The past week has been surprisingly busy, with the exception of Sunday that was spent lounging pool-side. I'll rewind to last week, and see if I can remember what I was doing...
Thursday I rode out in West Creek alone--accomplishing a 30 mile ride in about 1:45. I was able to take advantage of Joey's morning playdate to get the work out at 11am instead of waiting until 5:30 when I had scheduled a babysitter. I'm not particularly fond of riding alone, since I never feel like I push myself hard enough and my average speed drops to like 12mph. Not this time, though! I managed to keep my speed to between 17 and 18mph for each 10 mile loop at West Creek. By the time I got home at 1pm, it was about 98 degrees out and miserably hot. Joey and I hit the pool, which was surprisingly refreshing. Too often when we've had back to back to back days in the high 90s the pool starts feeling like bath water or even a hot tub. Yuck. That evening, I noticed my supposedly "good" knee was quite swollen, especially the area right behind the knee. I've been trying to ignore some twingy things--feeling a little instability in that knee, swelling, and sometimes not being able to completely straighten the leg. I haven't had any pain in that knee, but it's just annoying. Squatting and kneeling are tough. Plugging those symptoms into a google search is never a good thing--I kept coming up with dire diagnoses like a torn PCL. Considering the workout on tap for the weekend (70 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway) I was anxious to figure it all out.
Friday morning I called over to Dr. Cutter's office to see if they could get me in for him to look at the knee. By 10am I had seen him and an MRI scheduled in an hour--luckily he said the knee felt stable, meaning no ligament damage, but the swelling could be from a torn meniscus. Joey was a champ for sitting through first the doctor's appointment, then waiting while I had the MRI. He was entertained with his new Star Wars lego set that the grandparents had sent for his birthday. I spent the afternoon close to the phone, doing really fun stuff like mopping the kitchen. I finally heard from Dr. Cutter at 4. I have a Baker's cyst, also called a popliteal cyst. It is caused by knee joint fluid protruding to the back of the knee (popliteal area of the knee). The knee joint fluid is compressed by the body weight between the bones of the knee joint, and becomes trapped and separates from the joint to form a fluid-filled sac--thus the bulge behind my knee. Dr. Cutter said surgery was not necessary, and just prescribed over the counter anti-inflammatories and ice. If it gets any worse, they can drain it with a needle or give me a cortisone shot. He suggested that riding hills may not be good since that's harder on the knees. No BRP for me, which given the ride that those who went had may not have been such a bad thing! (For details, read Fave's blog.)
With hill riding out of the question, I was able to join three of my fellow IMFL trainees Shawn, Sharon, and Patti, along with IMWI trainee Heidi, and TriGirl Jill for 75 miles of East End fun. Shawn and Sharon like to start early. Rendezvous time was scheduled for 6am at a boat landing about 15 miles south of the airport. I got up at 4:30 to pack the car and load the cooler with drinks and food, including a few post-workout Coronas. After a quick stop to pick up Jill, we zipped down the Chippenham Parkway and only took one wrong turn before finding the boat landing and pulled in at 5:55. Other than the Bass Master guys, we were the only TriGirls there. HELLO?! Kate Oliver early for something? Notify the papers, the armageddon is at hand.
Shawn and Sharon soon showed up, putting to rest my fears that Jill and I would be riding around blind for hours, waiting for that magical "70" to show up on my odometer. Just as we were ready to pull out, Patty and Heidi pull up. Those girls got ready lickety-split! In less than 5 minutes, they were locked and loaded, ready to ride. Our route took us through some great riding areas--Richmond Battlefield Park, Charles City, and beautiful back country roads. We all paced well together and after the 50 mile mark didn't have to brow beat Patti into staying single file anymore! RR, you missed our local (dead) fauna: in addition to the 4 opossum, we saw 1 rabbit, 1 skunk, and 1 fawn. I worked hard to stay aero as long as possible, and managed to keep on top of my nutrition. Our new joke is now not how far you've ridden, but how many blow jobs it was. Saturday's ride was a 3 blow jobber. (I am not convinced that Gu's are the way to go--I have a real hard time swallowing!) I still need to work on getting in the electrolytes. Our 40 minute T-run at noon sucked--it was really hot and I just died out there. Shawn, who took in her electrolytes at our last stop on the bike, was the picture of stick-to-it-ness, and Jill--well, she's a special case. She's now our resident over-achiever. When we were all done, we formed our little circle of happiness in the shade and popped those beers. Those Coronas never tasted so good!
While I was out riding all over the middle peninsula, Joe and Joey drove west to pick up Maddy from camp. Three weeks was a long time without my Moo. She had such a good time, and came home full of stories about having swum half a mile, dancing with boys (!), and singing new camp songs. On the way back from camp, Joe took them to the Mitchie Tavern for lunch, which is my kids' absolute favorite place to eat. Think "colonial" fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and canned green beans all served up on pewter plates by costumed waitresses. A visit to Charlottesville is never complete without eating there. That night, we were all exhausted, and I was in bed and OUT by 9pm, barely beating the kids to sleep. The family is now all joking that come September, the kids will be putting me to bed before 8. Now wouldn't that be bliss?
More to come...