I’m now halfway between my accident and my next big event; so this is a good time to assess my recovery.
Two weeks ago I wound up in the ER after a crash. Two weeks from now, I line up for the Mt. Washington Century, which at 5,900 feet has more climbing than any event in my cycling year. Two weeks after that is PMC weekend, where I’ll ride an intimidating 290 miles over three days.
Today I did my first long ride since the ER injured me by woefully botching a simple IV, giving me a huge hematoma that left my entire arm in pain, impossible to extend, and the color of an aubergine. The doctors said it would take 3-6 weeks to heal. My goal for this ride was to assess how much the arm had healed in the first two weeks.
My route (Quad, College/Strawberry Hill, Dinosaur, MCC, Page/Grove) isn’t important other than the fact that it was 60 miles and pretty hilly. It was a good test—doubly so because I could compare my performance with an early-season ride along the same route.
Most of the news is positive: less pain than I feared, and a little more flexibility in the elbow joint. And my legs were pretty good, despite the long layoff.
Not that it was smooth sailing. I still can’t extend the elbow beyond about 135 degrees. There was still pain, especially any time I hit a bump, which caused me to keep lifting my right hand off the handlebars often. The pain grew to the point where I began riding one-handed, just to rest the aching arm.
But I still put 60 miles down, at a fast pace. Hopefully my arm will get stronger and less painful over the next couple weeks, making for an enjoyable (or at least successful) Mt. Washington ride. And by the time the PMC rolls around, I hope things will be back to normal again.
That’d be good, because I’m really not a fan of having purple skin.