It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

Except for when you literally have not been on a bike in 20 years.

*crickets chirping*

Tonight was the first bike training session for the north side Tri It For Life group. I got my bike a couple of weekends ago, but aside from trying to remember how to mount and dismount the bike, I had not been for a ride.

All of that changed tonight!

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My bike, strapped in for the ride

The first thing we did was an ice breaker, where we gave our names and said what portion of the Tri was our favorite and our least favorite. Surprisingly, a lot of folks hate the running. I’m the opposite, because that’s my favorite portion. And as we all know, I hate the swimming right now. #remedial

There was a mix of athletes and mentors. I really love the fact that people who did the race previously are giving back with their time and support. At one point, they were first time triathletes and sitting in our shoes.

One of the other things I love about Tri It For Life is that they really break things down to the basics for us. As I like to say at work, they break it down Barney-style! They literally showed us how to mount the bike and how to properly dismount. Once they demonstrated, it started to click for me and I could almost remember being an 18 year old on my ten speed.

The lead mentor talked to us about bike safety, and what we needed to do to prep our bikes before each ride. I learned that I need to get an extra tire tube, a pump, a CO2 cartridge, and some other goodies. I’ll be hitting up WalMart. We also learned to check our tire for the tube size and what the PSI should be for our tires. We learned about the shouts that riders use to warn each other when a car is approaching, or when we are approaching walkers/joggers, and when we want to pass another bike on the left. We learned that we cannot have headphones during any part of the Tri, even during the run. I will have to start running more without them. Also, Tri It For Life will NOT let you participate in a group ride if you don’t have a proper helmet.

We completed a small obstacle course so that the mentors could see where we were skill wise. My seat had to be adjusted, and I was a little shaky, but not as bad as I thought it would be. after that, we went for a group ride. The lead mentor gave us the option of just riding around the parking lot, or riding the 1.8 mile loop around the business park. We all decided to go with the loop.

At first, it was a little intimidating. You hear the cars coming by and you hope they are paying attention and giving you a wide berth when possible. Someone had previously dropped a top to their water bottle, so I got to see the mentor signal for road debris. They had mentors riding with each group (fast, intermediate, and slow) and they will never leave anyone behind. If you stop, a mentor will stop with you.

I found myself huffing and puffing going up that hill, and I had to learn how to work with my gears. Going down hill was a bit scary…I just had to go with it and try to enjoy the ride. It was a bit intimidating to approach intersections as well, but I guess I’ll get used to that with time.

Eventually, we will take our rides outside of the loop onto busier roads that won’t necessarily have bike lanes. The next group ride is early Saturday morning, and we’re actually going to do a brick. That’s where you combine two of the three exercises into one gaining session. This time we will ride our bikes, and then jog one time around the loop. I was concerned about our bikes being left in the parking lot, but one of the mentors advised me that one mentor always stays behind to watch the bikes.

Every training day is an adventure, and I’m so glad I challenged myself to “Tri” this. Even the remedial swimming. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kneed to Know

I write this from the love seat, as I sit down for a mandatory icing session for my knee.

As you may or may not know, I have been having an issue with my left knee since November 2010. I’ve been to two sessions of physical therapy (with two different providers), and had 3 sets of x-rays. I can be doing ok for weeks and then have debilitating pain.

The first ortho told me I had osteo-arthritis in my knees. I was give a cortisone shot in each knee, and then I went through my first course of PT. It seemed to be doing better. When it flared up again, my PCP did a second set of x-rays and said she absolutely did NOT see any arthritis, and she felt my issue was patellar-femoral syndrome. A fancy way to say my knee cap doesn’t track properly in the groove at the bottom of my femur. I went to a 2nd course of PT, which was focused on strengthening my quad so that it could help to pull my knee cap back inward. I finished PT and was doing better, but now it’s back again.

This time the pain seems more intense. I hurt pretty much every day, some days more intense than others. The simple act of getting up from my desk and walking to the break room at work takes effort and causes pain. The other day I stepped out of the car and put my weight on my foot to get out, and felt the sharpest pain yet. I really thought I was going to fall on my face (which would’ve been รผber embarrassing because several neighbors were outside at the time, lol). I can be in bed and bend my knee slightly and the pain will shoot out.

So, I called the doctor.

