Knee is Strong, Endurance is low

Saturday was the longest ride in about 2 years.  Maybe more… I don’t remember how long my knee was hurting my riding before the surgery.  At around 2 1/4 hours, I rode about 63 km.  The 2 1/4 is the key number in my rehab.

I’ve been doing strength so that isn’t too bad.  The challenge with my rehab has been doing it in a way that doesn’t hurt.  As I start to do more, muscles get fatigued and that leads to things being out of whack.  That directly means that my kneecap will start to pop and I swell.  The only way to fight that is to rest.  Saturday’s ride showed that things have come a long way.

I didn’t have my fastest or harded ride, but it wasn’t bad either.  When I most recently graduated from PT, Rusty (my physical therapist) said to build it up slow based on time.  Get sold at 30 minutes, then 35 minutes, then 40, then … and make sure you can keep those times up.  If 40 minutes rides are causing problems, then go back to 35 minute rides.  Well, I’ve managed to get very comfortable at rides up to about 1:30.  I’ve been too busy to do much more.  Saturdays are a good opportunity for longer rides.

I did a ride up the coast.  Basically, you go as far as you want, turn around and come home.  There are some decent climbs, but nothing really big.  More just short and steep.  Scripps is about 5m 30s and goes at 1.2 km to 12+% according to my Garmin. It hurt, but it is only 5 minutes.  The grade back up Torrey pines is a bit of a workout.  It is about 2.3 km but only goes 5-7% and takes about 8 minutes.  I settle in on that one, but still, it isn’t too long.  All of the other cities have little grades into them that can almost be sprinted up if you want.  The ride keeps you entertained with the ocean just over your shoulder.

Today, I am a little sore, but it is how I should be after a ride 30% bigger in effort than I have been doing.  But I am mowing lawns and playing with the kids.  My knee responded very well.  My body tells me it hit it’s endurance threshold; which is good for me.

  3 comments for “Knee is Strong, Endurance is low

  1. Hi Steve,

    I stumbled upon your site after searching for some information regarding micro fracture surgery. Thank you so much for documenting your experiences, it really has been quite helpful. Especially considering the amount of horror stories you come across, as you mentioned. I am scheduled to have my surgery in one week and the recovery process just seems so daunting. Nevertheless, I want to be active for a long time and understand this is a necessary step…one day at a time. Once again thanks for your story and hope your recovery continues to go well.


  2. I only had one surgery that repaired 2 spots.
    The prognosis was that I would get back to being active, but I should avoid running to help it last longer. The how long was not known, but he has athletes going full tilt again.

    The surgery was done in San Diego by Dr. Chris Behr. I think the group is San Diego Orthopedics.

  3. I’m unclear on this – have you had 2 microfractures? I think I will need a second one soon. This year (4 yrs out) I’ve really upped the intensity and miles on the road bike, and I find my knee starting to wear out – same pain in the same spot. I’ve read that the scar tissue from the surgery doesn’t last very long.

    Where did you have your surgery? Did they discuss prognosis or the durability of the microfracture? Thanks and good luck.

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