A year ago today (or was it yesterday?)!

Today (by date) is the one year anniversary of my ATR, but yesterday (by day of the week) was too.  I tore my achilles playing basketball at Sunday night open gym so I thought it was fitting that I go back and play again so that is exactly what I did.  In fact I even got into a game where the exact same guy was guarding me on the same court, playing the same directions (offensively/defensively).  I haven’t been playing much, actually almost not at all, so it was fun to be back on the court.  Last year I had been playing quite a bit and was getting ready to play in an alumni tournament.  Obviously I didn’t get to play in the tournament so I am looing forward to it this year (it is in 2 weeks) it is just unfortanate that I am not in “game” shape yet.  After the tournament, the next thing on my list to prepare for some races.  I’d like get into good enough shape to race unattached at some indoor meets at area colleges and then transition into a half-marathon or marathon.  For those of your just getting started on your road to recovery set goals and stay determined; don’t settle for anything less than a 100% recovery.

“Raced” a 5k today

I decided to go run a 5k this morning at a little nearby town.  I have been running 4 days a week consistently for about the last 5 weeks now and I thought it would be a good idea to test my fitness level.  I have been running a little here and there for some time since my surgery last Novemeber and I have even done a few races including a half-marathon back in May, but I haven’t “raced” one yet.  I am not in race shape yet, but I ran it hard and surpised myself.  I finished 2nd overall (it was a small race and I lost to my buddy) and my time was 19:47.  I’ll take that for now and hopefully I can continue to improve to get back to where I once was.  I am still struggling with calf strength.  Although I am able to do pretty much any activity, I easily strain my calve muscle on my repaired leg.  I did so again today because of the effort I put in during the race.  Hopefully it is minor because I would like to get in an easy 3 mile run tonight.  I might even run/race a half-marathon in two weeks too.

Summer Highlights

It has been so long since I have posted and that makes me think about everything that has happened since my last post.  My achilles feels great and I have never had any major pains associated with it.  My biggest struggle continues to be calf strength. 

I was able to play the entire softball season without any achilles trouble and even managed to hit a home run.  I even had enough speed (something I haven’t worked on much) to get around the bases for a couple of inside-the-park home runs too.  I was asked to sub on a beach volleyball team one night and that went well too.  My skills weren’t sharp, but I found the sand to be quite forgiving on my achilles.  Lately I have started to play a little more tennis and I think I will take to the basketball courts soon.  I have an opportunity to play in an alumni basketball tournament around Thanksgiving so I better starting easing into it soon.  This would been around the time I suffered by ATR last year.  I continue to run, although I missed much of July do to illness and a back problem caused by doing some construction work.  My goal is to be in good enough shape to race a half-marathon in early October.  It sure feels good to be doing all of the activities I missed out on since my ATR.


I played in my first softball game this week.  I was pretty nervous not having played in a sport such as this since my injury.  It went well though, other than misjudging a fly ball in the outfield.  I am not the fastest guy on the base pads, but it was still fun running them.  I wore a calf sleeve again because I seem to easily strain my calf muscle and it definitely helps.  I would suggest one to anyone struggle with calf strains.

Goal Accomplished!

I had originally set a recovery goal to run a half-marathon in September, but I decided to try one in May instead.  Yesterday, 6 months and 2 days since my surgery, I was able to meet my goal.  I ran a half-marathon and finished it in 1:46:10 (8:07/ mile) and 592nd place out of 5365 runners.  I wasn’t sure how the run would go because I had mildly strained the calf muscle on my repaired leg the week before and also gotten sick during the week leading up to the race, but I’ll take it.  My calf felt pretty good by race day and I ended up wearing a compression sleeve on it which appeared to help.  I think I will continue to wear the sleeve for higher intensity activities and workouts.  Now I have to decide on a new goal.  Any thoughts on a goal?

2 weeks left and some random thoughts

There are only two weeks left until I attempt a half-marathon, my initial recovery goal.  I actually set the half-marathon date for a race in September, but I got a little ambitious and chose May instead.   So with only 14 days remaining I have a little work left to do.  Adding strength in my calve muscle on the injured leg is my biggest challenge.  I continue to make improvements, but if feels like I’m watching grass grow at times. 

