Thursday, May 28, 2009

200 yards

Swimming baby sets has really improved my swimming experience. Time simply flies by as I plod though small swim sets with modest breaks between sets. Pretty amazing how a little structure has completely eliminated the tedium, but then, I have always been a dutiful student. I like to have and implement instructions.

Anyway, I've moved on to obssessing about form, speed and distance. Which I suppose is an improvement over obssessing about how dull swimming is. I noticed yesterday that I am almost up to a mile long set, which pleased me very much. Just 200 yards to go! I'm going to shoot for this over the weekend. Must swim now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swim sets and diagnosis

Two big things. First, I had my MRI today and am officially diagnosed with chondromalacia patella, aka patello femoral syndrome. This is inflammation on the cartilage of my kneecap caused during the crash when my kneecap was slammed into my leg and pushed way towards the inside during the impact. The good news is that the menisci and major ligaments look fine, so no obvious reason from the MRI for surgery at this point, though I may still get "scoped and scraped" if the pain doesn't resolve after today's giant needle cortisone shot and PT.

I am happy to have a plan. Hope I get back on a bike soon, even if it's just a trainer.
Updated: this is totally "hindsight is golden", but reflecting back, I wish I had more vigorously pushed back on the PFS diagnosis, given my prior history of no knee problems and the acute pain I was experiencing. Surgery much later on revealed a structural cause for all of the pain and swelling (torn meniscus), and had I had a decent MRI at the outset or a more insightful ortho/PT at the beginning, I might have spared myself a lot of pain and recovery time. (Got Bitter? Actually, I am kind of over it at this point).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One-legged pedaling

I've been swimming since I injured my knee. I'm not a very good swimmer, plus I am using a pull buoy --no kicking-- so I am exceptionally slow in the pool and my arms get tired really easily so it isn't much of an aerobic workout. I feel really good after I swim, both mentally and physically, but find it to be really boring while I am swimming.

I've been experimenting with one-legged pedaling as an alternative to swimming (yes, I am that desperate). It works reasonably well in terms of getting my heart rate up a bit. But I am sort of imbalanced because I have to keep my left leg out of the way of the pedals (I still can't pedal with my bad knee- it clicks and pops and swells, bad news). I've been propping it on a little stool, and this throws off my position on the saddle and my right hip hurts a little. If anyone has an idea of how this could be improved, please let me know.

On the cooking side, I've made more wonderful soups-- asparagus soup with fresh asparagus from the farm box and a fantastic pureed turnip-potato-mushroom-carrot soup (delicious, and I don't usually care for turnips). I enjoy having more time for cooking, but I'd rather be out on the bike for sure.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cooking frenzy

I've been at home quite a lot since injuring my knee, between telecommuting (so I can ice and elevate while working comfortably in bed) and just having extra time because I am not riding. I suddenly have a lot of time on my hands for things like cooking. I'm also pretty restless from spending a fair amount of time by myself at home, hence a blog post to fill some time while eating lunch on a telecommuting day.

Here's what I've made of late:

asparagus risotto: turned out pretty well, considering I didn't have any wine and used canned stock. I left the asparagus chunky rather than pureeing it as suggested by some of the recipes, and it was good! The texture was nice and creamy. Yum, I love asparagus season. I don't make risotto very often because it takes a lot of stirring time. But now I've got nothing but time...

Black bean chili: best I've made yet. I've really got this recipe (my own) dialed. Yum yum. We ate the entire large batch in a day and a half. Secret ingredients: chipotle peppers, cinnamon and cumin.

Fava bean spread: very good. Very labor intense, and slightly underwhelming yield (you start with a huge pile of beans and end up with a small ball of dip. Need more beans next time) but very tasty. I love fava bean season and hope we get more in the farm box this week.

Goat milk yogurt: still yog'ing, so I don't know how it turned out. It's usually very flavorful, with a pretty soft texture.

White bean spread: seasoned with garlic, rosemary, some stock and parsley. very easy way to use up leftover white beans, and super flavorful. I tried to emulate Millenium's bean spread, but didn't quite make it. It was still very yummy. I'll keep trying

Lentil soup with collard greens: another recipe that I have dialed. Very good. I have two versions: the tomato-ey caramelized onion-y version and the morocan spices/saffron/cumin/etc version. I made the former and it was good even though I used canned tomatos.

Apple sauce with rhubarb: easy to make and nice way to use up apples from the farm box.

OK, that is all. Time for some more leftover risotto

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bad cat


Bad cat
Originally uploaded by NadiaMac

The photo says it all.

I am working hard recovering from a bad fall which battered my knee-- doc says it could be as long as 6-8 weeks until full recovery. I am hoping it's shorter than that. I've been off the bike for over ten days, but hope to spin easily on a trainer maybe on Wednesday. In the meantime, I am swimming (very slowly- no kicking) and doing strengthening and flexibility stuff that I remember from my last journey with an ortho injury (sigh). WIsh me luck!