and even stronger…

February 3rd, 2013

Ran out a surprise 1:37:20 today in the Watford Half Marathon… taking another minute of my PB.

Perhaps the reconstructed ATR is better than the original :-)
Or perhaps not. Better training may have something to do with it.

But still - I’m on a bit of a roll - and it’s great to be doing all this still less than 18 months after the surgery.


Coming Back Stronger

October 29th, 2012

Yesterday I ran the half-marathon race in London that I’d been aiming at all year since my ATR last October.

It was the last race I’d completed before the rupture and I vowed all year to come back again to race this year and, moreover, to beat last year’s time. It was one of the big motivating factors I kept in mind right through the recovery, although I kept it pretty secret as I was never really sure how it would turn out.

Well, not only did I beat it, but I also ran a pretty big PB of 1:38.02, nearly two mins faster than my previous best which I set 4 years ago.

There are lots of reasons for this - better training, better nutrition - which have nothing to do with the ATR on the face of it. But I guess it shows that ‘coming back stronger’ is genuinely possible.

Good luck to all on your own roads to recovery…

My Major Goal - Achieved!

October 8th, 2012

Hello to all ATR sufferers - old, and particularly new. Here’s a quick good-news story to give inspiration to those in the early days of your recovery.

I fully ruptured my right achilles in October last year and had surgery the same week. I am a keen runner and sometime soccer player (which is what did the injury) so any sort of layoff was really bad news.

Two weeks before the rupture I had run a half-marathon in 1 hour and 41 minutes, which was my second ever fastest time (my PB is 1:39). During the recuperation from the op I set myself the goal of beating that time in the same race in October 2012.

And yesterday I did it. I ran in 1 hour and 40 minutes, taking a full minute off last year’s time. And I go again in another race in 3 weeks with a genuine shot at beating my PB.

Those long weeks post the operation are really hard going, but they pass soon enough. And whilst my story may not be typical (who knows) my experience was that I was back pretty much to full strength after about 6 or 7 months, and have been in really hard training ever since, running 5 times a week with no ill effects at all.

This site was amazingly useful in the first few weeks, so if you are new to the injury and considering starting a blog then my advice is to go for it.

Feed the goat and he will score.

Signed off from the Doc! It’s all over.

April 27th, 2012

Six months to the day since my operation I was signed off by my Doctor yesterday. He told me that the achilles and calf were both back to full strength and I shouldn’t have any worries now about resuming any kind of activity.

I’ve already been back up running for nearly 2 months and last week ran 12 miles with a friend training for the London Marathon - this without any real pain at all. It still looks thick and a bit swollen but I guess I hadn’t much hope of being an ankle model anyway!

So - for all those in your first few days and weeks - be hopeful that you can beat this thing quickly. This will probably be my last post, so here are a few thoughts from me before signing off:

1) I know this is a really tough debate, but I had surgery and I’m pleased I did.

2) There’s no point at all in pushing yourself to walk or stand too early. Really important to do everything the physio says for the first few weeks. However (and this is the important bit) once you are fully weight bearing and back in shoes then my advice is to really go for it and walk every day, each day a little bit further. I pushed through quite a lot of pain in those early weeks and I’m really pleased I did. Being able to walk a mile without a limp early on was crucial for me and I worked very hard at it.

3) Lots of people have said it - but take the time in the few weeks in the cast and boot to slow your life down and make some permanent adjustments.

4) This website was hugely useful to me - so thanks to all the regular contributors and admin team.

Good luck to everyone in their recovery journeys. I know I’ve been lucky and have got back quicker than average. But hopefully this good news story will be helpful to at least one or two people - and give hope to those in the first few days.

Feed the goat and he will score!

Jogging again

February 24th, 2012

Almost four months to the day since the rupture and happily things seem to be progressing quite to plan. I’m walking fine and have even started jogging again - back up to 2 miles so far but think I will take on 5 at the weekend. The main issues now are soreness in the morning and just the general level of swelling which still hasn’t gone down much. But the surgeon and physio are both quite relaxed about it and say it’s normal. So still wish it all hadn’t happenned, but I guess four months isn’t too bad and at least I’m up and about again. So for anyone reading this in the first few days (as I did obsessively back then) HANG IN THERE!

up and about

December 20th, 2011

First week or so in shoes now complete - and I’m now able to walk a mile or two without too much discomfort and have also ventured back onto public transport.  Even had a little go back driving the car again at the weekend.

The walking is generally good.  It’s painful to a point, every day something slightly different.  I’m focussing quite hard on trying to keep as normal a gait as I can and trying to ignore the pain rather than the other way around.  Feels like it’s paying off as I really do feel like it’s improving.

For the first time I feel that this is all going to end at some point and life (and my foot) will get back to normal.

Now have a cold though!

A few good ‘firsts’

December 11th, 2011

Well - I’ve made it back to two shoes - at least round the house. I suspect I still may use the boot from time to time for being out and about.

Everything seemed to happen very quickly from going down to one crutch and one wedge about 10 days ago. As soon as I started to put some more weight on the right leg it almost came back to life, and within a few hours I was taking a few steps with no crutches. Both the surgeon and physio told me I could go into shoes as soon as it felt comfortable and I didn’t need much encouragement!

So this weekend has been great. First time out in shoes (crocs have been a good tip for round the house), a first swim yesterday and a first shower.

Hope I’m not moving too quick, but somehow my body is telling me to get going and instinctively it feels like it has to be better to be using the thing and starting to straighten it out and strengthen it.

Slightly worried about a bit of a lump that appears from time to time about an inch above the rupture. Doctor says it is nothing to worry about and will go over time.

Anyway - have happily updated my ‘ATR timeline” status - moved through FWB and into two-shoes in one update.

And although I wish this had never happenned, at least things seem to be moving forwards finally.

Massaging… any tips?

December 3rd, 2011

Appreciate any tips or advice from fellow ATR sufferers as to whether I can/should be massaging the site myself at home.

I’m 6 weeks in - rehab is going OK and I’m down to one wedge in the boot and using one crutch. Physios haven’t done any massage yet, but I’m kind of keen to start myself.

Any advice / do’s and don’ts from others would be much appreciated - thanks in advance.

One Crutch

December 2nd, 2011


A good few days

November 28th, 2011

Been a few days since I wrote, and happy to say it’s actually been very positive with quite a lot going on.

I’ve seen the physio three times now - once on Thursday, once Saturday and again this morning (Monday). On one level it was a bit frustrating since >75% of what she is focussing on seemed to be peripheral (leg raises etc etc) and I’m used to sports injury treatment that goes straight to the site and starts to work it. But clearly all of the stretches and excercises are helping. I’ve been diligently following her regime and this morning she told me that I have 10 degrees more movement in the ankle compared with Thursday and took me down to two wedges in the boot.

I did quite a lot of walking over the weekend - with the crutches of course, but covered a lot of ground in taking the kids to the park both days. Hard going but my speed is up and I’m starting to get the sense of putting a little more weight through it slowly but surely. Also so much more freedom with the boot knowing I can take it off when it’s uncomfortable - so dared a trip to the theatre on Saturday and a pub quiz on Sunday. Although it was a little swollen after both it didn’t really matter much once I got the boot off.

And sleeping better too - finally. And even the scar is looking less frankenstein like.

So all round a good few days. If you are reading this and still in the cast then hang on in there. I’m 5 weeks in now (4 and a half since the op) and I can say for sure things are starting to look up.