Today was my first time seeing the sports med doctor in two months. He had been out of the country for my last visit, so I saw the PA.
The news was encouraging. After talking to me about my symptoms and checking my mobility, he told me he thought I was getting better. This was somewhat of a surprise, as I felt slightly better, yet had not improved as much as I had hoped. A lot of that can be attributed to the cold spell we recently suffered, which hopefully is near the end. The hip always struggles in colder weather.
What’s even better is he gave me the go ahead to increase activity and intensity. He said I can go faster and farther, but cautioned me to be careful. I should listen to my body, and make sure I am aware of my symptoms.
He also cautioned me not to go too far at once. He reminded me of the 10% rule that runners obey — not to increase weekly load by more than 10%. That will be difficult to follow to the letter since the weather has thrown a wrench in my training schedule, but in the next week or two, I should have a baseline idea of what I can handle.
Next week I will be in Spartanburg for a couple days. A few weeks later I will be in Brevard. I am okay to ride on these trips, but again, while being careful not to overdo it. He said that I should be prepared to take a day off in between rides in Brevard.
We ended by him saying to come back in 8 weeks. I did some quick math, and realized that would be towards the end of May. What about the Assault on Mount Mitchell? “Make it 6 weeks,” he said. The next appointment will be about a week and a half before the main event. While I feel it is possible, and even likely that I’ll be able to participate, the ultimate decision will be made then.
What is most encouraging is that the further along I go, the better chance I won’t require surgery. So far the recovery schedule is proving the original diagnose of a stress fracture. Since I have been riding without any setbacks, it also calms any concerns that this could have been an overuse injury.
Hips are notorious for healing slowly. I’ll just have to be patient. However difficult it still is, I’m grateful to be back on the bike for the warmer, spring weather.