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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-24-11, 08:45 AM   #1
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My body won't stop breaking down!!

This year has not been fun in the health department for me. In January I was riding the trainer and working on the Couch25k program and having pretty good success, then I came down with pneumonia and was out for over three months per my doctor. Great, I got over pneumonia and started training a bit more and began riding outside, training for the SHOBA but my lungs were not getting much better (I have RADS and I was afraid I'd have to scrub the trip. I also have been struggling with a Heel Spur with Insertional Achilles Tendinitis which can, at times make pedaling, let alone walking problematic. Well, the trip went "great" and I had to cut it short. I've ridden a few times since then, but truthfully, the pain really isn't worth it. I do have an appointment with my Podiatrist on Aug 5th, but it feels like the riding season is slipping away from me and that bum's me out. Outside of taking anti-inflammatory meds, icing and elevating my foot, wearing backless sandals an staying off it, does anyone have any other good ideas on making this more bearable? Ideally, I'd like to be riding, but I know that just isn't in the cards for me now. I'm not sure the point of this rant, but I do feel better, thanks for listening.
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Old 07-24-11, 09:08 AM   #2
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Would yoga/pilates/core exercises be possible?
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Old 07-24-11, 09:12 AM   #3
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If this makes you feel better, keep typing and I will keep reading and doing
what ever I can to help.

I am lucky, no problems so far. Eat right, don't push too hard, but don't quit.

I got a cut on my heel, and walking was bad, ridding it didn't bother me a bit.
So I kept ridding...
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Old 07-24-11, 12:38 PM   #4
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Stoutdog, I really understand where you're at. Let me relate. The last couple years I had severe knee issues that resulted in having my left knee replaced. I have a thread about that so won't bore the rest of the rabble. In addition to my own problems I've been dealing with my wife's health issues as well and that eats up TONS of free time. I lose an entire day off each week for her appointments. She has been hospitalized 4 times in the last 10 months, had pneumonia 4 times in the last 8. 3 of those have been 3 of the hospital visits, including where I'm typing from right now..

So back to my knee. Late March I realized I could jog. So I managed to strain my OTHER knee's MCL... No running. Let it heal. Mid May my left heel started bothering me again, and its much the same issue you have. I saw a podiatrist finally almost two weeks ago, he put me in a walking boot and a night splint, hit me with a steroid treatment and NSAIDs. I'll go back and see him later this week to see whats next. Last year it was treated with a night splint and NSAIDs and responded very favorably. But the same thing didn't work this year. I feel like I can't win brotherman.

I still plug away as I can on the trainer. I try to get a short ride every few days on the street, but now with the boot, I'm not even getting that. And I was getting a couple trips to the gym in a week. Right now, I know I'm not eating the best I could. I'm not losing ANY weight right now, but I'm not gaining either.

Not trying to make light of your position at all. PLEASE don't take it that way. I too feel ANOTHER summer slipping away and having nothing to show for it.

Sad to say, the heel is going to be your limiter. Chances are you will wind up with a night splint to keep the Achilles tight at night. I HOPE you don't need a walking boot as it SUCKS!!! On the other hand, the heel feels better for the most part. But I can also tell this isn't going to be enough for me this year. I am going to change work shoes. I spend 13 hours a day or more in them as it is. They aren't uncomfortable, but have contributed to my heel pain. Maybe physical therapy for stretching the Achilles and Hamstrings will help you (and me). Good luck...
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Old 07-24-11, 05:17 PM   #5
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I feel ya.

Just recently, I started getting back pain near my shoulder blades (one side only) and it starts about the 20 km point in my rides. Went from doing 30-50 km and can barely do 20 now. I'm working on posture, and gaining speed (surely it ain't that easy to gain speed....) and today was able to go about 27k with minimal back pain.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:15 AM   #6
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Keep riding when it doesn't hurt. Do it year-round.