I felt my first my pain (well, the first in a long time)  in my achilles yesterday while I was shooting jump shots during my lunch break at work.  It was breif and lingered throughout the remainder of the day.  Today I felf fine so I went for my longest run to date.  I managed to complete 11 miles and it went as well as expected.  I am starting to get into at least some sort of shape, but my struggle is getting my calve muscle to make the distance.  The faster pace I try to run the sooner calve muscle fatigues. 

Has anyone tried a compression sleeve for their calve muscle? 

I have also quit attempting single leg calve raises since I can only do 2-3.  I felt that it was doing more good than bad because I was just stressing the muscle trying to do something it couldn’t really do.  I have still been able to gain strength at the same rate and I have experienced less soreness.  I will resume them when I can do a substantial amount.

In my opinion the biggest obstacle in recovering from an ATR is trying to find the fine line between overdoing it and exercising/strengthening my injured leg to the fullest.

Cleaning out the garage and that boot again

I am finally getting to some projects that I postponed the winter (because of my ATR) and then got pushed back because of other projects.  One of them is cleaning, organizing, and insulating my garage.  I created some storage so I could move stuff out of our basement (which I am also trying to finish).  One of the items was my boot, which I haven’t worn since January.  I am trying to decide what to do with it.  I can’t bring myself to discarding because of the hefty price tag that came with it, but I don’t want to hang on to it either because I hope to never use it again.  Any ideas would be welcomed?  I have crutches yet too.

As far as recovery goes I am know able to do about 2-3 quality single leg calf raises and my repaired leg.  Just a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t do any so that is exciting.  I jumped rope yesterday and was even able to do some single leg jumps, about 10 or so.  They weren’t pretty and I couldn’t help my heel from touching the ground on my repaired leg between each “jump”.  It just goes to show how far I have yet to go.  I have been doing some mild softball practices each week as well.  This pretty much consists of playing catch, hitting a few balls, and running after fly balls in the outfield.  It is kind of fun being able to get back into playing a sport again other than running.

Quick Update

Thanks to Dennis for reuniting all of us again.  I found that I really missed reading everyone’s updates.  As for myself, I am still working on training for a half-marathon in May.  I have been able to do a 7 mile run both on the treadmill and outside.  Getting strength back in my injured leg (calf) has been a bit of a challenge though.  I would like to be able to do single leg calf raises, but I can only do a few that don’t quite have the extension of my good leg.  I am also hoping to play softball this summer, but without the calf strength running at top speeds is impossible.

17 weeks and counting

I hit the 17 week mark yesterday and  thought I would post a quick update.  I did a follow up with my PT last week to monitor my progress and he gave me some new exercises (light plyometrics) such as the dot drill and jumping in a line.  I still can’t do a single leg (right leg) calf raise so I am left leg dominate with these exercises right now, but it is improving.  I alternate days with running or elliptical.  I ran outside for the 1st time last weekend and I am now able to do a 5 mileon the treadmill.  Any suggestions on how to gain back calf strength would be greatly appreciated.

15 weeks and counting

I am 15 weeks post op today and I am thinking that I might try to run outside for the first time tomorrow.  We have had great weather up here in Minnesota and the roads are almost completly clear of ice and snow.  I am a little nervous about it because my calf muscle is pretty weak yet and pushing off the ground requires more effort than on the treadmill so I hope I don’t tire out too fast.   I was able to run 3 miles on the treadmill two days in a row this week.  It went fine, but I have noticed that my achilles is a little more stiff and sore.  I am wondering what everybody else has experienced when they first started running.  A lot of aches and pains?  No trouble at all?  My pace is still slow, but it has increased slightly.

Other than running I have been working on gaining back my leg strength with exercises given to me by my PT.  I am no longer seeing my PT, but I do have a follow up appointment next week to evaluate my progress.  I still get some swelling on a daily basis so I have to ice on a regular basis.  All in all it is good to be at 15 weeks and feeling somewhat normal.  I can’t wait to increase my mileage running, shoot a jump shot, and play some volleyball or softball.  Hopefully by this summer these things will all happen.  I do still plan on running a half-marathon in May if I can avoid any setbacks.  The race I am looking at is 6 months and 1 day after my surgery, which I think would be a good way to celebrate the 6 month mark.