...but first, the boring stuff: My Achilles is doing pretty well. I've been to PT twice now, and there was some improvement in just the three days between sessions. The therapist is optimistic I'll be running again within the next couple of weeks. However, he wants me to do some aqua jogging in chest deep water first to see how that goes.
Otherwise, I'm doing a few lower leg stretches as well as some heel drops (though only to neutral -- i.e., I do the exercise on a flat surface so it's impossible for my heel to drop far enough to create an acute angle relative to my leg). I also do an odd exercise where I hold my ankle stable with one hand and rotate my heel to the side with the other. At PT today, I could feel a drastic improvement in movement while doing that exercise, which the therapist tells me is a good sign.
Without running, I'm left with riding to keep me sane. (Swimming is no help in this regard.) The weather in Denver has been unseasonably warm, and I've been able to ride outside every weekend in December. I had today off work, so I took advantage of the weather and drove up to Boulder for a trip up Flagstaff. From downtown Boulder to Gross reservoir is right around 13 miles, but it took me about an hour and a half to make the trip up. The trip down is much quicker -- 30 minutes, and I descended even slower than normal because of wet, sand-strewn roads.
The problem with this ride is it forces my HR up beyond my FTP HR. One section in particular had me up to 175 bpm at 4 mph, and that's with a compact crank. My fitness isn't great right now, but this ride would be tough even in pretty good shape. Still, it's a fun ride if you've got proper gearing.
Today's atypical cloud cover made me feel like I was back in Michigan, at least until I looked West:
A leg-burning climb (well, the entire way up is basically like this):
Damage from one of the many fires to scorch Boulder this fall:
Gross Reservoir, situated at just over 7,000 feet:
After Gross Reservoir, I was hoping to reach Peak-to-Peak Highway, but after heading down this dirt road for a while I came across a sign informing me that I still had 6.5 miles of dirt road climbing to go...no thanks:
The elevation profile and my HR -- I tried not to go much over 160 bpm:
I started heading up Gold Hill after descending Flagstaff, but I was too exhausted to get further than a few miles up. Following a few months without much training, I'm far from indefatigable.
Oh, and here's some grainy footage set to a bad Daft Punk remix of Tom Danielson setting a record for the climb: