It had been a week of rest since our Chicago ride and my tendon issues. Ice, stretching, ibuprofen (Vitamin I, we call it) for the Achilles. I was afraid, quite frankly; I’ve had knee pain before but not this kind of “connective tissue feeling.” I went for a a short ride this past Saturday…and…my Achilles tendon felt like it had a binder clip attached to it. Not so much pain as the knowledge that something was not right.
Serendipity now took over. As I was contemplating retracing my path back on the Monon Trail, I rode by my friend Tom Gardner, a marathoner and big-time cyclist (he enjoys riding five days of back-to-back centuries called RAINSTORM prior to riding 160 miles for RAIN, the Ride Across Indiana). Turning around, I slowed to talk with him. After telling him what was going on, he suggested I go to St. Vincent Sports Performance. Had never heard of them. That expert recommendation was seconded –without prompting – a few minutes later by the proprietor of Good Earth, a health food store I stopped by for supplements (I like to buy bulk chocolate-covered almonds there as a Vitamin J supplement). After all of 12 miles, I got home, showered and googled this place.
St. Vincent Sports Performance
All I can say is, “wow” about my visit to St. Vincent Sports Performance (blog)! Monday, I walked in without an appointment at 8 a.m. and was promptly greeted by Dr. Joel Kary who assessed me, then turned me over to trainer Paul Plummer. In a total visit of about 45 minutes, Paul (who is president of the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association) had examined my tendon, determined that the injury would not be “career ending,” and that with consistent stretching, icing, Vitamin I, I would ride across America. That 45 minutes included a tour of the facility. What a facility – made for and staffed by those who support the pursuit of excellence in sport! And they let me, an amateur, come in and make use of the support given to multi-million dollar athletes! And I just “walked in” Monday morning!
In the end, Paul suggested that, perhaps, I shouldn’t do my planned 100 miles for the TourdeCure, and to focus on healing. “Listen to your tendon and stretch it every chance you can, while sitting at your desk, while waiting in line, etc.” Ice and stretching before and after each day’s ride of the Mercy Ride.
I left confident that I could ride. I went out for a 20 miler Monday evening with our Roche CEO and the TourdeCure Roche team, then longer rides on Wednesday and Thursday! I still have the binder clip feeling, but not so much now.
Mercy Rider teammate Emil McCauley and I rode a metric century (62 miles) round the Indy 500 track for TourdeCure and called it a day yesterday. I’m icing now, as I type, and taking my Vitamins I & J. Thank you for prayers and well wishes and especially to the staff at SVSP!