Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Holidays

As Chris and I were planning our holidays, we took some time off to be in St. George over New Year's Eve and the preceding weekend. This is pretty normal for us, but this year it meant four days in warm and sunny weather filled with mountain biking. But as the holidays started I realized it was not going to be all that we hoped.
November held our last race and several mountain biking trips. I was going to taper my riding off and look to cross train. Cross training is supposed to be good, right? I also wanted to help keep my off season standard weight gain in check. Thus, I thought some high intensity classes at the gym would be a good fit. I attended a H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training) class at the local Gold's. I felt awkward and uncoordinated during all the jumping and bouncing. I was not discouraged though knowing that it was just different and it would get better the more I attended. Although I did develop some pain on the ball of my foot under my big toe. I probably needed different shoes.
That pain stuck around though. It was achy.The pressure from the blankets on the bed bothered it. It would intensify after 45 minutes or so on the bike, especially if I stood up. By my birthday ride (after three weeks or so) it was not getting any better. Walking around bare foot post ride was incredibly painful, I had to have shoes on. I finally conceded and went to the doctor.
He thumped around, hemmed and hawed. Took and X-ray and determined it was not broken, but I may have a neuroma. I was referred to a podiatrist but it would be another ten days before my appointment. I continued as normal and the results were the same. Unfortunately, spin class (or more likely the pedals) expedited the onset to pain that I would simply push through.
During my visit with the podiatrist, he thumped around more. He was not as nice as my doctor. He asked the normal questions. He studied my X-ray some more. Enlarged it. Pushed and prodded my foot. And said, it was not a neuroma (thank you!) but it was broken (son of a...!). A piece was dislodged and I might have another fracture too. I would have to stay off of it for 4-6 weeks. He gave me the option of a boot or a shoe. I opted for the shoe. Before I left, I asked him what I could do. He said I could ride a stationary bike with low resistance and pedal with the middle of my foot--and that was all I needed to hear.
I have spent the past two weeks during our procession of winter storms on the row machine and stationary bike and shoveling snow. I have appropriately used a toe warmer over my injured foot to keep my toes warm and dry while slugging through the snow and slush.
Chris and I discussed it and opted to still go down to St. George. He would go ride the trails while I was relegated to the bike paths. He threw a flat pedal on the bike for my special shoe. I realize it is not a stationary bike, but it is close. I got in some decent workouts riding almost two hours at a time. I was very careful to awkwardly pedal with the middle of my left foot and did not experience any pain.
It was not the ideal way to bring in the New Year, but I suppose it could be worse. And it is during the best time of year for an injury, if there is one. (Add any other silver linings you may think apply.)

During the drive
Chris sporting a Christmas gift from his bro-in-law
Chris riding with Drew, Chris, and Jeff (photo cred)

A view from the path up Bluff

Split Rock on Snow Canyon

Here's to a happy and healthy 2013!

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