Cycling and injuries

I haven’t posted in this blog in a long time, so I thought I’d better confess that I haven’t been running since June for two reasons:

  • My wife and I are going on a bicycling tour of the Netherlands in early September, so I’ve been focusing on getting into cycling shape.
  • I sustained an injury that made running impossible for a while.

More on the injury: due to a stiff back, I developed a problem with a nerve joining my left hip to my left knee. This presented itself first in May – I felt pain near my left knee, and discovered that standing still for any length of time was difficult. The injury aggravated itself in June – at its worst, I couldn’t walk for more than a block without my leg tightening up painfully, and I couldn’t stand for any length of time, including standing on the subway or standing in line anywhere.

I went to an excellent physiotherapist who eventually figured out the problem, which was difficult to spot because it first appeared to be a leg muscle injury and then an IT band problem. Physiotherapy and a series of daily stretching exercises have gradually made it possible for me to resume a normal life – I can now walk at least 15 minutes at a time and can stand for at least short periods.

Once we return from overseas, I’m going to work back up to walking 5 km distances. If I can handle that, I’ll start the Couch to 5K program again, as described at the start of this blog. We’ll see how it goes: the universe offers no guarantees, so I might not be able to run again. But my physiotherapist pointed out that her grandmother runs every day, and she is 80, so there is hope!

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