Thursday, February 22, 2007


(This photo was contributed to the Susitna 100 Web site by Michael Schoder. There are other cool photos of the race at

The sore knee I sustained during the Susitna 100 turned out to be more of a full-fledged injury. My best guess is I either twisted or mildly sprained it after another cyclist brushed me over and I punched my right leg into a hip-deep snowdrift, probably overextending my knee in the process. I remember feeling sharp tinges of pain that wore off pretty fast. But since that happened three miles into the race, I'm guessing that riding 100 more miles didn't exactly do wonders for the healing process.

Whatever the cause, I'm still gimpy and unable to use it much. Today was the first time since early Sunday morning that I have been able to bend it at all without shooting pain - it's been reduced to dull pain. After couple of days of stagnant pain levels, I became more and more stressed about its state and the prospect of needing weeks or doctor visits to heal.

So when my knee started to feel better today, I was already feeling overeager about bringing it back. I decided to go for a little walk along Twin Lakes - flat, paved, and exactly a mile one way. I made slow, careful steps to concentrate on bending, but not overbending. I shuffled my way about a half mile down the path before my knee started to feel really weak and sore. After a few more steps, pain was shooting again, so I locked my knee and hobbled back to the car.

It's such an interesting paradox ... injury. In less than a week, I've gone from snowbiking centuries to struggling to walk a mile. I am going to have to take it easy for at least a few more days, and it's already driving me crazy. Beyond my injury, I feel like I recovered amazingly fast. Then, on top of that, the past few days in Juneau have been filled with dry snow and cold temperatures ... perfect for any number of activities I've neglected: skiing, snowboarding, ice skating. And Snaux Bike ... poor thing is still in a rumpled bike box, probably thrashed to pieces by airport baggage handlers. I guess the least I could do is put it back together. But what I really want to do is ride it. It's crazy how fast that urge recovers.


  1. It sucks to rest but do it! You well feel better in the long run =)

    Get well, Put that bike back together =)

  2. I could teach you a thing or two about not riding your bike lately. : (

  3. This was a fantastic write up! Thank you so much! I waited until the whole thing was done and I had enough time to sit down and read it through at once so I just got to it today. Congrats on the race and to Geoff for the record.

    This in my eyes is like that distant dream that I'll probably never get to do, but I'm glad I got to live it through your blog. Thank you again!

  4. Congratulations, and thank you for a beautiful write-up. Parts of your story brought back memories of some of my experiences on a bicycle that are simultaneously the worst and the best. I think you might like a story recently published in the New Yorker It's about those kind of experiences.

    Heal fast, and thanks again.

  5. I've been away from your blog for too long. Got to get caught up on all of your Susitna happenings. So sorry about the injury. Healing takes as much work as training,, so be strong and don't push yourself to perform until you're fully healed.

  6. I can only echo the same comments that others have made about your adventure. Way to go girl!

    Your knee injury concerns me. If there’s even the slightest possibility that you might have torn or damaged anything in there, I urge you to have it evaluated by a knee specialist.

    Many years ago I had a similar injury that wasn’t properly treated and the result was major reconstructive knee surgery. The injury gradually got worse over several years and destroyed the meniscus cartilage and the ACL. I’m now looking forward to joint replacement. Had the original injury been repaired properly in the first place things would be allot different now.

    They do amazing things with microscopic surgery these days. If you do need surgery, I recommend the sports clinic I went to in Seattle and a doc that does nothing but knees.

    Good luck. I look forward to the wonderful stories about your adventures in life.

    Anchorage, AK


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