There are people who recover from their injuries in a smart, calculated way. Then there is me. You’d think I would have maybe learned my lesson by now, but I have not. I can’t help it.
Last week, my new physical therapist in Tulsa told me that I was allowed to “sit on” my bike to see how it affected my back. Well, I interpreted “sit on my bike” to mean “ride my bike for 5 minutes” and a monster was reborn. I rode for 5 minutes and felt fine. The next day, I rode for 10 minutes.
Then 12 minutes.
Then 30 minutes.
And Monday, I rode my bike for an hour because I decided I needed to get a “long ride” in (WHAT?) so I could decide if I was going to ride in the Tulsa Tough Gran Fondo the following weekend. What’s that? Oh, a 39 mile bike ride, or about 2 hours of riding at my current out-of-shape pace. 39 miles on a bike 6 weeks after back surgery? Seems reasonable (IS NOT REASONABLE).
Yeah. All of that happened in the span of a week. This does not bode well for when I’m finally told I can run again.
I think the problem is that I’ve entered that very dangerous stage of injury in which I mostly feel normal. When my back was really bad before the surgery, everyone was constantly worried about me trying to go run. Well, if I can’t really walk or sit up, then I definitely can’t run, so that wasn’t even on my radar. Now, thankfully, I’m feeling a thousand times better and I’m almost back to normal. The problem with that is I’m so bored. At the beginning, it wasn’t so horrible taking a little time off running because I had been doing hard training for awhile. Now, nearly 6 months later, I’m just bored out of my mind. I’m allowed to go on “brisk walks” a couple times of day, but those only last half an hour and aren’t terribly exciting (no offense to you walkers out there). The bike is at least something that feels like exercise, even if I’m going painfully slow right now thanks to the epic deterioration of the muscles formerly known as my quads. As such, it’s exciting to be out there doing something, so of course I’m already taking it too far, too fast.
To combat this, I’m implementing a plan. Last week, I was walking and biking each day. This week, I’m going to try alternating activities each day, because ultimately this is what I expect my training schedule to look like. Gone are the days of me running 5 days back to back (fine, that happened like one time). So far, things have been going well. I rode on Monday, quickly determined that I’m not even close to being ready to ride nearly 40 miles, and called it a day. Tuesday, I walked to physical therapy, only to be told that “oh yeah, we forgot to call you, the pool is broken so you can’t stare at your thighs on the giant underwater treadmill camera, lolz,” so I promptly turned around and walked back home, for a total of 4 miles. Yesterday, I got back on the bike again, rode for an hour, and felt better than I did on Monday. So, win?
Don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost it. That Gran Fondo is totally not happening.