She saw me today and during the physical exam she was moving my knee and leg in different directions and it was very stable. She did note that it is swollen, and when she pressed on the outer edge of my knee cap I felt immediate pain. After she moved my knee around and she went to straighten it back out, I felt that familiar sharp pain.

Dr G told me that the stability of my knee tells her it’s not a ligament related issue. The pain I felt when she straightened my knee out, along with some of the issues I’ve described, made her think there could be a meniscal tear, but she still wanted to do another set of x-rays. Set #3! Yay! Not. LOL

We reviewed the x-rays, and I noticed she kept zooming in on one spot on my knee cap. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I have patella alta. Reach down and feel your knee caps. See where they sit? Lower down on the femur. Well, mine sit about half an inch higher than the average knee cap. Not a problem in and of itself, but combined with the angle of my knee cap, it is likely contributing.

I also have a bone spur on the outer edge of my femur, and because of where my knee cap sits, it is rubbing/catching on that spur. Definitely not helping the situation.

She still thinks the majority of the issue is the patellar-femoral syndrome. I basically was near tears when I asked her, “so basically, this is my life because I was born with high knee caps?!?”

She said no, that it was absolutely treatable, but she is concerned that in addition to that there may be a tear. She’s about the same age as me, so she said that at our age, there doesn’t need to be some catastrophic event to cause a slight tear in a meniscus. It could be a simple as squatting down wrong.

Right now I am awaiting my referral for an MRI, and a PT referral with a 3rd provider. I feel my wallet shrinking by the minute, but I need to get better. I feel great about this MRI referral, because I have felt for a while that something of a soft tissue nature was going on…but it seemed like nobody believed me. At the end of the day, I could be wrong, but I’d rather have the test to rule it out. Definitely tired of going in circles with this.

As far as activity level, she told me to do the things I can tolerate. I asked her about biking since we have a Tri It For Life meet up for a bike session. Dr. G said I’m fine to bike as long as I focus on keeping an even cadence with my pedaling and not setting the gears so hard that I’m pushing down with a lot of force.

Once she sent me on my way, I did meet up with TIFL for a run. We basically did Week 3/Day 1 of C25K twice (out and back) and I wore the brace I got from the first ortho (lol). I was able to complete the workout with minimal pain. I will take some anti-inflammatories tonight and we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

I am hoping this MRI will tell us what we need to know. Keep your fingers crossed.

Slight Disconnect

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that HH and I have both been sickly the past couple of weeks. He got “the crud” first, and despite increasing my vitamin C and continuing my supplements, he passed it on to me. Ugh.

I guess I am a horrible sick person. I just don’t want to be bothered. Just let me rest and I’ll be back to my old self when I get well. Since I’ve been by myself most of my adult life, it never occurred to me to think about how that would affect someone else.

Yesterday, before HH went to work we were sitting here talking and I went over and gave him a hug and was rubbing his shoulders. He said, “oh, you must be feeling better because you have NOT wanted to be bothered the past few days.”

I was thinking, well DUH! Not only did you give me the crud, it also coincided with Shark Week ( thanks, SingleMa, for that term, lol). So, I can’t breathe out of my nose, at night I wake up coughing up GOBS of mucus, I’m drugged up on cough meds and cough drops, and I’m bleeding with cramps.

I didn’t really think that needed an explanation as to why I wasn’t my normal self.

But apparently it hurt his feelings. He said I was like a hurt lioness and I just retreated to lick my wounds.

I guess! Perhaps I was a little crabby. I mean, I don’t really know what else I was supposed to do, though?

I’m not the kind that wants to be babied and loved on when I’m sick. Just gimme the meds and help me find my bed. At one point we were both sick and we both looked and functioned like death warmed up…so it’s not like he was a ball of sunshine, either! LOL!

But I feel bad that we had that disconnect. We really were like passing ships in the night. Some nights he slept on the couch to avoid waking me with his coughing, and vice versa. We didn’t cuddle, but I always did give him my customary kiss/have a good day/I love you speech in the mornings before work. I was feeling horrible the day I went to buy my bike and he kept trying to get me to ride it and do it his way…I haven’t been on a bike in 20 years. Couple that with being sick and not in the mood for being laughed at, and I’m I gave him the side eye and snapped at him. That’s probably the incident that is stuck in his mind.

