Just back from vacation! Joelle's American relatives finally got to meet our funny, special, high-energy little daughter. The occasion was Jo's two-year birthday party. We visited the Maine beaches a few times and I ate way too many chocolate chip cookies that my mother baked ...
This week's entry will be an update on where I am, post-recovery. Occasionally I interject some comments on this blog about what I'm doing, physically, to maintain good knee health going forward. Sometimes I mention a little problem, then forget to close the circle and let everyone know how it was resolved.
On March 27, for example, I mentioned on the blog taking a few extra weeks to "break in" my knees for a new cycling season, after feeling a few twinges and tinglings when I ramped up my stationary bike workouts a bit too fast. And I sort of left that storyline dangling (which I only realized some time later, when someone who wrote to me about a knee problem added the question, "So how did all that work out?")
Well, today I rode my bike, quite hard, and felt great. I've been riding every Saturday since late April. Same group, same intensity, and same punishing workout I remembered from last year. Right now is the toughest time, because everyone's strength is peaking, as this is about the end of the racing season up here.
How are the knees holding up? Really well. Even better than last season, when my left knee felt like it was getting a little sore at times during the long rides. Apart from riding, my knees seem to be making less noise too. Everything is pointing in the right direction at the moment. Life is good.
Besides the Saturday ride, what else do I do for my knees each week?
Sunday: 60 minutes on a stationary bike, easy pedaling.
Tuesday and Thursday: 45 minutes each day on a stationary bike that includes 10 easy minutes of warm up, then 35 minutes of slightly harder but still not intense riding. (So each week I ride hard only once -- Saturday -- which usually features about 40 fast miles, then 20 or so miles at an easy pace.)
Other than that, each workday morning I walk not to the closest subway station, but to the next-next closest stop, which (when added to the walking I do to get to work), gives me roughly one mile (or two miles each day). I make a point of doing this, every day, because I have one of those dreadful desk jobs that keeps me in front of a computer screen for a good 10 hours.
Where I'm at right now is basically where I should be at if everything in Saving My Knees -- everything that I felt more and more convinced was true, during those grueling days of my slow recovery -- really was true. I hope there are others out there who are finding relief for their bad knees through a motion-based program that gradually increases in intensity. It's worked really great for me.