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18 miles yesterday; Flank pain returns; Brother in pretty bad mtb accident.

Monday, December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Bike on a Trail for December 18, 2011. Winter.

Bike on a Trail for December 18, 2011. Winter.

Yesterday morning when I woke up it was fairly chilly, but by 9:30 or so it had warmed to about 48 degrees (F). I decided to head over to Wekiwa for a ride, and I wound up doing a little over 18 miles.

My activity level over the past few weeks has been down (combination of rain, a touch of a cold and laziness), and I certainly could feel the difference during yesterday’s ride–especially during the first 6 or 7 miles. I rode as hard as I always do, but my average heart rate was higher than normal. Practically every time I looked down at my Timex Ironman my heart rate was in the 180s, and I hit my maximum heart rate of 196 several times.

The air was chilly enough to sting my lungs, but apart from that I really enjoyed the cool weather. After just a mile or so I was sweating, and the cold air was refreshing.

It’s interesting that after about 7 miles I seemed to catch a second wind, and I felt more like my usual self. I was able to ride very hard but, unlike the first 7 miles, I no longer felt like my heart was about to explode. So the last half of the ride was really enjoyable, and a great workout.

Winter is here, and while we’ve not had any below freezing weather yet the forest has changed over the past month. Apart from the evergreens and the palms just about everything is brown. Save for a few birds I didn’t see a single animal the entire day.

I did come across one hiker in a pretty remote area. She was all by herself, so I asked if she knew where she was (people get lost out there all the time). She had a map, but seemed glad that I asked. She double checked her direction and a couple of distances with me, and she then showed me some photos she’d taken that day. After some of the crabby jerks I’ve come across out there, it’s always very nice to meet friendly and positive people. 🙂

A short while after I got home, I felt a familiar pain. Yep, my flank pain has returned. 🙁 I didn’t experience even a hint of pain the entire time (3 months) I was on the anti-inflammatory that my doctor prescribed. I guess it’s been a little more than a week since I came off the Mobic, and until yesterday I thought the flank pain was behind me. I’m not sure where I go from here, except back to the doctor. Right now the pain is nagging, but far from debilitating. That said, before I initially saw my doctor the pain was just like it is now, but it would occasionally get so bad that it nearly took my breath away. In other words, I don’t think I can ignore it.

It could be worse. My brother, who is also an avid mountain biker, had a bad crash over the weekend. He broke his collar bone clean in half and had to have his chin stitched up. He had a helmet on when he wrecked, but the hit was right on his chin and it knocked him out for a short time. They took him to the ER in an ambulance. The ER didn’t want to set the bone until a specialist checked to see if surgery would be required, so he’s been in a tremendous amount of pain all weekend. He’ll be off the saddle for about 2 months. Man, I really feel for him. Thankfully it doesn’t look like this injury will impact the Texas mountain biking skills camp and rides we have planned for mid-March.

Heal up soon, bro.

John Stone Fitness Comments

7 Responses to “18 miles yesterday; Flank pain returns; Brother in pretty bad mtb accident.”
  1. Collar bones are tough, I’ve seen guys have surgery and be riding in 4 weeks, I also know a guy who didnt have surgery and still has pain after a year. I think surgery is the way to go. Hope your bro heals up quick!

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    • Thanks, Craig.

      Unfortunately I don’t think he’ll get to choose, it will be up to the specialist. If they don’t go the surgery route, I don’t even want to think about how painful setting the bone is going to be. 🙁

      I was video chatting with him Saturday and yesterday and he was really in a lot of pain. The ER gave some him some really crappy pain meds, especially considering he’s got bone rubbing on bone.

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  2. I agree with craigstr on getting surgery ASAP. I know several people who have broken their collar bones and everyone who didn’t have surgery had much longer recovery times and still suffer some nagging pain. The nice part about the surgery is that the bones really don’t have much flesh on top of them so the soft tissue healing time is relatively short.

    Regarding your flank pain, there could be potentially many causes. Let’s assume though that it is strictly riding induced. Such pain generally comes from being in too much of an “aero” riding position while power stroking. I.E. if you’re too far down and have to power stroke you use a ton of body english which can push some of your supporting muscle’s beyond their failure points. This is a particular problem for weight lifters because they sometimes have more muscle than normal on their legs which is the normal failure point (before the back muscles).

    You might want to consider sliding your saddle forward/backward on the rails, adjusting seat height, and possibly seat tilt. If you choose to do this it will be a frustrating process because it’s a hit or miss type situation.

    Or, you just need to adjusting your riding style to force yourself to be more aerobic and go with higher rpm’s and lower total torque. Again, being a weight lifter, you probably muscle over things rather than finess through things. I had to fight a similar battle.

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    • Thanks for the comments madamert. I forwarded them (along with Craig’s) to my brother. Hopefully he’ll have some say in the matter and won’t just have to accept what the specialist says.

      Those are some excellent observations and suggestions with regards to my flank pain. The pain does seem to be caused from riding, as I lifted hard all last week with no problems (and didn’t really ride at all).

      I just tuned my bike up, and while I was out there I slid the saddle back a little bit and raised the seat slightly.

      Your comment about excessive torque is an interesting one. I do have naturally powerful legs, and so I’m one of those riders who is most comfortable with a fair amount of pedal resistance. Now that I’m riding clipped in I am able to spin pretty well at lower resistance levels, but I don’t feel like I’m able to sustain the speed that I can when I’m a couple of gears higher. I think you may be on to something here. I’ll work on my spinning/higher RPM riding.

      Thank you!

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