I’m Back!

You have no idea how ecstatic I am that I biked to work! I’m excited for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that my knees are healing! The physical therapy, the acupuncture, the personal training…whatever it is, it’s working. The second reason I’m excited is that this is the earliest I’ve ever tried riding to work. Usually I have to wait until May to give it a try due to weather.

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I didn’t bike from home for my first commute this year. Last year I spent all winter going to spin class to keep up with my cycling fitness and it was pretty easy to get back on the bike come spring time. This winter I didn’t do that. Part of me regretted not taking any spin classes this winter, but part of me is glad I didn’t. I kind of burned out on cycling last year because of not having a break. I also got to spend this off-season focusing on strength training and fixing my weaknesses.

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So Wednesday morning, Michael and I drove to Sellwood and rode in from there. It was a short ride, but long enough to make it “worth it”. It was an overcast, chilly morning but the weather promised afternoon sunshine. All I cared was that it was dry.

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My legs felt pretty good. It was a longer ride than my short jaunt to the gym last weekend and I could tell the difference. While the route to work is relatively flat, my heart rate was pretty high. I just need to practice more.

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It was so nice to bike with Michael, too. I’ll admit, it was kind of like having a security blanket with me. I was definitely nervous. I’m usually nervous at the start of the season. I guess it’s just that I fall out of practice and don’t feel as confident at the start. Everything went well–my knees were good, my bike was fine–so Michael and I bid farewell and he went over the Hawthorne Bridge to his office and I continued on to the Steel Bridge to go to mine.

Afternoon Ride

I was excited and nervous about my ride home but it went really really well. I definitely noticed that I was slightly out of cycling shape for the hills. I felt the burn in my thighs like I never used to!

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That gives me a total of 11.51 miles! AWESOME! Total calories burned: 590! So so great for a first attempt.

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I was famished by the time we got home. Michael grilled up burgers. I had smoked Gouda on mine with some avocado and spicy mustard. We also had some leftover potatoes so he sauteed them with a bunch of spices.

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I devoured dinner and one glass of Cabernet and Michael and I had a mini marathon of the most recent Californication season. It was a great day of riding and a great night. The other bonus: I was NOT crippled the next day. My quads were slightly sore but nothing too bad. My knees felt good. I felt strong and healthy. I am so glad!

I have no idea when I’ll get the chance to ride again. The weather is turning ugly and the forecast doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon. I am so ready for summer. Who’s with me??

22 Responses

  1. I feel like it’s the exact opposite here! It’s been kind of chilly and gloomy and this weekend/next week it’s supposed to rocket up into the 70’s!! I’m not a HUGE east coast summer fan (me, heat and humidity is not a pleasant mix), but I am ready for it to be warmer in the mornings. I used to bike to work every day, but lately I’ve been dropping the ball. I started having knee problems that I KNEW were from my bike and just didn’t have the time or energy to make adjustments and test them out. I went back down to biking about once a week, instead..I finally got around to making the adjustments last weekend and still failed to bike more than twice this week (fail), but I am hoping to get back on the wagon next week.

    I LOVE biking to work. I get really cranky on public transport and the metro in DC – it’s crowded, people are cranky and pushy – plus it’s really expensive (at least for me). Biking to work lets me ease into my morning, enjoy the beautiful DC sights along the way, and get a great workout in.

    Glad your knees are feeling better!!!!!
    Logan @ Mountains and Miles recently posted..Indy Has Finally Claimed His Brother

    1. Oh no, I hope your knees are ok. I need to take my bike in ASAP to get fitted.

      I agree with you, public transportation is awful. I hate it and refuse! It’s crowded, dirty, people are gross and obnoxious…the list goes on and on. And I’m also impatient. πŸ™‚

