Thursday, April 12, 2012

Knee Jerk Reaction ...

One quick follow-up to Saturday's Blue Marsh ride. At one point, I came out of the woods into a field full of dandelions.

 It's pretty rare that something like this strikes me -- even more so when it's really just a field full of weeds. But perhaps it was the blanket of yellow against a cloudless sky -- the field really jumped out at me. So I stopped to take the picture. 

I took a few others, too -- just a few nice singletrack pics:

Why do I bring this all up? Well, Blue Marsh is a really great place to ride, but the last few times I was there, I could really see the impact of the autumn storms on the park. I guess it's just really nice to see that the park is not only recovering, but flourishing this spring.  I love to ride there, and Saturday was every reason why.

On Sunday, I took a trip to NJ to visit my family, and managed to fit in a ride at Hartshorne Park in Atlantic Highlands in the morning. It's not a particularly big park -- the main loop is about 9 miles or so -- but I always like to ride there whenever I get the chance because it was one of the first places I ever rode way back in the pre-obsession days. It's changed a bit over the years, but it's a really fun ride. And there are a few nice climbs there, too.

After the ride, I hung out with the family, including my 3 year old nephew, Jackson. At some point while chasing him around, I must have done something right knee, because when I got home, I could barely walk. And it only got worse the next day. I took a yoga class on Monday night hoping to loosen it up, but it felt bruised up on the inside portion (near the lateral meniscus.) The only time it really bothered me in yoga was when I tried to straighten my foot with it extended back in pigeon pose.

Ultimately, i spent most of the week trying to stay off it. But I had to know if it would bother me on the bike because I have a 50 miler scheduled for this Sunday. So on Wednesday night, I headed down to Wissahickon to test it out, fully expecting to saddle up and have to quit after just a few pedal strokes. But  riding didn't seem to bother it at all. In fact, it actually felt a bit better afterward (at least until i woke up this morning when it felt really tight again.) But it seemed solid enough when I was riding to make it okay to do the race. 

Just to be sure, I did a road ride this afternoon to put a little extra pressure on it. And it was all good once again. In fact the ride was noteworthy for something else entirely ...

Skies turning gray during the ride

Just as I got out of town and started heading toward Hilltown, the sky ahead of me started looking pretty ominous. In fact, I could see the rain stretching downward out of the cloud. 

Everywhere I turned, the clouds were closing in.

I decided to keep going and deal with whatever came. And it turns out that was only a little bit of rain (for maybe five minutes total.) After passing through that, I headed over toward Doylestown and ultimately got in about 30 miles. And like I said, no knee pain. My legs felt like crap, but I attribute that to the fact that I was glued to my desk all day without ever getting up. At my age, going from that to a 30 mile road ride in less than a half hour tends to make your legs feel kind of shitty. Oh well. 

So as of right now, I'm still planning to head out to Michaux this weekend for the 50 mile Michaux Trail Cup race. I'm already registered, so if it turns out that my knee gets worse and I can't go, then I guess I'll get a miserable "DNS". But hopefully that doesn't happen. I haven't raced at Michaux in a few years, and I'm looking forward to this ride. Not sure what to expect from myself, but that's cool. This isn't a major target race for me, so I don't feel any pressure for it. It's just a fun and challenging ride ... for 50 miles. Should be a blast!

1 comment:

  1. Nice looking singletrack shots of Blue Marsh. I tried riding there once but got lost even before I got started (rode down a few miles on the rail trail by accident). I don't think I was in enough good shape to do the 30 miles anyway.

    Maybe I'll go back up there once I finish up my tubeless conversion on the 29er.