(This photo was contributed to the Susitna 100 Web site by Michael Schoder. There are other cool photos of the race at http://www.susitna100.com/photogallery.html)
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.