Sunday, March 18, 2012

Early spring in MN and proactive ortho visit

We are just ending the most unusual and warm March weekend ever. Our temps topped off at 80 degrees both on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, biking around one of the area lakes revealed a thin layer of ice covering the entire lake. Today, biking around the same length found no ice at all. The lake is entirely opened up. Unbelievable. I took advantage of the greet temps and rode a combined total of 37 miles over two days on my bike outside (!!). Here is Lake Harriett with probably the earliest ice out in recorded history.
I was not the only one outside enjoying the weather!
Over the past few weeks I have developed some knee soreness after cycling. With my cycling aspirations, I did not want to risk an injury, so this past week I decided to check in with a sports medicine orthopedist. I selected one that is herself an avid triathloner and amateur cyclist. I already know it will be one of the best proactive moves I made as an aspiring cyclist. My x-rays revealed that my cartilage (both knees) is thinner than would be expected, but otherwise nothing remarkable. My thinning cartilage is more than likely a result of years of obesity and the wear and tear on my joints. The best part was talking with her about my aspirations (two 60 mile bike events) in the coming months. She pointed out that where as my level of fitness is improving, I lag behind in my overall strength of many muscle groups including my core, back, and certain muscles in my legs. Strengthening all of these muscles groups will support my knees and overall help me to be stronger. I will begin working with a physical therapist and trainer to help me to learn how to strengthen those muscles so that I can cycle at elevation, something that is especially important for the Boulder ride. They are also going to fit me with a new set of pedals and shoes that will be the best for my biking form (my knees tend to point out). I will train on these under the tutelage of my trainer, too. We also talked a bit about my trainer (the one I hook my bike to): it is my ortho’s position that I need to continue using my trainer throughout the biking season, simply because the resistance that it offers will also contribute to my cycling fitness. So an hour spent at my new ortho was illuminating and definitely worthwhile. I have to wait a couple of weeks to begin my new regime with my physical therapist, but I know I will be ready.

Two years ago, I would NEVER have dreamed that I would be calling a “sports medicine orthopedist” about any part of my body. But not any more. I aspire to make my body as strong and fit as I can at my age. I welcome the expertise that such a professional can share with me to improve my fitness. It is not a game anymore;  it is my health and well being we are talking about.

Finally, I just would like to once again thank-you for all your kind words about my recent health news (good lab results). I feel you all, my blogger friends, standing right behind me in this journey to become healthier. We do this together!  Stays strong, my friends, and TTFN! Michele

11 comments:

  1. Being proactive is so very important especially with the physical demands you intend to make on your body. Good for you for working to make your muscles what they need to be for the bicycling activities coming up. So many people don't listen to their bodies and suffer unnecessary injuries. Take care.

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  2. Part of the fun of the journey is finding yourself doing and talking about things that not tooling ago you never gave a second thought about. Things like core strengthening, sports medicine and training.

    I've been enjoying our mild winter this year. Not much ice on our lakes either even at the higher elevations.

    Keep up the great progress and learn all you can from your specialist. I benefited a lot from my bit of rehab last year.

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  3. Great news that you can bike so early and smart thinking on getting the knees checked out.

    BTW, I knew you'd be posting less once you returned to work, but I didn't realize how much I'd miss you!! Hope all is well!

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  4. That sounds like a very helpful appointment!

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  5. You are my inspiration for take charge gal! So smart and effective of you to take your health by the horns and make your body work for you. I too have to work on my weak links. If you don't, you risk injury.

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  6. Being proactive is incredibly useful in the long term perspective. Love the pictures, seems like spring!

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  7. That is great that you consulted someone about your knees and are taking the steps in the right direction to keep you even healthier!!!! Have a wonderful week - enjoy that weather

    MO

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  8. What fun you have. LOVE the pics and the cool weather - getting out and about!

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  9. I admire your ability to go to a specialist to see what is actually happening in your body. I think in my case I'd just stop cycling for a month or two, then limit biking afterwards. Hope your cartilage issues improve for you.

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  10. Stopping by to wish you a great weekend. Hope you find out what is goin on with you. I have been in the hospital for over a week and they still don't know what is wrong with me. I keep getting dizzy spells and have had so many test. I am thinking of going out of town to a specialist. Love and hugs and love the pics

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  11. Everything's coming up roses for you--congrats! I'm so interested in your bike training. Do you follow a specific program? Or is it the tour de cure program you mentioned? I'd love to start becoming a more serious biker, not to race particularly, but to feel comfortable and to be able to go faster (I think my avg is about 11mph) and farther.

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