Probably the best piece of advice about my injury came from a friend who had recovered from several . He said that during the downtime, it’ll feel like you are going to be injured forever, that there’s no recovery in sight. That is just the mind playing tricks on you, because eventually you will heal. You will be back, and possibly even stronger than before. I remembered those words and kept hope in sight.
This injury has taken a long time to heal, longer than I expected, but it is getting better. I’m to that point where I know that the recovery is underway, and that it’ll keep getting easier from here on out.
The next major step is to try riding up a mountain. I think I’m ready for some easy climbing.
As it turns out, the Assault on the Carolinas is this weekend. It is sold out, but a friend cannot make it and transferred his entry to me. I’m going to give it a shot. I know the ride well, having ridden several times in the area, and participated in this ride the last two years. I also know that the event is well organized. I should be fine if for whatever reason I cannot complete the ride.
The Assault is no cakewalk. There are two major climbs, Walnut Hollow and Caesar’s Head, with a few mini-climbs in between, most notably around the Continental Divide and Jocasee Gorge. The named climbs are the ones I am concerned about. Walnut Hollow is steep and comes early. Fortunately I should be able to rest afterward. Usually I try not to rest at the top of hills, since the body will recover on the descents anyway. I’ll change that practice this weekend.
Caesar’s Head is a bigger climb, whether recovering from an injury or not. It is 6.5 miles and gains over 2,000 feet of elevation. It isn’t as steep as Walnut Hollow, although there are some sections with a 10% grade. The first time I climbed it, my goal was to simply not stop along the way up. Not this time. I most likely will stop, and should stop, just to make sure my body is handling it well.
I will not be nearly as fast as last year, but with warm, spring-like temperatures, surrounded by good friends and the mountains that I love, I know I will have a good time. It is a great feeling to be back.