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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recovery - Running - Rain

Another $30 co-pay bought me a few minutes with John P. Woll MD, who after studying my lackluster knee xrays declared that the only really good chance of mollifying the Pre-patellar Bursitis causing my knee to look like it swallowed a golf ball, was a simple outpatient surgical procedure. "We have an opening tomorrow if you're interested."

Sensing my hesitancy, he offered to drain the swelling again and let me think about it. Suddenly a needle in my knee was sounding profoundly cheery. I think there was only 1 needle this time, though I wasn't watching. He froze my knee at the injection point rather than sticking me with a small amount of anesthetic like the last guy. That worked for me, and I was up and walking out of the room behind him, rather lying slimy with sweat waiting for my blood pressure to come back up. Finally he wrapped the knee and told me to keep it so for 5 - 6 days encouraging the swelling to stay down. Dr. Woll still only offered me a 40% chance of it actually solving the problem.

It worked. Sort of.

I'm running again, and riding a little. Vince and I rode a short 50 mile loop last Saturday, and that, after having run about 5 hilly trail miles on Thursday afternoon. I had been drained earlier Thursday morning, so with my knee looking normal again, I was powerless against the urge to be back out in the open with my heart pounding and lungs burning. I had my brace on, and kept it wrapped as instructed for the majority of 6 days. I'm no longer bracing or wrapping the knee (I could hardly stand it, plus it made my lower leg swell if I didn't move around), but the knee swelling has still come and gone, though to a far lesser degree, over the course of the last week. I haven't eliminated surgery from my options though procrastination has been victorious so far. I guess winter is the best time to recover and I should get it on if I'm going to go there.

A few spitting rain drops were refreshing, though a poignant reminder that summer has surrendered to fall.

This Thursday I ran in the Martinez hills again - alone, with the first real storm front of fall 2010 moving in just a few thousand feet above the peaks I was crossing. 4.6 miles with 1000' of elevation gain was a good warm up to our family walk to Baskin Robbins. This was Becky and I's 10th anniversary celebration. We were doing it up big with 1 scoop apiece.
I had brought a plastic picnic table cloth to throw over Gianna in the jogging stroller just in case the sky opened up on us. The rest of us wore rain jackets that really only proved useful against a variant irrigation sprinkler half way home.
My 4.6 mile run, with a double loop around the high school track.

This morning Pastor, Matt, and I hiked from Old Briones Rd. around 6:30am. With 2 blinkeys and 2 headlights, I slogged along the soaked streets on my mountain bike to get there right on time - completely soaked - not from the drizzle, but from perspiration trapped inside my rain jacket. The high tech fabrics they make technical cycling gear from are designed to promote "breathing" and evaporation of the inevitable perspiration. The rain gear is supposed to allow water vapor (evaporating sweat) to exit whilst preventing rain from entering. Supposed to. I fear that I may be vaporizing more than it can handle. Fortunately everything else I wear is "quick dry" so about a mile down the trail I was reasonably comfortable. Then the trail began climbing - and the process started all over again.

I met these six guys on the trail and took their picture as they sorted out their route.

I'm still awaiting the tally of miles we covered, though my unofficial total comes to nearly 11 miles in 3.5 hours. We climbed at least 2000', but that is certainly conservative.

Another 6 miles on the bike brought me home to a warm (second) breakfast, and the water bottle of coffee, that I had forgotten on the kitchen table at 6:00 am. It warmed up just fine in the microwave.

I don't see sunshine in the forecast for at least 2 more days. I fear it is time to break out the cold and wet weather gear for good, or possibly just lay off and send the "ok I'll do it" email to Dr. Woll. I'll think about it tomorrow.