Playing Injury Time

This is National Bike Week, just as it was back in 1994, and tomorrow (although I don’t think it’s the actual calendar anniversary) it will be 20 years since myself and five mates from work cycled from Manchester to Glasgow in a day for Action Research for Children’s Medical Research. 237 miles. Who would have thought, 20 years on, that this is where it would all lead? It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and just doing it: pushing those boundaries. And then, when you think you’ve pushed them far enough, push them some more.

It was because this was National Bike Week that the Scottish Daily Record picked up on the LifeCycle story this week. They did a 12 page pull out special on Wednesday and devoted  a page to special routes: who’d have thought that Stewarton to Glasgow and back a thousand times would make the top ten? Thank you.

Do you know that saying about there being two dogs fighting inside my head, and the one that wins is the one that I feed the most? I don’t even like dogs, but that saying has been a permanent fixture in my brain these last two or three weeks. I am living with those dogs…

The problem is hosted in the fact that LifeCycleForNeuroblastoma trades in weeks: and the weeks roll up into months. Maybe what I need to do is stop adding up the miles each week and just count each day in its own right. You see the problem is that not only are those dogs fighting, one has taken a chunk out of the other one’s ear, metaphorically speaking.

Dog number one is completely insane. It’s quite possibly one of those Springer Spaniel jobs, never able to sit still and always wanting more play. Dog number two is educated (do you get educated dogs?) with a brain in its head and it knows how to get things done. Dog number one wants to break all the mileage records in the book: dog number two says “you’re injured, you need to take a timeout”.

Remember the blog a couple of weeks ago, the one about Vastus Medialis? In that, I spoke of two injuries that I was carrying. Well I’m happy to say that the muscle cramps have gone: completely disappeared, as in sorted. What was the cure? Bananas. I actually like bananas but I’d got out of the habit of eating them. Full of potassium and magnesium for a start, I guess I always knew that they would do the trick, and they did. It was an electrolyte thing: I was banana deficient!

I wish I could say the same about the hamstring (tendon) insertion injury in the back of my knee. I’m in management mode as they say. That’s code for putting up with it in the hope that it will just adapt to the workload and go away. The cycle (no pun intended)  is this: Monday, Tuesday: not bad. Wednesday: a bit of discomfort. Thursday: annoying dull pain. Friday: management day. Saturday and Sunday: rest up and drink beer. Repeat for the last four or five weeks…

If this was a brand new injury, I’d probably be more concerned than I am. But I’ve had this before, and more than once before. Back in the days when I was a runner, I’ve done a hamstring tendon two or three times. Each time it was while I was out running on muddy ground, the landing foot was planted, load bearing, and slipped. Ultrasound can shift it, so can a cortisone injection while the tendon’s on stretch. I’ve done both in my time and I’ve no intention of going the injection route anytime soon.

So for now, I’m trying to use a lower gear, pedal more efficiently (pull and push the pedals) and just go slower. It works from Monday to Wednesday: I just need it to last through to Friday. Cue more ultrasound…

Having said all of that, I’m not for giving up the miles anytime soon. While the warm summer weather hangs around, I kind of feel it’s my duty to bag as many as I can. I’ll be happy (yes, really) to go back to doing minimal miles and just existing through next winter. So, that said, I’ve managed to bag another double ton this week and on Monday the miles for 2014 will crash through 4,000. It’s six weeks until our summer holiday, and yes we will be taking our bikes to Tiree, but I’ll be trying to use mine as sparingly as possible.

Because right now, I’m playing injury time, and it shows no sign of ending any time soon….

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