I frequently overestimate my ability to do anything that requires two healthy knees. It’s like, if my surgeon or PT gives me a glimmer of hope or a confirmation of a small progression, I’ll take that small thing and turn it into a giant RAINBOW OF OPTIMISM. I don’t necessarily know that it’s a bad thing. Sure, I’ve overdone it before with PT exercises or physical activity because I don’t always pay attention to my own limits, but on the other hand, this optimism is largely what’s kept me going.
Now that I’ve had three weeks of positive progress, I can’t help but begin to think about all the possibilities. I’m trying to temper that with what’s realistic, but it’s so hard. Because rock climbing and snow skiing. And biking and competition.
I’m setting goals to have something meaningful to work toward. Below are some of the ideas rolling around in my head. I’ve no clue whether any of these are possible because I have a hard time visualizing my progress past the week in front of me. Meaning that I don’t exactly know what it’s going to take to reach any of these goals. I also haven’t breathed a word of these to anyone on my healthcare team because I suspect most of them are unrealistic. Nevertheless, I’m spending my time making grand plans.
Physical Therapy/Rehab Goals
Not completely sure what I can accomplish here, but I’ve been told from the get go that strength is the key to successfully rehabbing my knee. It follows, then, that the rehab goals are largely strength related.
1. Single leg press 180 lbs. Why? Because that’s the number I tested at when I did the machine test, but there’s no way that I can do that without pain right now. I’m working on just the eccentric single leg press, and I’m only at 105 lbs.
2. Single leg extension with 70 lbs. Again, that’s the test number, but I can’t get there without pain. My goal on these first two is to be able to do the full movement (full ROM) with no pain at the level I tested at in early September.
3. Use the elliptical for 30 consecutive minutes. Right now, I’ll use the elliptical for about 10 minutes to warm up, but no more. If I fully engage my quad, I’ll get a nasty spike of pain right through the middle of my knee, so I’m still compensating with my left leg. I want to be able to increase my time on the elliptical and be able to use it without pain.
4. Do 3 sets of 10 full squats. I could do these now, if I simply used my left leg. The goal is to be able to do them with my body weight equally settled through both legs. Squats are an important exercise, and one that I’ve struggled with for a long time.
5. Do a Bulgarian split squat. Just because.
6. Find some more rehab goals. These don’t seem like all that much…
I’ve admittedly not been on the bike in months. While I’m still willfully ignoring that my absence from the bike might play into improving on the rehab, I’ve made some goals for this next year.
Tour de Lou (Louisville, KY; in conjunction with Kentucky Derby) on April 26; choice of 20- or 35-mile routes
April might be a little ambitious for much more than simply getting out on my bike. But… one can hope.
Tour de Cure (Indianapolis, IN) on June 20; choice of 50k, 75k or a century
While 50k translates into only 31.0686 miles, it falls well within what I used to be able to do without even thinking about it. But I’m no longer at that level, so we’ll see. The end of June seems more realistic than the end of April. Plus, I have friends who have done this ride, and that makes me more inclined to join them.
Tour de Upland (Nashville, IN) on August 14-16; choice of 50- or 100-mile relays
This has the best description. “30 hours of cycling (road and mountain bike routes), beer, camping, and music in Nashville, IN. Plus the toughest Century in Indiana.” This one is a relay, so I could crap out and still have fun because beer.
Little Miami Triathlon (Cincinnati, OH) on October 4; 6 mi of kayaking, 5.5 mi of running and 18 mi of cycling
The running here might be the issue. Plus, the biking is mostly hills, and I don’t know how well I’ll be able to handle those. But the kayaking? I can do that! I’ve done this “triathlon” before, so I think I can do it again.
Hilly Hundred (Ellettsville, IN) on October 9-11; two days of riding approximately 50 miles each day
The description makes me nervous: “The challenging terrain is a wonderful mix of gently rolling country roads and breathtaking hills (literally).” Again, it’s the hills that might mean I can’t do this, but I should certainly be able to pedal 100 miles in a weekend by October.
Indoor rock climbing
Apparently, indoor rock climbing is a thing. I knew that there were places where you could go and climb walls, but I don’t think I ever realized that there are places dedicated to indoor rock climbing. A friend of mine told me about Climb Time Indy where you can get private lessons and day passes. My real goal is to go climbing “out west,” but I think this is the best first step.
Hiking at Red River Gorge
I love this place. I must go back.
Basically, I just want to do something to earn a finisher’s medal. I’m all about the competition, but for now, I just want to finish something. I’m going to try to do this as part of a relay for the Muncie Ironman 70.3. I found two willing teammates (a swimmer and a runner) last year, but we’re kind of waiting to register until I figure out if I can actually ride. I guess this could go under the cycling goals, too.
I don’t want to set any goals that pertain to riding because I’ll be brutally disappointed if I don’t make those. I think I need to be happy with whatever I’m able to do with the horses.
That’s about it. I’ll need to work on those PT/rehab goals in order to make the others happen, but I’m very much looking forward to 2015. This year is nothing but possibility right now.