I would keep seeing a doctor about the heel spur issue, but I also recommend doing a little research into inflammation. There are foods you can quit eating that will help. Not that I've done this... I would really miss those foods.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:57 AM   #7
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Well, the trip went "great" and I had to cut it short.
I think it did go great. We suffered together. :-)

You mentioned you had problems with your tendon during our subsequent rides. I didn't know you were having them during the ride. I'm sorry if I forced you to ride further and harder than you should have.
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Old 07-25-11, 02:13 PM   #8
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Neil, you didn't force me to do anything. I had fun and the pain was bearable then, it has just gotten much worse now.
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Old 07-25-11, 02:55 PM   #9
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Just keep in mind Stout that things can get better! One of my ride partners had some major problems. He had a condition where lungs separated from his ab walls. Too complicated for my simple mind but he had surgeries to correct the problem. I first saw his post in the forums about a year ago. He couldn't ride much more than 5 miles but wanted to ride to improve his condition. He posted his story in a forum but some riders actually razzed him about his abilities.

He contacted me and asked if he could ride with us. Sure! He joined us on the trail. He didn't seem to be very strong and actually struggled to keep up toward the beginning. He improved some then asked about the climb GMR. He joined us on that ride too. He did ok but there was plenty room for improvement. I was worried about his medical condition and let him know. He assure me he wouldn't over do it.

One year later and he's punishing other riders on the climbs, including me! He has no problem doing the climbs feared by those that razzed him on the forums a year ago. He went from falling behind to taking the lead on the windy trail. Heck, he pulled me 32 miles last week and never asked for help.

Things will get better!

Now he freaking looks like Andy Schleck!

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Old 07-25-11, 03:02 PM   #10
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For what it's worth, maybe less is more?

I know years ago I tried to ignore pain from my ankle since it wasn't *that* bad. I ignored so long that I was out of commission for a long time. So if I have any advice to give, go slow and easy and see what your doctor can do for you.

Maybe try shorter rides? Or perhaps locations that are easier on the body?

Good luck. Sucks when the mind is willing but the body is in pain!
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Old 07-25-11, 03:32 PM   #11
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I've had Achilles Tendinitis before and I know how unbearable it can be. What worked for me was changing my shoes. Even know they were semi new shoes I realized the back was irritating my Achilles tendons and simply changing them helped with my problem in about a week.
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Old 07-25-11, 04:02 PM   #12
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as always you doctor may have a differnt point of view........ I had a bone spur and plantar fasciaitis. my doc did a cortisone shot into the heal from the sole of my foot. It tingled more than a little bit but it did the trick. I then work for years orthotic inserts (super feet). That worked for years. Recently i have been slowly moving to more barefoot and mimimalist shoes. That seems to be helping know. Maybe swimming in the meantime for exercise.