We’re both off today, so hopefully we can get in some nice quality time and make up for else horrible two weeks.

How do you interact with your SO when you’re sick?

Brain Dump: Because MissMileHigh said so

Yep. She threw me on front street. Sent me a link to my blog and said, “um, remember this?” LOL!
Well overdue, I know.

  • My two major stressors are trying to figure out what to do about this wedding, and trying to learn to swim. I pretty much suck at this swimming thing, except for on my back. I guess if my face is out of the water, I can deal. It’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I still don’t feel comfortable in the water. I like to learn things fast. Tell me what to do, I do it, and we keep it moving. Not so much on this swimming thing. I think private lessons are in order. I love the Tri It For Life training, but as they say, there’s only so much they can do.
  • I told HH we need to hit the JOP and figure the rest out later. In a nutshell, I’m we’re not going into debt over this. No one is helping us…I feel like if they really want to be there, they’ll find a way to get down here. I’m even amenable to changing the date to give them a whole year to save some cash.
  • The stepson will be here soon (he needs a blog name)! Provided he doesn’t have to go to summer school first. *facepalm* I’m hoping that when he gets down here we can keep him on the straight and narrow and at least get his grades up. I’m nervous. I don’t even have my own kids and now I’m about to step in and help parent one at a pretty critical age. Pass me a bottle of wine.
  • In preparation for this, I’ve decided to acquiesce and give him the room with the bigger closet. In return, I got the shelf I’ve been wanting from Ikea. Yay! But I miss that closet. The kid owes me. LOL!
  • Speaking of the shelf, guess whose clothes are haphazardly thrown on top? I’ll give you a hint: they aren’t mine. LOL!

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    Men.

  • I ran a very hilly location on Monday, and could barely bend my knee on Tuesday. No bueno. I have to keep it on flat courses and 20-25 minutes at a time. I’ll know better next time.
  • MamaMixtress was in VA with my sisters for two weeks. Her commentary on the bath salts dude was just priceless. Absolutely no filter. She says whatever comes to her mind. After 70 years on this earth, I guess she is entitled. LOL! I need to get her down to CLT. I worry about her more these days. Losing my dad and my grandma three weeks apart was hard for all of us, but I think it was harder for her than she let on.
  • My brother came to the Capital Jazz Fest with us two weeks ago. Since it was his birthday weekend, I was so glad he made it. After we all got home, he told us that was the best birthday he’s had in a long time.

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    Does is guy look 50? ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope we all age this well. LOL! Please note my sister’s guns. I could go to the gym for a year and my arms will not look like that. Period. LOL!

  • I missed the Dallas premier last night. I left the pool late and then made a last minute run to WalMart. But I loves my HH because he knows I’ve been so absent-minded lately, so he had the foresight to DVR it for me. I’ll try to watch tonight. So far, I’ve heard mixed reviews.
  • Next week I get to attend two job related mediations. They will be the first ones I’ve ever attended. I’m excited! Another step forward in my career. It’s also one of my objectives for this year, so I will knock that off the list early. We also have our community service day next week, and I’m going to be cleaning up at the Ronald McDonald House with some of my favorite co-workers.
  • When I get home in the evenings, I just want to do nothing. My days are so full right now. But there’s laundry, house cleaning, study for CPCU (which I’ve half heartedly started) and trying to spend QT with HH, despite our different work schedules. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have signed up for the triathlon and tried to take on the CPCU, but I will get through it. Like I learned in yoga, I just need to breathe. And get more organized about what I have to do.
  • I’ve been doing better with my water intake and my vitamins/supplements. I figure I need to keep up with all this training I’ll be doing. I try to drink 16 oz on the way to work, and then the other 64 throughout the day. So far so good.
  • The other stressor about the Tri is the dang money! I still need a bike, a helmet, a bike rack for the car…I don’t want to get any ol’ bike because I’d like to keep riding it after this is done. But I’m not getting a $700 road bike, either. I think I’ve finally settled on a hybrid bike. You can do the race wi a mountain bike, but you’ll have to work harder. In addition, the road. Ike tires are really skinny. I haven’t been on a bike in 20 years, so I don’t think that’s a good idea. LOL!

That’s about it for me. What’s new with you?