Big Trouble in PMC Training City

Because of a nasty knee problem, I haven’t cycled much this year. Even so, I committed to ride in this year’s Pan-Mass Challenge, the largest charitable sporting event in the world and the primary fundraising activity for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. For the last month, my training has been slow, but steady. Lots of stretching, ice, slow speeds and low mileage. My knee has hung in there with only relatively minor pain. That was, until a couple of days ago.

About five miles into a 30 mile training ride, my right knee gave way. It felt like someone hammered a large nail into the side of my knee. At first it just hurt on the downstroke, but as I struggled to get home, it hurt at all points of the pedal rotation. Eventually, I had to unclip my right shoe and just pedal with my left to get home (it’s not that weird, many cyclists practice pedaling with a single leg to perfect their form – I do it from time to time).

I’ve stayed off the bike for the last couple of days and probably won’t even test the knee again for a couple of more. I’m ignorantly confident that I can manage the situation. I’m going to try to get in to see a doctor before the PMC as well to see what can be done. If I’m going to have surgery on the knee, might as well inject it full of crap that relieves the pain beforehand, right?

On a more positive note, fundraising for the PMC this year has been terrific. Actually, it’s been the donors that have been terrific. Thanks so much to everyone who has expressed support for me and, more importantly, the cause. So far, I have $8,000 committed to support the Jimmy Fund, Dana Farber’s fundraising arm. If you haven’t had the chance to donate, and cancer research is a cause you desire and can afford to get behind, there’s still time (go here).

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  1. Speaking of peddling with one leg. I was mountain biking in Colorado with a group of people. There was one guy who was just hammering up the climbs. As it was chilly in the morning we had tights on, but in the afternoon rode in just shorts. That is when I saw the hammerin'g dude had a prostetic leg. That guy turned out to be Andy Pruitt who has a lot to say about cycling, knees and bike alignment.

    I wish you a speedy recovery; even if you are planning on surgery, try to avoid doing anything to risk further damage (like masking the pain too much).

  2. Wow. I wonder what happened to Andy. I went out to Boulder several years ago for a bike fit (I actually go to Boulder many times each year for board meetings and just made a small detour). Andy Pruitt did it and, at the time, he had both legs. I know an amputee who is an excellent road bike rider. He has to replace his drivetrain every year because of the unbalanced torque.

    Thanks for the kind thoughts about recovery and treatment. Rode today. Hills are just not fun 🙁

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