup of joe, I could take solace in knowing I wasn't alone. I watched folks like Frank Schleck crash out of the tour, and heard about all those guys with injuries like tendinitis that prevented them from even starting the tour. And that got me thinking about Katie Compton and her strange leg cramps, and now her thyroid issues. And I thought: Well, it's not like I couldn't race the Tour or Cyclocross World Championships when I could have won them. It's my first year as a PRO, and I've done pretty well, but another year of training will help me a ton, and the knowledge I've gained this year about how to prevent injury, how to train more efficiently, and how to take better care of my body will prove invaluable. So my new goal became to get back on my bike in time to ride Moscow Mt. before I had to leave and to be ready to put in some fairly long hours on the bike when I got to Granby and Nationals. In the meantime, Moscow once again proved to be a great place to recover from an injury. I went to a ton of dinner parties and got escorted home by this girl:
And I went on some great hikes:
The running joke, though, was that when I'm not on my bike, this is what happens:
I have a sudden and intense interest in babies :) Which, I admit, is very true. But, I've got a couple seasons in me before having my own. Got to make up for this one!
So about a week after visiting the doctor, I decided it was time to try riding the bike again. So with great trepidation, I called up my little bro and we hit the mountain. And, much to my great amazement, my leg felt great for the whole 2 hour ride!
And then I was off to Granby. But I'll cover that in the next post.