Thursday, March 08, 2007

Adventures of Unipedal

Date: March 8
Mileage: 5.1 (Made it further than last week)
March mileage: 6.2
Temperature upon departure: 34

This is the second time this week I've become self-aware of my own ridiculous behavior, and felt compelled to photograph it. Since I obviously set this picture up, I probably didn't look quite this ridiculous for the better part of three miles. But the truth can't be that far off.

I think my doctor is right about the resistance of outdoor cycling. It's just too much, too fast. But I made good on my promise to myself to try, and mostly good on my promise to stop once it hurt. Juneau received a massive amount of snow early in the week, and that's been followed up by a warm spell and a steady stream of sleet and rain. The snow pack funnels all of the melt-off into the streets, which means shin-deep slush, snow dams and flooding that can reach knee level. You don't pedal in this stuff. You ooze through it.

I noticed the strange feeling return almost immediately, and by mile 1, there was definite pain. By mile 1.5, I was mindlessly pulling my leg off the pedal. At mile 2, I just left it there, rigid and sticking straight out like a splintered board.

You'd think that pedalling with one leg would be either twice as hard or twice as slow. In reality, it's both. Since three weeks of rest and relaxation haven't exactly done wonders for my muscle strength, my left leg became tired pretty quickly. I made it another half mile that way, grinding through the slush at 8 mph. Cars streamed by and launched slush geysers far over my head. I wiped the cold goo out of my eyes and thought, "I must look like an absolute idiot." Out came the camera.

I feel a little frustrated about another defeat, but not that much. I can't expect whatever injury I have to become instantly healed just because I went to see a doctor. I thought a little more about my doctor's advice to wait another 10 days to get an MRI (I already have an appointment set up to do so, should I decide at that point that it's needed.) I think it's sound advice. I have considered the possibility that he's just waiting for my insurance check to clear before he welcomes me back in for tests. I mean - truthfully - young, single people who show up at a clinic driving cars like mine don't have the best reputation for paying their medical bills. But there's also the fact that ... however slowly ... my knee is getting better every day. If that stops happening, I'll start waving my Visa card around. I'm sure somebody out there will hook my leg up to a scanner. Until then, maybe there will be more Misadventures of Unipedal.