Saturday, December 29, 2007

pudddin' defined

A couple years back Bill and I were riding along talking about our bikes. Bill's was making a funny noise, I can't remember what is was. We talked for a few minutes about what the source of the noise might be and then decided the bike would have to go back to his buddy's shop for squeak diagnosis. The sad reality was there was no hope that either one of us would be able to fix the squeak. That is when we realized that we are both puddin's. puddin' is both a noun and an adjective.

puddin' is the antithesis of PRO (an excellent term defined on Belgium Knee Warmers). I spell it in all lower-case letters to emphasize its insignificance. It is a term close to geek. A complete and total enthusiast who is maginally competent. Someone who pays the big bucks to particiapte in the sport for the love of the sport. Someone who doesn't have a complete set of matching cycling kit for every day of the week. When I look at my group of riding buddies I see a group of puddin's.

puddin's celebrate Paris Roubaix by getting together, eating Tacos, drinking beer and cursing OLN. puddin is a triple chain ring with a 11-34 casset on a road bike. puddin' is wrapping your bars in two different colors. puddin's get their miles in when they can between earning a living and raising thier kids. puddin's might race and they might even race to win but to never race is truly puddin'. puddin' is waiting til March to come out on a ride and not care whether you get dropped. A true puddin' aspires to PRO-ness but accepts the reality of his or her puddin-ness.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My injury and recovery Epic

The purpose of this post is for me to acknowledge the shit that I am in right now. If you don't want to read my bitching about my body then skip this, it 'aint for you. its for me.

It has been hard for me to write about this. It is hard to fully acknowledged it for some time. I am resistant to put it into words because acknowledging it might mean that is has more power over me. Fact is it is so affecting my life that everyone around me must realize it as much as I do so I might as well just acknowledge it. The amount of pain that I've been in has really started to take a toll on me.

It is not that I am in that much pain. I mostly don't have much pain at all when I sit still it is just when I move around. Getting up and walking take mental effort to prepare for. Sit straight, straighten the back. Find a place to put the hands. Thrust the chest forward. Rise. Put full weight on legs. Wait for a shot of pain. Bear the pain. Mentally calm down the spasming hip flexor or glute or whatever and get ready too take the first step while waiting for the next shot of pain to hit the hip flexor. After that I am pretty OK to keep moving... Walking. If you can call it that. I've got this stiff backed, straight legged hobble where I lead with might right foot and left hip respectively. Being like this for day and weeks has spread to other parts of my body. My back was all racked up two weeks ago when I went to Dirk the PT's office. My left middle back was all spasmed and my right side felt like I had been kicked in the ribs. He set me straight though. The mission that week was focus on stretching the side body and ab work focusing on the right side.

I went and saw Alice the massage therapist the next week. She said that the aches and pains and sore muscles are like a toothpaste tube. When we work on one spot, the inflammation will move to another part of my body. Push here bulge there. That is really true. Lately it has been my left hip flexor that is tight and sore. So I've stretched, heated massaged... The inflammation moves out and next it is my right glute that hurts. I am chasing it all around my body. I want to just move it out! I called the acupuncturist today to try for an appointment. They are closed this week. I am ready to go back to that. Perhaps I'll right about that experience in the future. Not now.

Since I've had this blog, I've had this shit going on. I haven't written much about how I got like this because I am not completely sure what all happened. Since my primary goal in life is to get through this stage of my life I might as well explore it here.

Last Spring, in early April I was going great. I was getting real fast on the bike with a bigger endurance base than I've ever had. I was strong in the core. I could drive hard across flats while in the drops for long stretches. My climbing was getting strong. I hit my PB time on Prospector (the most difficult local climb.) I was stretching regularly and doing lots of good core work. I was going great. Then one day my neck felt sore. Then it spread to my shoulder then my shoulder because so sore I went to the orthopedist to get a cortisone shot. That helped a little. But it kept on. Of course I kept training form my big ride in July the Death Ride.

May and I was still getting stronger and doing lots of hill repeats. Then June I eased up and did easier but longer rides to consolidate my gains. I felt good but my shoulder was really really getting sore. Some where in there walking got really uncomfortable but I sucked it up and kept riding. I did yoga and got a foam roll, and started doing exercises that Dirk suggested. The shoulder started to ease up. I did death ride with my best time yet and taking 1hr of my previous best.

Then I redoubled my efforts away from training and back to healing. I went to acupuncture and PT and had massages and started to feel much better. In early August after it pretty easy, I did a 50 mile solo ride with an average speed of 19 MPH. I did a bunch of miles that week and was going great. Then in Mid August I started feeling sore. I can't actually remember how I started back then but i think it was my left hip flexor that was buggin' me.

