Treated myself to a one hour massage today.. during business hours no less- I signed out of the office for a "dr appt".. Went to see a therapist I've used before and who I trust. He's been doing it for 25 years and knows his stuff. Spent a lot of time working on my knee with massage, hot stones, steaming hot towels, good stuff. Put me through a lot of stretching positions and in the end he said that if my knee was seriously injured, some of the ranges of motion he put me through would have hurt pretty bad. Not to say that this isn't serious it certainly is, but it's bigger in my mind than anywhere else. Did a one hour zone 2 spin tonight.. Knee felt tight and weird for the first 1/2 hour.. and then once it was warmed up it felt fine, it disappeared. This weekend's program calls for 3 and 4 hour rides.. and I'm not sure if I will do them. If I do, it needs to be on flat unchallenging roads.. If that means doubling back and forth on the Cranston bike path, so be it. As of this date, I've done more 3+ hour rides in 2008, than I did in ALL of 2007. So I need to cut myself a break here, stop beating myself up about going "too hard". I'm not convinced that I injured myself using low cadence. It's true on the more challenging rides I have some very frequent and difficult climbs where I hold back and avoid injury by putting it in my next to smallest gear (39x21) and go over them as easily and as slowly as I possibly can. Yes this means the cadence drops to the 70s- but it's because I'm trying take it easy, not because I can't scream over them at 110 RPM if I wanted to!! No- I injured myself with an abundance of long rides. Regardless of cadence, I'd be hurting just the same right now. Spinning 10 rpm higher over the hills would not have saved my knee, it would have hurt me more. Stretching for 1/2 hour before each of those rides would have been the smart move, as suggested by SB and his alter ego Nega Coach..
During my spin tonight I played around with rotation of my foot on the pedal and found that rolling my shoes to the outside of the pedal/lifting the arches gave a weird sense of relief. Could be all in my head, but I think that Lemond might be onto something with his "LeWedge" cleat enhancement. I might try these with my next cleat replacement, which will be soon. Additionally, I want to try some remedial insoles- the kind with the self-applied knobs underneath. Sometimes it feels like my shoes are giving me too little arch support, like my arches are just floating and tiring out my whole foot/ankle setup. Any experience out there with insoles (over the counter and custom) or LeWedge??
I believe my saddle height is optimal. I checked with my heels on the pedals, I checked my knee position at three o'clock. It's all within prescribed limits. My saddle is tipped about 3 degrees forward because having it level cuts circulation to my crotch. This puts a little more pressure on my hands though, and I've had them go numb on those "triple header" crit days where I do the 30+, 35+ and then the Pro-Am. My chrome handlebar tape offers little padding or relief, so maybe it's time to put something a little more forgiving on there.
So as of this date, I have 103.5 hours of training since my season kicked off in mid November, covering a total of 1651 miles. Since January 1st, I have 59 hours and 957 miles. Relative to 2007, I think it took me until the end of May to reach this point.