Despite the dead leg diagnosis, I have been able to gather myself pretty well and get back on my program with coach (Pointway Performance). I just finished up a 3 week block of training that went well, all things considered, and I'm into another build toward the first racing this fall. Just this week after some rest and a week to get back on the pedals, I have seen some improvement.
While it is pretty much confirmed that without operation, I will never be what I once was, I am fairly confident that I will be able to have a decent CX season this year. It is hard to say, but since this condition is usually a slow progression, it would seem that I am no worse off than I was for last falls CX racing.....and I feel like last year was pretty OK. I was hoping for better but was happy to finish my first year back with a UCI win and some podiums. My outlook for these next years after getting back up to speed was to put together the fitness I had road racing in years past with the skills on the CX bike that I picked up since then. This plan will be put off a bit longer. That fitness of years past looks to be dependent on surgery and post-op PT to straighten back out.
Back to the original point, things are still looking decent for this year. Last summer I was not aware of what was going on with my leg and I put myself into a big hole training. I knew what I used to be able to do and would use that as a gauge. However, things work real weird when I train now though. The training stress is really concentrated in one leg....even when it doesn't seem like I am pushing it. If I don't really watch it it goes right over the edge. Now I am aware of all this and hopefully I can avoid that stuff.
Additionally, I have a good amount of UCI points going into the year so I wont have to go into the random draw for start call-ups that often put me back on the back row. In those situations at a national level race, I would never even get to the front. In second tier races I could get there right about when things were going down and I'd have just put myself into serious red zone to catch on.
Another addition, being acquainted with my equipment makes quite a difference for me. Last year I had my shoes ahead of time but the saddle and bike were new to me (since 2009). This year I am coming in with plenty of time on shoes, saddle, and I can transition onto the CX bike hopefully pretty easily.
Oh, another point.....I have been on the mountain bike more this year than I have since the 90s. Enough that I am starting to go fast downhill and break stuff. I haven't been comfortable enough to push the bike in a long time. I'm thinking that these skills will transfer over and maybe make up some for what I don't have in the straights.
All in all, things are looking good for this year.....and if I can jump through a bunch of hoops for the insurance people so that they will pay what I anticipate to be an unfathomable amount of money that I imagine I could probably survive on for the remainder of my life, to a surgeon for a couple hours of slicing me open, and a hospital to shuffle paperwork around while I wait out my mandatory time in a bed eating jello, then maybe even better seasons lay ahead.