Archive for June, 2009
It’s been a full gas couple of weeks since the latest diagnosis of my problem, and really happy to finally see some progress.
After 10days of solid treatment with the physio and osteo, we packed the car and headed for Italy to under go a full biomechanical assesment at the Mapei Sport centre near Milan. To make the trip a little less stressful we left a day early and I did a nice training ride from Gap to Briancon via the Col d’Izoard. The next day it was onto Italy, where we were very kindly put up by Shayne Bannon and the AIS for the night. Shayne had also organised for the session at the Mapei Centre for me, so can’t thank him enough.
A full afternoon was taken to do the assesment by Andrea Morelli who has been setting up pro’s for over 12years. The assessment involved biomechanical analysis of movement and position on bike, muscle activation, force testing of each leg while under load, and finally adjustments of position with re-tests of movements. It confirmed a lot of my earlier thoughts and also provided explanations for other issues.
There was no time to waste before testing the new position as after Sarah and I shared a long drive home from Italy on Tuesday night, I left for the start of Route du Sud in Pau the next day.
It may only be a UCI 2.1 level race but with the Col du Soulor, Tourmalet, Ares, Portet d’Aspet and Port de Bales in the the first three days it wasn’t the easiest race to come back to after 5months off racing. Quietly I was sh*tting myself when I saw the race book, and thought it would all be over very quickly. Though my condition was up to it, and it was just a question of keeping the left leg under control. It wasn’t all easy travelling though, there were times when I found myself last man on the road huffing and puffing my way over the climbs, but 2 seasons of pro racing does do something to your body and mind. I didn’t panic, ate and drank well and continued at my own limit and before I knew it I crossed the finish line in Castres not far from my old stomping ground in Albi.
Back to Aix this week for some easy recovery rides and I sure know I had a hard race in my legs, and really feel I am not 100% just yet. We are now on the right track at least and hopefully with some serious work through July, I am looking to start the second half of the season full throttle.
Thanks for reading
I recently had some good and not so good news in my efforts to solve my neural problems that have been hampering me for over a year now.
The good news was that after more test we ruled out an entrapment of the pudendal nerve. This was good to hear as repairing these isn’t simple, and it was another option eliminated.
Though I was diagnosed with ‘myo-fascial piriformis syndrome’ doesn’t sound that nice either does it! Well it’s not great but it’s not too complicated either. For those who don’t know their muscles as well, the piriformis is a strong band like muscle that is deep in your glute going from your sacrum out to the top of your femur, and is used to externally rotate your leg. Both the sciatic and pudendal nerves pass in front of the piriformis, and when it is contracted for long periods of time it can affect the nerves.
In my case I had been getting both sciatic and pudendal nerve symptoms, so the diagnosis wasn’t simple. After first trying sciatic related problems, then pudendal and now more muscular we hope we have covered our bases. This does leave one problem as I have been riding with this pain for quite sometime now the nerves could have been scared while rubbing against the muscle, so the doctors be checking for this also.
Treatment can be done on a few different levels, starting with physio work like massage, ultra sound, infra-red and hot cold packs. Though as it has been such a long that it has been plaguing me, we may well have to get into some heavier treatment in terms of injecting the muscle and nerves with anti inflammtories and relaxants.
I will be back in the doctor’s room this week so will keep you posted on the next steps towards a return to racing at full strength.
It’s an annual date for FDJ to meet at Alpe d’Huez for a training camp with most of the team, as we prepare for June’s two big stage races le Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and le Tour de Suisse and of course the following Tour de France.
I was a little hesitent of heading to this camp at first mainly due to my current problems though as it was only a 3 and a half hour drive from Aix, a nice change of scenery and a chance to catch up with the coach and team I decided why not?
The plan for the team was two days of team time trial training and two days in the high mountains. So after a scenic drive up through the Alpes via Gap with my team mate Jussi, up to our base at the top of Alpe d’Huez we set off down the mountain for our first ride of the camp. As the low time trial position aggravates my nerve more I sat out this one and had a really enjoyable ride around the valley.
The next two days were spent tackling some of the hardest and well know cols in the Alpes, such as the Croix de Fer, Col du Glandon, Col du Madelaine, and of course the Alpe d’Huez. I took my time on the climbs as its been a long time since I had been in the mountains and also my physical condition isn’t so flash, though I did quietly surprise myself on some of the climbs keeping up with my team mates.
Happy to see that I can still ride my bike for 4-5hrs but still very frustrated with losing sensation in my left leg when climbing, or even pushing a little on the flat, I left the camp feeling even more motivated to sort this problem out after spending a good couple of days with my team mates.
I have more doctors appointments coming up, including one with a nerve specialist so hoping to start taking some steps forwards instead of sideways very soon.
Will be back with some news on next steps in this very very long rehab period soon.
p.s Had some cool pics to post, though the ever so amazing iphone decided to crash this week and lost them all, will try find some from my team mates if possible though.
On any sunny Saturday afternoon in London, if you happen to pass by Richmond Park keep your eyes peeled for the no.1 tim gudsell fan club of london. Lately they have been out in full force, and someone managed to capture a pic of the crew.
From right to left, you have Mr Tom Eaton (check out the size of those forearms! his shorts need a wash too), Mr Simon Lamason (going Magnum PI on it) and Mr Kyle Gudsell (still on the look out for that saffa w##ker that knocked him off last month)
Good on ya boys, keep up the good work.