Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ground Control to Major Tom

A few of you that follow this little blog will have noticed my steady progress in fitness and form.

It has been going great and I continued with my progress in 2x20-min threshold tolerance interval efforts, culminating in an average of ~ 320W in 2x20-min efforts week before last (an all time PB), followed up with a couple of efforts over 300W a few days later.

Then I headed off to Adelaide for a week and a bit for a Cycling Australia coaching course. I had expected that week to be a light one from a training perspective and after a couple of busy days and some very ordinary weather on arrival (gale force winds and rain!) I got out for a ride on one afternoon after the course was finished for the day. Legs not too bad but still carrying a little fatigue. Nevertheless able to crank it out just fine.

But then something happened to my leg/stump that night. I have no real idea why but it decided to swell. A lot. When it does that then simply putting my prosthetic on is a struggle and very painful. Houston, we have a problem....

Indeed it took me about 10-minutes the next morning to gradually ease my leg into the prosthetic and stand up. It's really painful when that happens. I nearly didn't go to the course that day but I persisted, doing as little time on my feet as humanly possible. Over the next few days I had to repeat the process, gradually getting the leg in there in the morning.

The swelling gradually subsided over the following days but it remained painful. Suffice to say that any ride plans went out the window, even an invite to a local race which I was looking forward to had to be canned.

The real PITA is not knowing why it does this. It's not common but it's really crap when it does this.

So today, eight days after my last ride I tried a light ride to see how it was.

Not flash. Knee was very sore, putting any sort of effort down was not very agreeable, getting out of saddle was not an option and after 10-min the sore spot on the inside of my knee was starting hurt as well. So I pulled the plug after 15-min lest I create more problems. Try again tomorrow. Amazing how quickly the amputation side loses its form.

Hopefully it just needed a bit of a spin to get it moving again and will be better next time. Fitness should return pretty quickly provide the soreness goes. I'm sure gunna need it!

Other things:

Cycling NSW have still not advised on the selection policy for Track Nationals. It's now less than eight weeks to go and I have no idea whether/how selection will happen. At present, the draft selection policy suggests that no NSW para cycling rider will be selected. This is in stark contrast to all other states that are actively promoting as many riders as possible to compete.

It simply sucks and is quite demotivating, certainly not something you want overlayed when you are dealing with injury as well.

In the coming weeks I expect to spend a fair bit of time at the track, trialling a few things from a position/aero perspective as well as start the track specific phase of training. So let's hope this leg gets better quickly!

And on Friday I will be dropping my cycling prosthetic in to George at the ALS to have the outer carbon fibre shell completed. Hopefully that won't take too long. Then I'll be able to show off the flashiest bike leg in the country!


jollyrogers said...

Keep your chin up Alex. Your story provides me with great motivation and the plan that you wrote for me is going great!

Bleve said...

G'day Alex, the swelling wasn't the night after we were in the SASI gym with Craig? Did you do some ballistic legpress maybe?

Alex Simmons said...

I'm trying to piece together the timeline on that, bit of blur now LOL. I tried a few ballistic presses to see if I could. It's possible that was a trigger, I hadn't thought of that. I recall I needed to get off my feet that day in the gym as it was a lot of standing as well which perhaps didn't agree with me either. Seemed pretty innocuous at the time. Trust me to go backwards from a tiny bit of gym work! I got 30-min on trainer today and it felt better. Still a little sore but better.

punkncat said...

Hello Alex, fellow BKA here. I was suggested to look you up by a fellow on Bike Forums.

Would love to have the opportunity to chat with you a bit about your appliance. I am having many of the same issues you discuss.
Also, about the water build up in your liner....have you tried using a spray on antiperspirant (no deodorant)on your residual limb before putting on the liner? Works like a charm...find the clinical strength stuff...would love for you to send me an email so we can chat punkncat(at)gmail