Friday, July 22, 2011

The verdict is in

Saw the sports med doc yesterday for my MRI results, and it turns out that I have a torn medial meniscus. The solution there is of course, surgery. A scope to go in and "clean it up", so to speak.

My tear is on the medial meniscus, the side identified by the "bucket tear" above.

The doc also told me that some of the cartilage on my femur where it articulates with the patella, is compromised. They won't know to what degree it's compromised until the surgery. Worst case scenario, there's a "pothole" where there should be cartilage, and a procedure called a micro-fracture would be performed.

After a look at this pic, I hope I don't have to undergo a microfracture...pretty archaic looking.

So there ya have it. I have to get back in shape, though...I've lost a lot of muscle mass in my left leg over the last month. The good news is is that I've been on the trainer, and hope to get out for a ride this weekend. I have the green light to bike, but running is questionable until I've regained 90% of strength in my left leg compared to the right. So that probably means no cross this year. Besides, I don't want to re-aggravate my knee. The other bad news is I won't get to use my new cross bike. HUH??? New bike, you ask???? Stay tuned.....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Belated Canada Day

The other day I was in the good ol' LCBO, and came across this:

The Canada Day edition of Innis and Gunn. Brewed once a year, I always find this to be better than the original, which is a damn good beer in its own right. I'm gonna save this one for a cool fall evening. Track one down before they're gone.

Today I got on a bike for the first time in a month. It was however only the trainer, and ended up being 25 minutes (which is better than the 15 minutes I had anticipated). I rode with the resistance on the lowest setting, except for when I did some right leg one leg intervals. My knee felt a little stiff at first, but once I warmed up it felt pretty good. There's still a little swelling in my knee, but no pain, and almost full range of motion. I wanted to make sure that at the least I was pain free before trying any kind of biking. If my knee stays happy with me tomorrow, then I'll just keep on plugging away, a little bit every day on the trainer...I need to work off all this beer that I've been drinking!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Injury update

So, it's been over 3 weeks now since I've been on a bike of any kind. In the meantime, since my last "injury update", the swelling in my leg has gone down, but there's still a lot of swelling within the knee joint itself.  The swelling is limiting range of motion in my knee, so I don't have full extension or flexion. Pain comes and goes, and I sometimes hobble around with a cane. Not much can be done from a physio standpoint until the swelling goes down, so I'm kind of shit out of luck until things calm down.
I did get in to see a sports med doc last Monday who reckons I have either a torn meniscus or osteochondritis (torn cartilage). The only way to know for sure is by having an MRI, which I had done today. The funny thing about the whole MRI experience is that they give you headphones to block out noise because the MRI machine is really loud. The technician asked me if I wanted to listen to the radio, or nothing at all, so I said I'd listen to the radio. She then asked me what station I wanted to listen to, so I said Live 88.5 or CBC. When I put the headphones on, it was tuned to 89.9, so I was stuck, for about 15 minutes, listening to Brittany Spears, Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas. Lovely.
Hopefully I don't have to wait too much longer to find out the results of the MRI, 'cause I'm going nuts not being able to bike, or doing anything at all, for that matter. The family and I did get away to Tremblant for a few days last week for a bit of chillin', though, so that provided some mental relief. I'm back to work this week, which I'm sort of looking forward to...I'll be out of the house and moving around a bit more.

Mini vacation with the family at Tremblant.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Giro Code shoes

For mountain biking this year, I was in desperate need of a new pair of shoes. For the past two seasons I'd been using a pair of Time MXE's, a three strap model with a carbon sole. I was never really happy with the fit of these shoes...I had to throw extra insoles inside to take up space. Also, the upper material was a weird plastic that didn't take to the shape of my foot very well.
Earlier this Spring when I was trying to pick a new pair of shoes for the year, I tried on various models from Bontrager, Sidi, Mavic and Giro. I won't bore you with minute details of the fit of the different brands (besides, your feet are probably a different shape from mine), but in the end, I decided to go with Giro, a newcomer to the shoe game.
They offer two MTB models, The Gauge and the higher end Code. I decided to go with the Code, despite going against a few beliefs I have about mountain bike shoes:
1) I don't believe in having a buckle/ratchet on MTB shoes; to me it's a part that could get damaged or get clogged with dirt and mud and cease to work
2) I've never had a MTB shoe with a super stiff sole. I've always believed that a bit of flex is a good thing, especially if you end up off the bike and have to walk a bit.
3) I try not to buy expensive MTB shoes since they'll get trashed within a couple of seasons and need replacing.
Before getting injured, I got in 5 rides wearing these shoes. With respect to those 3 points above:
1) no issues yet with the buckle...I like being able to cinch the top strap down nice and tight, and it's less velcro to get clogged with dirt.
2) The stiff sole rocks. I can feel the difference it makes when standing up to pedal...instant power transfer. As far as lack of comfort or too stiff when hiking, no issues noted
3) Overall, they are worth the extra coin. They are one of the best fitting shoes I have worn...comparable to my other favourite fitting shoes, Specialized. There are no pressure points, and the upper conforms to my foot perfectly.

Some other features are pointed out below in the picture captions:

The middle strap loops through the D-ring on top of the middle of the foot, which takes pressure off the instep.

One of the buckles has gotten a little scuffed up. If it gets damaged, the buckles are easily replaced.

The sole is made from Easton EC 90 carbon, their top tier carbon. The lugs are soft, giving nice grip on rocks for dismounts or dabs. My only worry is that they might wear out prematurely due to being too soft. Guess I just have to stay clipped in as much as possible. The carbon sole also contributes to these shoes being ridiculously light.
The sole has taken some dings, but the tough ass carbon is standing up to it.

The code comes with an insole with adjustable arch height. 

All I can say about these shoes so far is that they rock. Hopfully I get to use them sometime soon. In the meantime, I'm spending my time with "BRIE", Beer, Rest, Ice and Elevation.