Question: 

Popliteus is:

  1. The last european book craze
  2. The right-hand-man of Alexander the Great
  3. The cause of pain and anguish for RiderX

Back in June I was on a ride in Issaquah, on a road that features two things:

1) A "bypass the light" right lane (of 3) that can only go straight at a light

2) A bike lane that stops very soon before that point.

So, I was out riding, and got stuck at that light, with a very impatient car behind me (which, I presume, was occupied by an impatient car, and not possessed in a real-life version of Christine). The light change, I stood up, and go ready to do a bit of a sprint, and then realized that I was about 4 gears higher than I wanted to be. So, in a bit of adolescent bravado that I tell myself I am no longer prone to but, let's be fair, still shows up now and then, I decide to just go for it.

Which, over the span of the next 15 seconds or so, resulted in two things. First, a fairly pathetic acceleration rate, and second, a strange feeling behind my right knee.

Which I didn't really think much of - I finished the ride and went home.

A week or so later, the strange feeling had resolved itself, and I was out on a group ride, stood up to sprint up a short hill, and now the leg was hurting a bunch.

Which led to an up and down journey, where I would alternatively take it easy and heal, and then do something stupid, eventually culminating in RAMROD, where the knee and my lack of training perfectly meshed together for it to hurt a lot.

But, then I knew I had to be more serious about healing whatever was wrong, so I did the ice thing, I did the stretching thing, I did the ibuoprofen thing. I went out and rode some steeps before the Summits of Bothel and felt okay, and then SOB was cold and wet and we skipped it.

The only ride I cared about was the mountain populaire (held on Sept 9th), where I hoped to do better than last year. And by "do better", I mean climb a little faster and not feel so wiped at the end.

So, last Thursday I decided to ride a little harder to make sure I was up to the Sunday ride, and while the knee felt a little weird, it didn't hurt. And then, near the end of the ride, I decided to chase another rider as he sprinted up a short hill. Which told me what I need to know.

I skipped the populaire and went on a flat 30 miler around the lake Sunday, during which my knee was pretty achy.

Which led me into see a PT on Monday, where I had lots of tests done, the painful area poked and prodded, and learned a new word. I have a problem with my Poplieus, a short muscle on the back of the knee.

 After a couple of weeks of stretching and healing, we'll start on PT.