new start…

12 Aug

I have had a stupid knee issue for over 2 months and I am sure you are about as tired of hearing about it as I am having it.  The pain is improving and I can run on a treadmill with little to no discomfort. UPDATE: Just ran abound the lake (in the real world) with no pain, woo hoo.  So I am getting somewhere, but every time I climb on the bike, sooner or later I am in pain again.  So it must be the bike, right?

Yesterday I had an appointment with Dr. Scott for a video analysis bike fit.  I was professionally fit for my bike when I purchased it (4 years ago) and have only made my own adjustments since then.  I know, I know…bad bike snob.  So, I grabbed Pinky and off we went, for a fresh new start!

If you are new to cycling or just not as big of a bike snob as I am, then you may ask “Why would you need to be re-fit on the same bike?  It is not like you are growing?”  What does happen is that things on the bike move.  Your seat will lower over time.  Your riding style will change (I ride much more aggressively now than I did 4 yrs ago).  Your flexibility will change, so your reach will change.  I wanted the video analysis because I figured I was doing something weird in my pedal stroke to cause this pain.  I need someone to watch me ride and see if they could pinpoint a collapse in my knee in my down stroke (which I believed was the issue) or whatever crazy motion I had adopted.

So Dr. Scott put my bike on his trainer and I proceeded to tell what was wrong and the long laundry list of things I had done to ease the pain.  I hopped on the bike, got into position and he asked me if I had scoliosis.  “Umm, no?.”  It seem there is a little curvature to my spine and he explained that there are 2 types of scoliosis, one being a structural bend in the spine and the more common, a tight or strained muscle pulling the spine to one side.  He assumed that mine was the latter because it was subtle and probably not even bent enough to be clinically diagnosed.  AWESOME!  Now I have a bum knee AND scoliosis!  Thank goodness I only have a minor case of hypochondria and ordered my back brace on line (as apposed to full blown hypochondria where I would have rushed to a specialist).

He noticed almost immediately that my seat looked a little low, but not a by a gross amount and definitely not enough to cause the extent of my pain.  I rode for a bit and he watched and recorded me.  Nothing crazy, but he did notice that I stuck my right hit out a little and that I “toed out” on my right as well.  But is that a symptom or the cause?  We spent the next hour and a half off the bike going through a number of tests.  And by tests I mean, squat, now squat with your arms over your head, that kind of test.  At the end of the session it was determined that my pedal stroke was normal, a slight raise in the saddle and my hip is a little tight.  I got the dreaded “You are one of the strange cases where…”  He felt so bad that he didn’t do anything to my bike that he didn’t charge me the bike fit fee and just billed my insurance for an office visit.  He really want to “fix me” and was pretty bummed he couldn’t pinpoint my issue.  The bright side, we know what it is not…the bike.

I also went to a local running store and had my gait and feet analyzed.  I use analyze loosely because it was a high school track kid who watched me run on a treadmill and videoed my feet.  I am wearing the right kind of shoes and he recommended a custom orthodic.  I declined the up-sell of the insole and decided to stick to my superfeet that was recommended by my PT. (side note – Dr. Scott was VERY against the insole, he is more of a minimalist and I was instructed to only use it for MAX 6 months. Who do you believe?)  But I did get a new set of kicks and it is like running on a cloud.  You barefoot runners can have your minimalist/no shoes.  I will take a nice cushion (until I get to a point with an injury and someone of authority instructs me not too – I am very obedient)

My new Asics Gel Nimbus

Side View

At first I felt like Rainbow Bright threw up all over my shoes, but the color is growing on me.  I wanted either crazy flashy (think Newton) or subtle.  I end somewhere in between which a first felt boring but after my run and it’s cloud like euphoria, I don’t care how they look.  Ahh, new cushy shoes!

So I am starting new with perfectly fit bike and new shoes, I can no longer blame any discomfort on either one.  On Saturday I am going on a ride for the first time in almost 3 weeks (I think that is some kind of record for me) and I am going to test the new saddle height and fresh legs out.

Are you trying out anything new this weekend?

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