Friday, April 18, 2008

Cycling Continues / Nerve Analysis

I've been doing pretty well with my training program so far. Last season I set my plan up for about 400 hours of cycling for the year. This year's plan is set up around 300 or so hours. I'm not going to be racing, so I don't need the sort of duration that I did last year. Plus with my recovery in mind, I didn't want to get trapped into over doing things. When you've got daily workouts and durations scheduled for months at a time it's a little tempting to follow the plan too religiously; not taking days off where your body tells you it needs it. So, I'm trying to under promise and over deliver this time out. When I feel up to it I'll put in some extra hours on some of the long rides.

I've gotten my power up to about 180 Watts when riding aerobically. Much better than the 100 or 120 Watts I was at when I first got back on the road. I'm probably 75% of the way back to where I was. At this point I'd say my aerobic capacity is getting close to where it was last season, the shortfall to getting back to 220 Watts at 157 beats per minute is a lot more related to the strength in my left leg, rather than my heart.

In other developments, I'm going to be heading back to the neurologist next week to have another EMG (Electromyogram). If you've never had the chance to get yourself an EMG, consider yourself lucky. Basically what happens is that a guy connects some wires near your nerves and starts sending some current down your nerves to try to make your muscles move. It goes something like this: (I'm making up the amperage for the point of example) zap at 1 amp, nope foot didn't move; zap at 2 amps, nope; zap at 5 amps, still no; 10 amps, still no. As this escalation in pain quickly continues you're just wishing your damned foot would move. As the appendage doesn't the pain gets greater and greater. Then the next thing that happens is that they stick some sonic pins into your muscles and listen to hear whether the sound in your muscle changes when you flex them. When one of these pins goes into an area with a lot of nerves like the bottom of your foot, it's a giant party.

Based upon the output of the EMG, I may have another surgery to take a look at my perineal nerve and determine whether it is compressed, severed, etc.

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