Part 9: Spin, spin, spin.
Had a really good session on the trainer this week. Plus a couple of rubbish ones. It’s amazing what a difference it makes, psychologically as much as physically, just to be able to spin my legs again on a reasonably regular basis. I’ve mostly been using Trainer Road, but had a try of some other training software a mate mentioned to me called BKOOL. Wasn’t that impressed to be honest. Not sure if it was because I was only using the free version (and all the good stuff is for premium users), but it felt like a poor man’s version of Zwift – and at the end of the 24km ride I couldn’t even save it to Strava either. Doh! Anyway, I have plenty of time on the trainer to try all this stuff out, so if you know of any other good programs, let me know and I’ll report back.
The range of movement in my shoulder continues to improve, albeit at glacial pace. I’d say it’s back to about 40-50% now, but still only about 10% when it comes to any weight bearing. I’m still on painkillers, but just over-the-counter stuff now which I’m pretty darn happy about. No more elephant tranquilisers. Every now and then I’ll be feeling so good I’ll twist or stretch out just a bit too far or even try to lift something I shouldn’t and, let me tell you, it’s like being shot. An instant, sharp pain rips through my shoulder blade reminding me there’s still plenty of healing to be done. A disheartening reality check.
Saw my GP yet again last week and think I may finally have finished all the insurance paperwork which is cause for great celebration. Now I just have to wait for the claim assessor’s decision. I’ve been paying $150 a month since, forever, for cover in precisely such instances as this so I hope they do the right thing as the bills are really piling up now. If they try to f@%# me over somehow as insurers are sometimes known to do, well, I can be a pretty cranky bastard when I have to be. Just ask my kids.
On much happier matters, after doing some epic grovelling to my surgeon (who didn’t seem entirely convinced it was a good idea, but ultimately caved in) I’m now able to remove my sling to drive short distances up to the local shops and school. Not dissimilar to a Learner driver who’s just got his/her P-plates, I must say I am very much enjoying the new-found freedom this affords. Of course unlike a P-plater I am driving very cautiously indeed. As my surgeon unsurprisingly explained, ‘you don’t want to be having an accident just yet Pete, that’s going to end badly if you do.’
As my shoulder has continued to heal in the past fortnight or so my thoughts on my cycling future have also become far clearer. As much as I’m enjoying the trainer (no, really, I am) I have no intention to stop riding. Sorry mum. In fact, I can’t wait to get back out on the road to do some real riding – hopefully some time in the next 5-8 weeks. It will be on my own for a while of course, as I rebuild my confidence and dormant handling skills. But as soon as I feel that confidence return, I’ll be back into proper training and bunch riding – and, yes, racing.
I’m not going to lie. It’s frustrating knowing I’ll be rebuilding my race strength and form – i.e. from scratch – for the second time in just 9 months (I also broke three ribs back in August), but I’m up for it. Beats sitting on the couch.
Next milestone is a return trip to the surgeon on Monday for more x-rays and another ‘poke and prod’ session. It will be six weeks since my surgery and over eight since the crash. Assuming all is still going well, I think the plan is then to ditch the sling permanently and start proper pyhsio. I have been warned that bit will hurt. So what’s new?
Days since op: 42
Days since crash: 59
Shirt removal pain-o-meter: 2/10
Riding: 3 moderate trainer efforts per week