Like I posted yesterday, it has been pretty much exactly 10 months since I fell in Quad Cites and broke my hip. I have to admit that I am pretty surprised about how this last 10 months have went.
Historically, with injuries, I can usually jump the “doctor’s gun” and get back at it in about 1/2 the time that I’ve been told. But, this has been different.
This has been a learning experience. It’s not the bone that was/is the issue. It is all the soft tissue they cut through to get to the bone. Having a 12 inch incision completely through my IT band wasn’t anything I had experienced before. I’m not even sure what an IT band is, but whatever it is, it is an important part of leg function. And that is the problem.
It was really slow going initially. I have a very hard time believing that I raced the Chequamegon MTB race a little over 3 months after surgery. That seems nearly impossible 7 months later.
I’ve only done two races since the break. Chequamegon and then a team member of a 24 hour MTB race in February. Looking back now, I am much better than I was in February.
The last two months, I‘ve had a lot of improvement. I get pain when I ride, but only when I do an abrupt movement. Something like my rear wheel slides out on sand and I have to do a quick response to stay upright.
Standing on one leg to put my jeans on has been impossible. The last couple months, I’ve been doing one legged squats, while standing in the shower, and I think that has helped a ton. I can now balance well enough to dress standing up, which is more important than you’d think.
And, yes, I plan to start running some. Just for life. I want to be able to do everything I did before breaking my hip. Riding a bicycle is important, but it isn’t everything. Running is something that has to be available to do when I don’t have a bike or just don’t feel like riding. It might be a bit before I can go out and do a 5 minute mile again.
I plan to get back to racing pretty soon. I was sick a lot the last month and missed all the early season training races around here. This weekend is Easter, so there isn’t much racing going on.
Last night, on the evening ride, everyone seemed pretty animated. I’ve been riding gravel the last week and it was really nice getting back on my road bike. The lack of resistance was a pleasure.
The ride was fast. And pretty hard. The wind was blowing from the Southeast at about 25 mph. That isn’t that usual for Kansas in early spring, but it still was a 25 mph cross/headwind going out.
Anyway, my brother Kris, started going hard maybe 10 miles from “the sprint”. And it really didn’t slow down from there. I was trying to keep a few guys on, that were getting dropped on hills, etc., so I was in the wind a lot. I was surprised how out of shape I am for going fast.
I’m not sure why that surprised me so much. I haven’t raced and don’t really do intervals, so what wouldn’t I be out of shape for riding over 30 mph. Acutally, I was okay pulling, just the changing of speed when rotating to the back was hurting me.
So, I think I’m fit enough to race some. There is a 100 mile gravel road race in Lawrence next Sunday, that I think I might do. I might look around to see if there are any other races around that might suit me better. I don’t need to be doing criteriums. I need a hilly road race or circuit race.
Anyway, I think I am 80% of the way recovered from this whole broken hip thing. I have to thank all the people that helped me. All the doctors, plus friends. But really all the emails and contacts from other riders that have had this same problem. I got so much valuable information from other cyclists. It kept me focused and gave me insight to what to expect, realistically.
I was told, many times, that it would be 12 months, or more, before it would feel natural. That seems to be timeframe I’m on. Wonder what I’ll be doing Memorial Day Weekend this year?