Week 21, Going Backwards…..

Its been a month or so since I posted, and normally I talk about progress, but at this moment in time, heading into month 6, everything has seem to come to a screeching halt, and I am not entirely sure what this means, and what to do.  August was a tale of two completely different months for me.  The first half was great, AT wise.  Soreness was mostly non existent, I could do 20 plus single leg heel raises, and the same with eccentric heel drops, and per my PT, I began a 3 day/week running program.  As I discussed before, what started out as awkward and slow running in late July, quickly became more of a free-flowing comfortable pace run, as I realized muscle memory from years of practice and competing is a great thing.  I was getting my speed close to a 10:00 mile, had good form, and was going up to 5 miles, complete with pre and post run stretching.  Everything was great, and by now I expected to be going past the 5 mile mark.  I saw my ortho in mid August for a follow up, annd got all good news:  I was cleared for light hill work, and to just remember to keep my mileage under 5 a day, for another month or so.  I made one more appt for mid Oct, and then that would be it with the doc.  PT i was only going to continue for a couple weeks.

The past 2 weeks have been the complete opposite…I can barely get a run in w/o discomfort from the base of the ankle where the AT attaches up the calf.  Its concerning for a few reasons:  I work on my PT exercises daily, have never pushed more than what my PT recommended, and generally have been listening to my body. I took the past week off, enjoyed the Labor Day Weekend, and then tried to pick up where I left off yesterday…flat trail running, and see how far I go.  I had to stop a mile in and walk back, the third time I stopped in my past 3 workouts after a mile or so.  The pain is not excruciating or even intolerable, but it aches, and I don’t want to push an ache until I hear a pop.  Even during rest, I feel twitches of discomfort in my AT leg, although I am still able to do single leg calf raises as I was a month ago. 

I’m not really sure where to go from here, part of me wants to contact my ortho for an MRI, but the other part says thats a waste of time.  There was no definitive re-rupture.  Is rest the best medicine at this point, and a classic case of too much too soon?  I was told many times by my ortho I would be able to run Thanksgiving day races, and thought that Sept would be my greenlight to resume official training, but its just going in the opposite direction.  Anyone going through, or has gone through, something similar at this stage, I would take any advice I can get, before I call the ortho.  Thanks everyone.

9 Responses to “Week 21, Going Backwards…..”

  1. Gocanes, I’m sorry to hear of your setback. I haven’t experienced what you are going through now, but if I were you I’d first contact my PT before my OS. My guess is that rest (from running) will be the prescription, but please post an update when you have more information. -David

  2. I’m about the same stage as you. I am able to run and there is a bit of a twinge at the start but this quickly disappears. Like David says I think your PT may have more answers initially.
    This advice was passed onto me by a marine, it may not apply to your situation though. He was finding that whenever he ran he had to stop due to tendonitis pains in his normal uninjured achilles. PT visits, icing and rest didn’t seem to help. He started doing long walks up hills and mountains. After doing this for a while he was able to run pain free. Maybe something to do with the way the achilles/calf gets slowly stretched when walking up steep inclines, but he swears by this as a cure for achilles troubles.

  3. Thanks both for the feedback…I also forgot to note that I have some tingling going through the base of my foot up to the toes…similar to the sensation of your foot “falling asleep” Again, not sure what this means, or if anyone has experienced this symptom, but I do have a call into my PT for advice.

  4. I did get that same feeling of tingliness or numbness on the ball of my foot when doing single heel raises, walking or running. It was never long lasting so didn’t particularly bother me. I haven’t had any symptoms like that for at least a week now.

  5. No idea. You have been doing (what I call) a ton, so backing off and resting doesn’t sound like a bad idea, even if it didn’t help over Labor Day. Otherwise, ask for professional help, and good luck. I don’t think AT rerupture is a concern, but there are other ways to injure a recovering leg.

  6. Thanks norm, quick update…I went to see my PT yesterday to figure out what was going on, and he wasn’t too concerned. He did some stretching then put me through my usual PT drills including using the ladder. As he said to me previous sessions, there are ebbs and flows with this injury, you have good weeks and bad weeks. So I’m just going to back off on the running for now and concentrate on cross-training…he agreed that rerupture at this stage was not of high concern. I’ll see what happens over the next week or so and take it from there. Also, the pins and needle feeling has gone away, not sure what that was about.

  7. Sorry to hear about your setback. running has been problematic for me as well and I never got to your distances yet! Everytime I try to even jog for 10 minutes during a thirty minute walk I get near immediate achiness and some lingering pain the next day. Plus I was getting pain in my other knee to boot! It drove me to cycling, which has proven to be great cardio, amazing for my leg strength including calves, and completely pain free! I’m biking around 80 miles a week and just did a 35 mile ride to 4k feet of climbing and my achilles feels great! Not to mention no aches in my other joints!

    I’m still mixing in some light jogging once every other week in hopes my achilles starts to complain less, but in the meantime I’ve been walking and biking.

  8. Thanks smick, I’ve taken most of the past week off and the tendon definitly calmed down from where it was last week. Ive never been much of a biker, but if my runs continue to be futile, biking is something I will take up. I worked on the elliptical and stationary bike at the gym on high resistance and am fine with that…running is just not agreeing me right now, but Im hoping with a bit more rest I can try and get going again.

  9. @gocanes123 - Even at 6 and 7 months there would be times my achilles rebelled against the running. Rest from that activity always seemed to help. I did a lot of biking and still do. For those of us who ran before, we knew how to add mileage and speed. Post ATR or post achilles surgery, those same rules just don’t seem to apply. It’s much more incremental. Sometimes there is a step or two back before there’s forward progress again. Give your achilles a chance to completely calm down. Then start back up, slower and shorter than you want to. Maybe warm up on the elliptical first. Best of lucky to you. I know you’ll get there!

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