4 Months in and Going Strong

Its been a few weeks since I did a post, and I thought as I hit, and pass, the 4 month mark of my ATR, it would be an appropriate time for an update. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, my day to day life is as it was previous to my rupture. I no longer have a limp, and general walking does not lead to soreness anymore. I do get some swelling from time to time by days end depending on the shoe I am wearing, and try to ice daily. I continue to go to PT once a week, and along with two legged and one legged eccentric heel drops, and plyometric work, my PT is pleased with my progress. At this point I could probably do 10-12 one legged calf raises on my injured leg, althought by my last couple reps I know I am not getting full extension. The biggest issue I have with PT is continuing to do my exercises at home, and not to solely rely on running or biking to enhance calf strength. I try to do calf raises and the heel drops on a stair daily.

The most exciting news for me is my start to the return of my sport, running. I am going out on flat surfaces, both trail and concrete, about 3 days a week, with my other days divided between strength training and PT. During my runs I tend to always use my compression socks, and focus on form rather than speed. Over the past 3 weeks or so I have progressed from a mile to upwards of 3.5 miles of running, and, as tolerated, my PT continues to say I can add a mile a week. This past weekend was a annual 5 miler I tend to do every summer that helps support a local charity. It’s a flat race on a soft dirt trail. I decided to sign up for it, knowing that I could not actually race it, nor run the whole thing, but thought it would be great mentally to get out there and be in a race environment as I hit my 4 month mark. I ended up running a little over 3 miles, then mixing walking/running over the last 2 miles, and I finished in 54 min, about a 10:55/pace. I checked my statistics from last years same race, which I did in 36 min at a 7:20 pace, so I still do have a long way to go. But, I am back out there, moving again, which is something I could not do a month ago, and each step I take I am very thankful for. This injury humbles you and makes you appreciate how great an active lifestyle is. As I progress over the next month I hope to add mileage and speed, and as Fall comes I can begin training in earnest again. I have my next doc appt in 2 weeks, which may be my last follow up unless need be. The most important thing lesson at this juncture, or when you begin your return to your sport, is to do so slowly and find that right balance. Time to see what month 5 brings. Happy Healing everybody!

7 Responses to “4 Months in and Going Strong”

  1. Great stuff, glad that at the 4 month mark you are able to run. That is somehwere I want to be.

  2. It all sounds brilliant. “This injury humbles you and makes you appreciate how great an active lifestyle is.” should be a sticky on this site.

  3. So happy for you to be back out there running again! I found the compression socks along with a quick icing after each run to be very helpful. I still ice after a hard run or a long one. I wish you well as you enter month 5!

  4. Great news! What a wonderful place to be at in 4 months. It is a great inspiration for me.

  5. Thanks guys!
    Kim, one thing I noticed when I went out for my 3 mile run yesterday, was that my left achilles, my good one, was flaring up, while my bad leg felt fine. I stopped as soon as I felt the pain as I already learned my lesson once, but it is mildly concering, have you experienced the same around this time? I know once you suffer an ATR, your chances increase on rupturing the other, as norm can attest too. Aside from rest and working through my PT exercises, I’m not sure there is much I can do

  6. @gocanes - You know, even at 9 months I’ve had a few very mild achilles flare-ups on my good leg, but nothing that lasts. From 4-5 months, I had flare-ups on both sides, and sometimes had to cut back or take 2-3 days off between runs. At that time I began doing hip/core stability exercises and I’m still doing them (Oregon project/Myrtle). The things that seem to help the most are always stretching achilles, hamstrings, quads, hips post-run. Then a 5 minute soak in icy water. If I’m experiencing any mild soreness or swelling, I use kinesio tape. Still doing hip/core strengthening and stability exercises. For what it’s worth, I think you are way ahead of the curve in your return to running!

  7. Thanks Kim! I really appreciate your input, it gave me more confidence on my run this weekend, and, after a few days off it was a pain free one and felt great!

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