21 weeks - jogging

The happy streak that started last week has continued!  I think I turned a big corner in my recovery 2 weeks ago and I have a feeling that a lot of it had to do with regaining enough dorsiflexion to let me participate comfortably in almost everything again.

Although I wasn’t cleared yet by the physio, I started adding short 15-30sec jogs into my walks last week.  I am slowly increasing the amount of total time jogging in the walks.  I started at 1.5min, then 3min, etc.  When I tried hopping and jogging a bit at 18 weeks it put me out of action with stiffness and swelling for 2 days.  But now the ankle has no reaction to jogging or any of the other activities I’m doing, so there’s no forced downtime.  I still stick it in an ice bath at night because it gets warm, but by the next morning it’s fine again.  At first the jogging felt a bit flat footed, but I started to focus on trying to really activate the foot and use it to push off and this has helped.  I took my tracker along on the last walk-jog and found that I’m jogging at about 6:30min/km which is faster than I thought I’d be going or would have allowed myself on a treadmill, but I’m happier that I didn’t use a treadmill because I think it’s probably better to let my body work out what feels natural and comfortable right now.

I saw the physio yesterday and she was happy with my progress these last two weeks and did not bite my head off for having started jogging already.  Some of the ankle joints are still not moving quite right when I squat and she spent most of the time loosening those.  She also did a lot of work on the bottom of my foot again and can you believe it - the golf ball has worked!  Although there were still painful spots my whole body stayed relaxed as she dug into them - compared to last time where she almost needed to strap me down and I’m pretty sure I tried to kick her a few times! :)

There’s one movement I’ve been struggling with, it’s a stationary forward lung where you lunge forward and then lower until your back knee touches the ground and then stand back up onto the back foot.  I am able to do forward lunging walks and backward lunges where you stand back up onto the front leg.  I showed her and explained that I just feel too nervous to put so much weight onto the back toes while the tendon is so stretched.  She said she understood my fear but that I am ready and I must (and should) go ahead and do these lunges.  So I did 20 reps yesterday, still nervous but no problems.  I can feel the achilles while I do them, I guess that’s why I feel scared, but it was fine, so yay!

The plan from physio now is to keep doing what I’m doing.  I can keep increasing the jogging.  She said that if the jogging makes the bottom of my foot sore or the achilles tight then I should back-off, and also reminded me to concentrate on letting the ankle move and making sure the injured side feels and moves like the uninjured side.  I keep up with the eccentric lowers and adding 2kg per week - I’m currently at 6kg doing 4-6 sets of 15 straight and 4-6 sets of 15 bent every day.  Keep stretching.  And do all the other training as much as I want :)

I’ve started adding a bit of weight to my squats.  I think that by next week I’ll be comfortably squatting with the 15kg bar.

That’s all the news, I can’t believe next week it will be 5 months!  Although it’s taken forever, it’s also gone pretty fast.  On day one I imagined that I’d be completely out of action for 6 months but it hasn’t been anything like that.  So I hope this can give some encouragement to people starting out on their achilles rehab adventure.

Happy healing to you all, I wish you all the best with your recoveries!

11 Responses to “21 weeks - jogging”

  1. Wow beanie…. You are making incredible strides in your recovery. Congrats on a speedy recover. Though short, I’m sure you still felt amazing be able to jog. Keep it up…!!

  2. Thanks Bryan! It does feel amazing and not as nerve wracking as I imagined. What a difference compared to just 8 weeks ago when it took me 20min to walk 1km! When you look back you get a lot of perspective on just how much things have improved :)

  3. Congratulations, Beanie! You are truly impressive! :-)
    Also, aren’t those lunges the ones that make fencers look so graceful? ;-) You are definitely recovering excelently, and are an example to us all.

  4. Haha, lol! Exactly Manny but mine are not at all graceful! :) Just wait, I’m sure you’ll find it too … stepping back onto your injured leg like that with the tendon extended and heel off the ground is terrifying! And please be warned other ATRs, do not attempt this until you’re far along. I did try once I think around 16/17 weeks and holding on for support and nearly gave myself a heart attack as I felt the tension half way through with no way to back out! Haven’t had the guts to try again until now.

  5. Beanie, I am sure you look graceful no matter what! :-) There is a salsa dancing move much like it, but I can’t even dream of doing it with my injured leg right now! All I did last saturday night was start slow and simple, and then added a few wiggles once my foot warmed up and I gained confidence.
    Oh, great news! I just got my new 1″ heel business casual shoes, which I will supplement with inserts for my 2 shoes event! :-) The shoes are gorgeous, and I might use one of them for a party this saturday, unless the snow comes in and ruins my plans… Moon boots are NOT snow boots.
    I know that having both shoes on, I will be tempted to dance a lot more, so I’m doing the foot exercises with both feet at home, to strengthen the ankle muscles. If you are in NYC I could invite you to a humongous dance birthday party I’m planning for April! :-D Lots of hispanic and american music! And great food! My friends are organizing it. :-)

    Take care, Beanie, and don’t feel bad about being scared of pusing yourself: you are doing much more than I could even imagine!

  6. Congrats Beanie! Must be an amazing feeling! Enjoy.

  7. Manny your new shoes sound great, post a picture in your next blog update! You’re going to be dancing like a champion again by April for your birthday, I bet you can’t wait! I’m miles away down under in Aus, but I’ll celebrate and toast your good health from here :)

  8. Beanie - it really sounds like you have a good relationship with your physio and she sounds like she is on the ball. Well done. Getting everything else used to running again can be just as hard as the AT.

  9. Thanks Stuart! I’m trying to take it nice and slow and making sure never to walk-jog on back to back days to give everything time to adjust.

  10. Hi Beanie….

    What an incredible feeling that must be to jog again. Your progress is amazing and something to strive for.

    I think it’s important to have someone ahead of the game to help you be prepared for what’s in front of you, and you’ve certainly done that. Thank you for all your contributions and sharing of knowledge to this site.

  11. Beanie, I posted my question on cipro before reading your note to Metonia, and Her original question. My question still stands since I’m missing lots of info, but I’m glad the pharmacist was so diligent in explaining things to me.
    As for the eccentric exercises, I just remembered we had gone through them a few weeks ago, with videos and all… my apologies for the corny jokes due to forgetfulness… LOL
    Thanks again! You are quite awesome! :-D

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