So I went back to Dirk and he discovered that my pelvis was out of alignment. So we put it back in which is another thing I should write about separately. Then I discovered that my saddle, a WTB laser V was all collapsed on one side. I was riding around all cockeyed for god knows how long. I replaced the saddle and started doing the squats and lunges that Dirk prescribed. I started feeling better until early September when my buddy knocked me down on a dance floor. I felt my pelvis go out then and there. I went home in pain and tried to stretch my way out of it for a week before I went back to Dirk. I started on the path again... And had a series of stupid accidents that knocked me down and knocked my pelvis out again and again...

So now. My pelvis just goes out of alignment on its own with a good stretch. My challenge is to rebuild strength in my core to the point that it will hold together.

My goal now is to get pain free. To get to where I can walk normally and then, to get to where I can run. Then to race cross in the fall. Strong and fast. The hardest part right now is not knowing when I am going to be able to start real riding again.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My rebelious body

I'm in the two steps forward part of my two step forward one step backward recovery process. I went to PT and MT yesterday. I am able to sleep on my side and to get out of bed without excruciating pain now. On Monday I walked out of Yoga feeling like a normal human for the first time in a long time. I went to the gym on Tuesday and today as well. Just light stuff. Right now the thing that is flaring up is the hib flexor. Sitting in a chair all day doesn't help.
If I can avoid the one step backward step this week then I am gonna be golden. We'll see...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Jibberish

Well, Its been a busy week in Puddinville. The pain has been washing over the body from the hip flexors to the back and ribs to where from day to day I couldn't tell you which was worse. It was one of those steps backwards in the two steps forward and one step backward recovery that I have been running lately.

Went and saw PT Dirk yesterday and sure enough my pelvis was back out of joint again. I didn't have to crash off my bike or anything glorious for it to happen. My torso is so mushy right now I can pull the pelvis out by stretching too hard. Nice. I've been avoiding ab work because the ribs have been hurting. That is starting to improve; I did limited mobility ab work last night to isolate the rib cage away from the pain and it seemed to be OK. I feel better today. The left hip flexor is still painful and weird. I wonder if the pelvis has already pulled out of join since yesterday. I am so paranoid right now...

Lots going on in the world. Too much to comment on all of it. The Fed seems like it is hell bent on pushing the bubble off the cliff. Bush seems like he is still unwilling to take responsibility for anything he does. The Dems are still afraid to stand up to the Reps. And the whole world is in deep doo-doo.

I hope I can get on my bike this weekend and forget about it all for a while.

Link Dump:
Residential Wind Power: NY Times
Holyer than they: Times
Worth Listening or reading: Al Gore Nobel Laureate
Up to the moment: Cross Nats

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Today from Move On


It is good to be busy at work. The pipeline is up and for good reasons. There are deals to be had in this market. It is nice to be working hard but I am not getting much work in on the bike. Legs are still sore. Ribs still feel broke even though I've been to the Chrio and to Massage therapist. Cant do core work because the ribs hurt and had to skip riding this week because I couldn't deal with the pain of breathing deeply. My attitude is mostly hanging in there though. I try not to get too tweaked, and right now riding hurts more than not riding so it is a bit easier to not ride.

I've been reading American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. It is an awesome, well done book that draws direct parallels between the current American fascist movement and ones that the world has had to contend with in the past. One of the concepts that is so disturbing is Dominionism which espouses the replacement of our current form of government with a sort of christian caliphate.

Its most common form, Dominionism, represents one of the most extreme forms of
Fundamentalist Christianity thought. Its followers, called Dominionists, are
attempting to peacefully convert the laws of United States so that they match
those of the Hebrew Scriptures. They intend to achieve this by using the freedom
of religion in the US to train a generation of children in private Christian
religious schools. Later, their graduates will be charged with the
responsibility of creating a new Bible-based political, religious and social
order. One of the first tasks of this order will be to eliminate religious
choice and freedom. Their eventual goal is to achieve the "Kingdom of God" in
which much of the world is converted to Christianity. They feel that the power
of God's word will bring about this conversion. No armed force or insurrection
will be needed; in fact, they believe that there will be little opposition to
their plan. People will willingly accept it. All that needs to be done is to
properly explain it to them.

This is the sort of thing that reasonable people need to decry if we are to preserve our democracy.

Link Dump:
Buffet on the Mortgage Crisis and income Gap: SF Gate
Wackos Shooting Each Other: NRA's wet dream
Weak Dem: Alternet
Every little bit helps: NY Times