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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-23-09, 01:21 PM   #1
Andy_K 
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How Dumb Would This Be?

I hate to be the second person in as many weeks to post a "should I race with a pulled muscle" thread, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself that I can't do it.

I strained my right calf muscle in a race last Saturday and had to DNF in the middle of the second lap. I was pushing off in the corner on a switchback run-up and I felt a snap in my calf. I took about three steps and hit the ground in pain before dragging my bike and my sorry butt off the course. I tried to convince myself that I could stretch it out enough to race the next day, but that turned out to be obviously untrue.

The facts:
  • The day of the injury, I couldn't walk on it without a lot of pain.
  • The next day, I could walk on it if I was careful, but it was uncomfortable.
  • The third day, I could walk without discomfort and could raise myself onto my toes if I used both feet.
  • The third day, when I tried to raise myself onto my toes with the injured leg alone I stopped myself because it didn't feel right.
  • The fourth day, I rode my bike to work and didn't have any problems.
  • The fifth day (today), I rode to work again, and again no problems.
  • Today I can jog on it without discomfort if I take short strides, but if I take a long stride I feel it.
  • Today I can raise myself up on my toes with only the injured leg. It feels tight, but doesn't hurt at all.
  • My achilles tendon is a bit sore, though that's not near the injured spot. It's probably sore from all the stretching I've done the past couple of days.


The race:

Tonight is the first ever Blind Date at the Dairy race. I've got a feeling it's going to be absolute mayhem, so I would really hate to miss it.

The early results this year indicate that I'd finish last even if I was at 100%, so I'm hoping I can convince myself to resist the adrenaline and take it a little bit easy, especially on the running parts. I've been trying to slow down going over the barriers and concentrate on my form anyway.

This injury is obviously healing quickly. I used a lot of ice and compression for the first few days. I feel like I could race tonight, but I obviously don't want to re-injure it.

So, how dumb would this be?
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Old 09-23-09, 10:04 PM   #2
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So I figured the overwhelming silence here means one of three things:

1. No one felt that they had sufficient expertise in physiology to answer
2. Everyone thought this question was too stupid to answer
3. Everyone saw clearly that I knew the right answer and was just fishing for someone to tell me what I wanted to hear

OK, I didn't really consider option 1 as a possibility.

So, I didn't race.

For others who might have this same question later, I'll also include a reference I found for judging readiness to return to activity.

From multiple sources (I can't tell which one is the original):

You may safely return to your sport or activity when, starting from the top of the list and progressing to the end, each of the following is true:
  • You have full range of motion in the injured leg compared to the uninjured leg.
  • You have full strength of the injured leg compared to the uninjured leg.
  • You can jog straight ahead without pain or limping.
  • You can sprint straight ahead without pain or limping.
  • You can do 45-degree cuts, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
  • You can do 20-yard figures-of-eight, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
  • You can do 90-degree cuts, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
  • You can do 10-yard figures-of-eight, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
  • You can jump on both legs without pain and you can jump on the injured leg without pain.

I made it as far as the sprinting.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:23 PM   #3
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Go see your doc or a PT. I AM a PT, and its like hearing my Mom complain of her back pain over the phone.

Sure, you can pick up a few things from your description, but a picture/seeing/feeling is worth a thousand words.

In the meantime, RICE, with an emphasis on the REST.

on the bright side, maybe you popped your plantaris! I always wanted to do that one.
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Old 09-24-09, 12:12 PM   #4
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That explains why I didn't see you last night. Better to miss a couple of races than a whole season, but your return to activity criteria seem a bit overly cautious, at least compared to the point at which my sports doc had me return to running.

take care of it, maybe I'll see you next Wednesday. Lots of racing left this season.
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Old 09-24-09, 01:05 PM   #5
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Yeah, that Bio-Freeze sample you gave me came in handy much sooner than I would have hoped.

So, how was the race?
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