I feel like I've got "cycling bipolar disease" - I go out and have a great ride, doing what I love most about cycling (seeing the countryside, enjoying the scenery and the exercise), feeling great about the ride. Then I get home and check the bike computer and I'm still averaging around 14mph, look at other people's rides of the day and/or the HTFU thread, and wonder "why am I so slow?". I'm trying to HTFU but it's just not working
I had a torn meniscus repaired last March and, unlike the mirror image surgery I had 6 years prior, recovery has been slow. Doc said best therapy was bike riding so I started on an exercise bike. By September that had become terribly boring, so decided to try a "real" bike. I haven't cycled on the road regularly since racing in college in the 70's. Looking at my records, when I started on the road I could do 7-10 miles at about 10mph. I couldn't stand on the pedals for even one revolution. By November I was around 15 miles at 12mph and could stand up for dozens of strokes. Now I seem to have hit a plateau at about 14mph going up to 25 miles.
My goal was to reach 16mph alone, which I hope would let me keep up with the "16-18mph" group rides of local clubs, and let me finish centuries in a reasonable amount of time. Am I just expecting too much to reach that level in 4 months on the road?
I guess my thinking was that with a background in racing, and being reasonably in shape at the start, I should have progressed more rapidly. The thing that's limiting my progress is the knee itself - I can't push too hard or it will hurt for a week after a ride. I know I could go faster, but I have to back off when I start to "push it" because I can feel the knee start to protest.
I'm going back to see the doc again, but I'm afraid he won't have much to offer - it's not an acute thing this time, just chronic. I'd be interested to hear others' experiences with recovery from knee issues, and if anyone has any exercises or joint supplements they found helpful.