Dealing with Setbacks: Part II

Pictograms of Olympic sports - Cycling (mounta...
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This past weekend was not a good one for my knee. After encountering a strange injury a few weeks ago, I took it really easy for two weeks. I swam and didn’t run or ride my bike. Elliptical machine, as boring as it is, didn’t cause pain so I hit that quite a bit.

Last week I felt great, totally pain-free, so started riding my road bike. Did an hour on Monday and then again on Tuesday. Zero pain.

I pedaled hard up a few hills and could not feel any pain no matter how hard I tried.

Went for a couple runs (both less than 30 minutes), and only felt a little residual tightness in my knee towards the final minutes of the runs. Nothing major and it went away quickly.

Saturday, I felt 100% so decided to go for a spin on my time trial bike, the rocketship. It was a 50 mile ride, about 3 hours long at an easy pace but up and down some good hills.

After an hour I felt a little discomfort and after 90 minutes it was clear something was not right. I made it to the end of the ride, futzing around with my bike a couple of times to see if the position change would help. Nothing did.

At the end of my ride, I headed into VO2 Multisport for a bike fit. When I got home I also changed out my pedals, as I think my new Speedplay Zero pedals are the cause of this whole knee issue. Speedplay pedals are known for being GOOD for people with knee problems, but I’ve since learned that in many cases they cause knee issues in some people.

I rode Shimano Dura-Ace pedals for years, and those pedals are what I have on my rode bike (which I rode earlier in the week pain-free) but this year I decided to switch. Even after trying to narrow in the float on my Speedplay’s (which I thought would solve the problem prior to my 50 mile ride on Saturday), I think they are just causing too much lower-leg movement which aggravates my knee. A few epic long rides on those pedals did some damage that is healing very slowly.

So the day after my 50 mile ride my knee was in awful shape. It was painful to walk and going down stairs was impossible. Now, a couple of days later, I can walk fine, but there is a lot of soreness still.

Visiting my doctor today, he still doesn’t think XRAY/MRI is needed. The prognosis is that I have bruised some fatty tissue in the knee, and I need to give it another three weeks to heal completely. Then I can, assuming I have fixed the root-cause problem of bike fit and pedals, slowly build back into my running and riding.

So there you have it, the setbacks continue. On the positive side, I’ve been swimming more and after coming out of this whole process and healing I’ll know a heck of a lot more about how to build a strong and injury proof human endurance machine!

2 thoughts on “Dealing with Setbacks: Part II”

  1. Frankly, I disagree with your doctor. You should have knee imaging. You are young and athletic and intend to keep it that way, I suppose. You should know what is exactly wrong with your knee and have a treatment plan. This before irreparable damages and arthritis set in!

    1. Indeed, I am going to see another doctor now for a second opinion 🙂

      Good news if the knee is feeling a lot better after a week off riding and running.

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