Once upon a time I raced bicycles and was pretty good at training and not so much at the racing part since I'd used up my competition gene somewhere around 13. I started racing bicycles in my early 30's. I was lucky to be in Colorado and because I began from working as a motorcycle marshal with the Coors Classic I gained access to a lot of great information and training. That made for learning not only how to train but how to recover from training and injury. I got to ride with some pretty special folks and got a lot of great advice, training direction and how to set a bicycle up and why.
All that, as well as growing up a snow skiing and racing those and playing football. Football was stupid except for some of the conditioning, I learned soem stuff there. the rest of it was and is about the worst thing you can do to a body. But, I'll not climb too high on that horse.
The trick I know is that with my age, (59) recovery takes longer. and if I rush things it just makes it ultimately take even longer and hurt more.
So, yes I'm back to time in the saddle but at a sustained effort. Right now I try to keep my speed down around 15 mph for the first half hour to get good and warm. And chase as few rabbits as possible. That means I can stay in the saddle longer.
Monday was said to be mid 80's, but felt like 90's. I've ridden in over a hundred but being in condition makes a huge difference. When I was racing heat didn't bother me. I liked it hot and dry I seemed to ride a lot harder then.
The tough part in recovery is holding back. Right now I am real weak compared to where I was before my back went nuts. My back is just OK to ride not perfect so even pushing a little is a bad thing. The PT I was doing was useless. The usual hot pad with that electric muscle twitch thing. They added some homework, yoga stretches which are the only useful part of the program. I stopped going, I know I need to strengthen my core, but to do that I need to get my cycling back a good bit, with some walking at lunch and after work during the week. eventually I'll get back to riding the big hills and running. THat stuff builds my core back.
I am so far amazed that my so called "Cadillac Insurance" plan always finds useless stuff like this here. In Colorado I had basically the same thing with an HMO from BCBS Colorado so I went to my old sports medicine PT shop and paid cash. That was good stuff. They actually did sports work not some crystals and newage noise aroma therapy garbage.
My plan is to go on my own dime to a sports medicine doctor in Newport Beach a friend has used for opinion. Then I'll take a swipe at the insurance company.
In Colorado before I had the crappy HMO, I told my GP I wanted to go to Andy Pruit for an evaluation of my knee, and PT, and bike re-set. My doc didn't know of Andy so I showed him, pointing out the miles I put on the bike. he agreed and went to bat for me with the insurance company. I got re-habed and my bike set up and some home PT to do. A month later I was back in the saddle doing good miles. I'd blown up my bad knee at a timetrial where the wind kicked up big after the turn around.
So, now I'm back to slow and steady again. I will get back to all day in the saddle at a reasonable clip, and not feeling like I've been beaten afterward. Just takes some time. And I got some of that for now.