Man Has Got to Know His Limitations

A man has got to know his limitations.

Having been cleared to run two weeks ago, I took it out cautious the first day.  Forty easy minutes in Hedden Park.  Going downhill, the knee hurt: the impact of landing is like five times one’s body weight.  So I walked the steepest downhills and reacquainted my body with the fine art of going up.

That Friday, I thought, WTF, and ran my lactic threshold workout rather than roller skiing or riding.  I wanted to see how the knee would react.  The pain was way up the scale, to where I stopped short on the first repeat.  The impact of descending slowed me down too, which meant I couldn’t keep my heart rate up.  But the worst thing was fear:  In the second repeat, I became afraid of further damaging myself.  Totally illogical, as there’s no technical terrain in Lewis Morris.  Whether further messing up my knee – although the doctor said I wouldn’t.  Or ripping the hamstring that’s become tender.  There’ve been times where I was nervous at the start of a race, but fear?  Unsure how that will relate to Ski and Destroy come winter.

The next day, I rode 62 miles, with Schooley’s Mountain as the centerpiece.  Last year, I bagged Schooley’s Mountain on Fathers’ Day, the first time I’d done it since I was in my 20s.  Last year, I rode my old Cannondale with the triple chainring and the 28 x 28 low gear, taking the most direct route from my house to Long Valley.  Just getting up this hill was an accomplishment for your correspondent, who is still honing his riding skilz.

This year, I arrived at the base of Schooley’s after 30 serpentine miles through Jockey Hollow, Bernardsville and Pottersville, on my new [used] Scott with a compact crank and 34 x 28 low gearing.  I thought that skipping one big climb in Far Hills ls would keep me fresh for Schooley’s.


Leaving Long Valley village center, the grade was easy enough.  But approaching the second hairpin, the road turns up steeply.  I was like, “Oh s$%#” as I turned into a 20% ramp.  My heart rate spiked to a level I don’t see except in races, while my cadence dropped to about 15.  For a minute, it was really desperate; then it settled down to a manageable push.  Mission accomplished.  If I’m unable to get back to my traditional Father’s Day celebration, Schooley’s will be on my list again next year.

All this fun came with a payment: I was up of the night because my knee hurt so bad.

Photos below.  Lately I’ve been focused on moving, not stopping much for pictures.

At present, my take on Euflexxa is this:  if your activity level is in line with that of the average American, this stuff is probably fine.  For those of us who like to beat the crap out of ourselves, it’s not a magic bullet.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m better off now than before I got the injections, and I’m not implying that anyone sold me a bill of goods.  Far from it.

On a follow-up easy run last week, the knee fared better than the last time I ran.  I don’t know how long Euflexxa takes to reach peak efficacy in one’s body, or how long it lasts.  It’s an ongoing deal, and I’m gonna try going hard on foot again.

A man has got to know his limitations.