My first run

February 14, 2009

Twelve weeks and 6 days ago I suffered a complete rupture of my right Achilles, with a repair done 2 days later.  Such a strange experience…never being seriously hurt before it was quite an event in my life.  I was very active–running, playing basketball, lifting weights, walking/running dogs, and playing with a toddler.  I found this site in a drug induced stupor 2 days after my surgery, and it has been both a good friend and reassuring presence as I worked through each step of recovery.

Today was a big day.  For the first time in over 3 months, I laced up my running shoes (a new pair to celebrate the event :) ) and hit an indoor track.  (I was supposed to have a brand spanking new treadmill by now, don’t get me started on my dissatisfaction with Scheels All Sports!)  I stretched a little and then just started a slow jog and just did a mile with a couple of laps warmdown.  A far cry from 21 minute 5K’s or a sub-2 hour half marathon, but I’ll take it!!!!  Much like when I had to learn how to walk normal again, I also had to learn how to run normal…the natural roll of the foot and just relaxing and letting it happen.  By the end of the run my Achilles felt great and it was coming back to me.  I look forward to adding distance and then speeding up as well.  I can’t tell you all how great it is do something that a few months back was so simple.  One added benefit of the run was once again how great the AT feels…the run really loosened it up and walking after the run felt 100% normal, just as it did pre-ATR.  Some things I learned:

  • A lot of the recovery is in your head.  Getting your mind off the AT and relaxing does wonders to returning to normality.
  • I am very glad my surgeon was aggressive in my recovery and ecouraged early movement.  I just ran!!  When I first did this I thought it would be another 1-2 months before I was capable of that.
  • PT can do wonders.  Even if you cannot afford PT or a lot of it, research stretching, balance, and strength training post-ATR surgery and do it at home and start them when you hit the tendon recovery “safe zone” of 8-12 weeks.

I had a personal goal of 118 days to full recovery.  Based on the marathon tracker this gives me another 30 days to be “back to normal”, or very close to it.  I have every intention of being there.