The long road back: Part 15

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Part 15:  Two rides forward, one ride back…

Where did that three months go? It’s my 14-week post operation check up this Tuesday. I’ll be telling my orthpod the plated shoulder blade feels almost 100%. The AC joint and coracoid still hurt, however. The recovery has been a lot slower on that front – but my strength is returning, albeit glacially. In reality it’s been long enough now that I’m pretty much used to the discomfort anyway, it’s become normal to feel pain whenever I overstretch the arm, roll to my left in bed or try to catch something on reflex. Life goes on. Besides, that’s why they invented paracetemol, right?

On two-wheeled matters, my return to riding on the road continues and I’ve been able to wind things right back on the trainer to just one session a week. It’s so nice to get outside again on a regular basis, but it’s also been quite frustrating as the progression to date has been anything but linear. The first week back on the road I felt awesome, really strong, and put in several efforts that raised the eyebrows of several of my usual training pals. But a week later the wheels fell off. I felt horribly lethargic and couldn’t even keep up on a coffee ride. It was all rather depressing at the time, and I still don’t really understand what happened. Thankfully this week has been better once again. I’ve managed to put in about 250km, gradually increasing the intensity and distances. Who knows what will happen next week? I’m realising it’s best not to get too far ahead of yourself with things like this. Patience is everything.

The road season is getting into full swing now here in NSW and with a few big races coming up I must confess I’ve been tempted enough to renew my racing licence with Cycling Australia. Mind you, haven’t had the cohunes to line up at the starting line just yet – the mental side of things still seems to be the biggest hurdle. Straight line speed is no problem whatsoever. Cornering at speed, however. Yep – big problem. Corners I’ve hurtled around hundreds of times before, entirely safely, currently have me reaching nervously for the brakes every time, especially fast right handers like the one that brought me down last December. I guess time will heal those mental scars. Hopefully I can be back racing, even if it’s just hanging on to the bunch, in the next month or so. Competing for the win may be a while off yet.

In other unfortunate news, my legendary physio, Albert, has decided to try his hand at ‘method physiotherapy’. Like an actor who decides to live the part they’re playing in a film, he decided to crash (and destroy) his own bike on Good Friday, separating his AC joint so he can have complete empathy for my situation. I appreciate the solidarity mate, but really, it wasn’t necessary. Hope you heal quickly. Lucky you’re also married to a physio, ‘eh?

Days since op: 96
Days since crash: 112
Shirt removal pain-o-meter: 2/10
Weekly riding: Back on the road, but no racing – yet

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