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Old 08-07-11, 03:05 PM   #13
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Going to schedule an MRI (per the intern) and then we'll see. Right now, the doc was arguing with the intern over notes he (doc) wrote last year. They said to "wear the powersteps (inserts) always and avoid shoes with backs on them". Hmmm, me thinks someone is confused. Anyway, if they don't figure something out soon, I'm leaving the VA and going on the civilian world.
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Old 08-08-11, 10:20 AM   #14
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Like you, I came off of 3 months of pneumonia that was being treated with Levaquin. Toward the middle of the last course, I developed achilles problems (though, for me, riding doesn't bother my achilles so much as walking), probably from side effects of the drug.
With all of that, and having to take it easier for a couple months, I didn't have the "base" that I usually had before the heat of summer hit.
For now, I take shorter, more leisurely rides (the wife likes to come along on those) either in the early morning or late evening.
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Old 08-08-11, 10:33 AM   #15
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Going to schedule an MRI (per the intern) and then we'll see. Right now, the doc was arguing with the intern over notes he (doc) wrote last year. They said to "wear the powersteps (inserts) always and avoid shoes with backs on them". Hmmm, me thinks someone is confused. Anyway, if they don't figure something out soon, I'm leaving the VA and going on the civilian world.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:34 AM   #16
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Okay, time for a pseudo-update: I have been doing some walking when the heel is tolerable and resting when its not (elevate, ice, etc...). I was able to hike the Deep Rock Quarry trail with Samson (my pup) yesterday, wearing hiking boots and I fell no worse for the wear. I can't wait for the doctors to figure out what is going on so I can do more. Cycling seems to cause more harm to my heel than good, though it greatly lifts my spirits. More to come after...
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Old 08-29-11, 09:40 AM   #17
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Okay, time for a pseudo-update: I have been doing some walking when the heel is tolerable and resting when its not (elevate, ice, etc...). I was able to hike the Deep Rock Quarry trail with Samson (my pup) yesterday, wearing hiking boots and I fell no worse for the wear. I can't wait for the doctors to figure out what is going on so I can do more. Cycling seems to cause more harm to my heel than good, though it greatly lifts my spirits. More to come after...
Here's an idea that will shock everyone - have you considered riding with platform or flat pedals?
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Old 08-29-11, 09:49 AM   #18
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Here's an idea that will shock everyone - have you considered riding with platform or flat pedals?
That's exactly what I tried the last two times I rode, unfortunately the pain was the same. Thanks for the thought though.
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Old 09-01-11, 02:12 PM   #19
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Well, here's the scoop. I have a longitudinal tear in my Achilles tendon and get a cam-walker boot to wear for the next 6-8 weeks to see if it heals itself; surgery later if it doesn't. So I'm off the bike for a bit and won't be doing a whole lot else either. Wait...I'm in college, I can start playing Call of Duty! I have to look at the bright side or I'll scream.
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Old 09-01-11, 03:55 PM   #20
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One thing I wish I'd worked on last year was core strength. I'm not an expert but I don't think it will hurt your Achilles tendon. The pilates course I took last winter sure helped with bike comfort.
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Old 09-01-11, 04:09 PM   #21
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Yoga. Specifically the poses that keep you off of your feet, boat pose especially helped me when I was having knee pain from running. YMMV, but it did help me.
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Old 09-08-11, 08:40 PM   #22
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I had an awesome day on Saturday at the Cleveland Air Show and yes, I was using my crutches. On Sunday, I was in the car and shifted my foot and felt/ heard a snap, followed by throbbing pain but chocked it up to overworking it on Saturday. Flash forward to today. I've been wearing the cam walker and using my crutches religiously all week, but the throbbing never went away, so I decided to get a "second opinion" and went to the main VA hospital in Cleveland. After convincing them to let me see someone, I got to chat with a couple of real nice podiatry interns. These folks felt around and quickly went to get the main doctor/ surgeon. Let me first say that I take back almost everything I've said about health care at the VA, this guy was awesome! It took him about five minutes of checking my leg out to ask me, "what are you doing Monday afternoon?". I was like, what??? I was scheduled for surgery, blood drawn, chest x-rayd (sp?), a wheel chair ordered and a temporary handicapped parking pass set up, all in less time than it normally takes me to find a parking spot; I knew something must be up. Well, as it turns out, on top of the torn Achilles tendon, I have the accompanying bursitis, and also have Hagland's Deformity which they will take care as well. So, Monday afternoon, 14:00 EST. think about me, as I will be going under the knife. I'm not looking forward to the process of recovery, but I am excited about the prospect of walking or riding again without pain. Thanks to everyone for their support and letting me vent. I'll update when I find out anything new.
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Old 09-08-11, 08:58 PM   #23
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You are in my prayers, as always, Stoutie.
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Old 09-08-11, 09:00 PM   #24
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Good luck - thanks for the info. I just started having severe pain in the achilles area after taking two pretty intense rides yesterday and today. I am hoping some time off the saddle will put me back where i was before the pain. I had been doing really good training during the summer and then started to slack off, so maybe I just came back too hard or something. Hope your surgery goes well. If its any comfort, my brother had the same procedure years ago and although it messed up his basketball career he is able to ride pretty hard - and he's twice your age! ha ha
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Old 09-08-11, 09:07 PM   #25
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Good luck. I hope they get ya all fixed up in one shot.
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