Wednesday, July 1, 2009

24 Hours to Destroy a 25 Year Old Knee

Smart athletes can tell the difference between pain-pain and injury-pain.

Apparently, I'm smart on the inside, but have a tremendous ability to override reason with narrow, misguided focus.

The pain started somewhere around midnight during the Boggs 24-hour mountain bike race.

It was a 24-hour race, it was supposed to hurt, right?

Deep down, I knew it wasn't good pain. But I wasn't going to not ride for 24 hours. That was the point of the race.

I kept riding. My knee got worse.

I rode hills for the first time since Boggs today in an effort to gauge just how evil my knee is actually being.

I passed an older man on a fancy LeMonde in a fancy Ironfly kit while pedaling up a steep incline. I thought I was really chugging along, passing Mr. Fancy.

"Hi!" I said.
"You're doing great!" he said as he pulled up beside me, matching my effort.
"So are you!" said I.
"I'm 86!" says he.

Thus, I realized my 25-year old knee had gained approximately 60 years of wear and tear in 24-hours. (Either that, or my mtb saddle was too low...and the knee will heal.)

Now, 10 days after Boggs, I'm praying the lasting, point-specific pain in my inner right knee will somehow heal itself in the next 9 days, even though it hasn't in the past 10. 9 days are all it's got.

To prove my dedication to healing the rogue knee, I have iced it with peas, and done things against the very grain of my being, like taking Advil more than once a month, and sitting in icy-water. I hate cold. But I love my knee more. It should know that.

When the 9 days are up, it's showtime at Race Across Oregon. I'm asking my kneeright to at least hold off of the injured-pain until mile 526. Please, oh please.

And for fun, check out the only photos taken at Boggs. Coachubby spent the rest of the time making me pb&potato chip sandwiches.


Can you find me?

Just before the start.

Thank you, sir, may I have another loop?

Pre-race meeting. Spot the Erin?

Qeee chilling before getting dirty.


  1. Oh man - so sorry to hear about the knee!!!!!! :( Hope it gets better before Oregon! I tweaked my knee at Eastern Sierra (probably when both my cleats got stuck and I couldn't release and so was reaming really hard on it trying to get free - I thought my bike had become an evil spirit who was going to never release me as payment for making it ride through hell that day!!!), but I think it's pretty much better now. I'm still not feeling fully rested, but like you said, the final countdown is on, and 529 miles will be there waiting for us whether we like it or not!! Rest up, ice up, and get a massage! And keep up with the knee psychology too - coax it into feeling better! :)

  2. Ice lots (go out an buy a better ice pack than peas!), and take advil every 4 hours for several days. If its inflamation that is the problem then that should help a lot. But be consistent.

  3. We're going to kick ass, Ms. Joan!

    And thank you, Kareenie. Advil consistency is not my forte, but I'll try harder :) It makes my liver nervous.