      1. They’ve bounced back. I tried to figure out what your knee troubles are but can’t find a post that talks about it – I think you tagged something “Runners Knee”…so I assume that’s what you have (Chrondomalacia Patella/Patellafemoral Pain?)? I had intense pain caused by that beginning in 2009 and going through 2011. It hurt to do everything…walk, bike, take the stairs, sit for too long, sometimes it just ached to be achey. I did EVERYTHING to try and solve it – rest (for about 6 months!), PT and strengthening (for about another 6+ months), hyalgen injections (basically a gooey lubricant they put in to cushion the knee) and nothing worked. Finally my doctor suggested getting it scoped and it was like night and day afterwards. Two weeks after my surgery I was moving without pain like I hadn’t done in years. When it was bad, biking was one of the MOST painful exercises I could do – and why to this day I freak out when I get knee pain while biking. I’m about two years out from my scope and, while I still have some aches from time to time, it feels 99.99% better! I know PT and rest work for most people, so I am so glad to hear that you are having results!!! One of the things that I really focus on now is my hip/quad/glute strength (particularly my hips – gotta love the clamshells!) and I’m hoping that’s enough to keep it at bay for now.
        Logan @ Mountains and Miles recently posted..Indy Has Finally Claimed His Brother

        1. Yep, Runner’s Knee. Been doing PT since October. I’ve had bouts of great improvement, only to have a setback. I’ve tried orthopedic massage, acupuncture, stopped running/bike, tried taping, etc. It sucks.

          What was scoping? What exactly did they do?

          1. arthoscopy. A big problem with runners knee is that your cartilage gets frayed, which then rubs and catches. So with the scope, they basically go in with a miniature razor blade and shave it down smooth again so it doesn’t catch or rub anymore. It’s more of a “last case scenario” and I wasn’t seeing ANY improvement (not even little wins like you). My Dr. said even the scope wasn’t a sure fire – that it was hit or miss with patients and I just got lucky that I was one of the ones it worked for. The pictures they took are crazy..I keep meaning to post them on my blog, but I did write up a brief post on it back when I first started blogging. http://mtnsandmiles.blogspot.com/2012/10/chrondomalacia-patella.html

            My Dr. thinks that my problem may be more genetic than misalignment/weakness related (my mom has bad shoulders), so she said the scope was a temporary solution that that I would probably have to get it done again (but she couldn’t put a time frame of when that was – 1 year, 2 years, 5 years…). So far I’m still good and I have been doing higher mileage than I have ever done before in my life.

            Taping helped me a bit, too..it just got tiresome. It’s an incredibly frustrating problem and one that I feel like you HAVE to catch early to avoid all of these months of recovery. I totally feel you, though, I didn’t run much from March of 2010-March of 2011 because it had just gotten so bad.

            You should ask about hyalgen injections. They didn’t work for me, but they work wonders for my mom. Their not steroids…it’s literally just a lube that they inject into your knee (totally painless…but feels a little “full” at first…it’s a weird feeling).

            But the fact that you can bike again is a great step! Hopefully it keeps heading in that direction!!
            Logan @ Mountains and Miles recently posted..Indy Has Finally Claimed His Brother

          2. Thanks so much for the advice! I’ll look into your suggestions. I’m glad you found something that works. I think my issues is bad alignment. My knees have an inward rotation and my IT Bands are ALWAYS tight no matter how much stretch I do.

            Taping worked for a long time, then it stopped working. I don’t know why. It seemed to make it worse. It also tore up my skin in a horrible way! πŸ™

    1. Smoked Gouda is my favorite cheese, followed closely by goat and feta. Michael had a local Gorgonzola on his burger. That’s pretty tasty as well.

      Hmmm I should do a post on cheese…

  2. Send some of your weather this way! Its been hot- like low 90’s hot- here on and off for the last few weeks. It should not be hot enough to run the cooler in April!

    Dinner looks good! I had salmon, asparagus, and potatoes. πŸ™‚
    Deb recently posted..Wednesday Day 537 Food Diary

  3. This is awesome on so many levels…of course that your knees are feeling better being #1. But also just getting outside. I love bike commuting and commuters! I used to ride an 8.5 mile (one way) route to work every day until I moved out to the country. Then, unfortunately, there were stretches of road too dangerous to ride (IMO) but I also started working from home. Now that we are on-the-road full-time we try to find every opportunity to ride in the areas we visit. Trying to get on a more regular schedule so I find this post very inspiring! Bring on summer!!
    Lynn B recently posted..Don’t Call It a Comeback…

    1. That’s so great! It sounds like your commute is similar to mine. I think you’re smart not trying to bike in unsafe areas. That’s so scary. I’ve seen so many terrifying things.

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