Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's been awhile, time to start posting again!!

Wow I just realized it has been over a year and a half since I did my last post!

A lot has happened in that year and a half.

I decided last season to take a year off of racing. I was burning out a bit at the end of the 2010/11 season. And after thinking about it I realized I had not had any significant time off in 17 years of racing and I was feeling it. I have been racing very competitively for over 17 years and my body was starting to take a toll. I had back problems really bad the whole season and that wore me down and made racing not so fun.

So I took the whole year off of 2012 and boy did it feel good. I needed it so bad. It was a little hard when the first cross came around to not race, but once that first race was over it was very easy to not race! I still went to every cross race in 2012 as support for my family and the Cycle U-PopCap Elite team. I really enjoyed being able to give back and help everyone. It was just fun to watch people race!

So after that winter I was excited to get back to racing, feeling very rested I wanted to start training again and get back out there in the 2013 season. I started training early spring and was feeling good, out of shape but fresh. When unfortunately I hurt my right knee. Not sure exactly what I did but one day I woke up and my knee was swollen up the size of a grapefruit. And a lot of pain.

I went to see Dr. Doug Nowak at Everett Bone and Joint and we did an MRI. Unfortunately the MRI didn't show to much, just some swelling and some irritation in the back of the knee cap but that was it. So he recommended a couple months of physical therapy to see if we could rehab it back. I went to Arlington Family PT and Chris LaPolla did a amazing job with setting me up with PT to help my knee heal up.

I went for 6 weeks and unfortunately the knee just wouldn't quit swelling so Chris sent me back to Dr. Nowak and we decided that surgery was inevitable. So on May 9th 2013 I went under the knife.

I had a spinal so I was awake during the surgery, first time I have ever done that, boy was that cool. Being able to see the inside of your body is amazing. So Dr. Nowak wasn't to sure what he would find when he got in there but the first words out of his mouth were, "boy this is a lot worse then I thought".
Not so good for me. I had very little cartilage left in my knee, so he had to do micro fracture on the lateral side of my knee and the back of the knee cap.

So I was out for 6 weeks, no weight at all on the leg. I was in a CPM machine for 6-8 hours everyday after surgery for the full 6 weeks. I was lucky because the pain wasn't to back. But being on crutches was a pain in itself. And to top it off the day before surgery I was reaching up to grab a glass out of the cupboard and partially tore my rotator cuff in my right shoulder! Seriously, so the doc gave me a cortisone shot to ease some pain and swelling but there was nothing he could do till I was off crutches. So I had more pain in my shoulder then my knee most of the time.

So after a long 6 weeks of couch time I was off the crutches and back in PT. It was a slow start, with just some basic exercises but every week I got stronger. After 8 weeks I was released from PT and able to just do it on my own.
I was back on my bike 4 weeks after surgery, just on the trainer and the first day I could only do 5 mins!
But everyday I got stronger and after following my doctors orders I am almost back to normal.

Right now I just over 4 months post surgery, I am able to ride without any pain most of the time on the bike. So I decided to give cross racing a try. The doctor said only if I promised to not run or dismount at speed, I could race. So that was a go for me, and I really am walking over all barriers and run ups. And it's working.

I raced the WAWCX womens festival the middle of August and felt pretty good. I rode strong on the bike, and just stopped and walked each set of barriers. Of course everyone passed me there but I didn't care, I just wanted to get in a good race effort on the bike.

And yesterday I raced the Labor Day CX race and actually felt pretty darn strong on the bike. I was doing really well and riding in 6-7 place in the elite women until on lap 3 my saddle popped up after I hit a big bump and boy is is hard to ride when the nose of your saddle is pointing straight up!! I got a tool and fixed it to only have it happen again a quarter lap later. Darn it, so frustrating. So I feel way back and got lapped by the top guys, but I still finished. One lap down but it counted.

So now I am replacing the seat post so that doesn't happen again!

So long story but that is what I have been up to over the last year. And now I am working on my newest adventure of opening up my very own Cycle U North up in Arlington in Snohomish CO!!! I am so excited to get to bring the amazing classes and bike fitting up north so that everyone in Sno Co can get some great indoor training this winter. My website is www.cycleunorth.com. It is a work in progress but in a week or so I will have class dates and times posted. Please spread the word that there is now a Cycle U North in Arlington. I can't wait to get to help so many people improve their fitness and love for cycling.

Ok I am off now, and I will try to keep posting as things happen this season and keep you all updated on my progress with my knee.

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