|I am invoking this day as National Check Your Cleats Day!|
Fast forward to my PMBAR recon on April 22-23. Wearing the same shoes as two years ago and more than likely having not changed the cleats since then (I have no records to prove otherwise), after 6 hours in the saddle, my IT bands flared up. I rode through it the next day, raced SS on May 1, and the following week felt not pain, but a considerable amount of tightness along the outside of my knee close to where the kneecap tracks in the femoral groove. Not being painful, more like a "pebble under your foot" kind of nuisance, I raced PMBAR on May 7. I was surprised that after 68 miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing, my knees felt no worse, but no better.
After talking to Coach, we agreed that I needed to look at the bigger picture (Lumberjack 100 and TNGA) and ditch the SERC at Tanasi. I think I shed a tear, or two. I needed to remind myself that I was not doing this race for me, but for us (Carly and I). The goal of this series was to have fun, not to chase a championship. So I will be fully supporting Carly's efforts tomorrow morning, bright and early at 8:30am.
A couple more things I have learned from this misadventure. The two times I have had this IT band issue, I was also riding my '08 S-Works FS Stumpjumper. And I have never been "fitted" on this bike; I have just transferred measurements. So, I think it wise that I hook up with 55nine Performance and get Wobble-naught fitted to "Stumpy." Afterall, this is the bike I am racing on for TNGA.
Secondly, I have been using the Shimano XTR 970 pedals on Stumpy and the 980's on my Era. There is quite a noticeable difference in float between the two, the 980's having less. As my knees don't like lateral movement, I will be upgrading Stumpy's pedals to the 980's as well as my single speed.
The 980's also have more shoe to pedal contact which provides more stablity.
Thirdly, I have now made a "cleat changing" chart, so that I will know when I need to put new ones on.
And finally, I have learned a lot of new stretches from my physical therapist. I thought I had a good stretching program, but Celeste has showed me how to stretch in a lateral plane as opposed to the front/back type of stretches that I had been doing. She calls it her 3D stretching program.
If any of you have any more suggestions for IT Band treatment, I am all ears.
So I will be on the sidelines this weekend. A few days ago, when I was wallowing in my own misery, I actually thought of eating a whole loaf of French bread. At least if I was "glutened," I would not feel like riding. That is the hard part. I really wanna RACE! If all goes well, I will be on the Start line at Dauset!