One Year Anniversary

A few days ago I hit that one-year Achilles Marathon milestone. One year since surgery for chronic, severe achilles tendinosis and Haglund’s excision. At that time I had spent two years chasing a non-surgical cure with no success. I had been a runner for 37 years but could not longer even walk without limping. I didn’t know if the surgery would lead to me being able to run again, but knew I didn’t want to be limping and avoiding activity for the rest of my life.

The recovery is long, no two ways about it. Progress is not always measurable. Patience wears thin. Hope surges, hope wains. But TIME leads to more and more healing, even when you can’t see it or feel it. This blog was a regular source of information, comfort and encouragement. A big shout out to the achillesblog community for the incredible support it provides!

I am happy to report that I have returned to running - something I love to do. At 11 months I ran a half-marathon on a hilly, part-trail-part-road course (1:50:40 - 8:27/mile pace). I’m not back to my previous race paces but can put in 35 miles a week and feel good doing it. This far exceeds my expectations. ¬†Goals for 2015: Run a marathon in the Spring, qualify again for Boston, and actually get to run Boston now that my achilles is healthy! If training for a marathon proves too much for my achilles, then so be it. I’m thrilled to be running again and feeling fit. I’m thrilled not to be limping around and avoiding “doing too much.” I’m grateful for a successful result. Grateful for the journey.

14 Comments »

  1. gocanes123 Said,

    October 27, 2014 @ 9:49 am

    So good to hear Kim, congrats! Your pace is nothing to complain about either 1 year out! I am at 7 months and my runs have been improving over the past few weeks, and I am scheduled to run a 10 miler in 2 weeks. My long runs have been up to 8 miles, with a pace probably around 8:45ish/mile (I have not brought a watch b/c I am just focusing on finishing, and no PRing until next year). I hope to mirror the same progress as you as I move closer towards the 1 year mark!

  2. kimc Said,

    October 27, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

    @gocanes - good to hear the running is going well for you! From months 7-12, the running just got better and better and I expect you’ll find the same. I totally agree with the “no PRing” in the first year. But I am hoping to PR at some distance in 2015! (It’ll have to be something shorter than the marathon…)

  3. atr2014 Said,

    October 27, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    Amazing time - better than my half marathon PR by one minute! I could only be so lucky to run your pace! Thanks for posting and sharing. Good luck with Boston!

  4. kimc Said,

    October 28, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

    Thanks, atr2014!

  5. janis Said,

    October 28, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!!!

    My 1 year is coming up in about 3 weeks. Yours is one of the blogs I always sought out to see where I could expect to be a month ahead of where I currently was. In the early days, a month was a large block of time and progress! I agree, without the wealth of information and experience here, I would not have had such a proactive role in my own recovery.

    As we golfed 18 holes yesterday, walking up and down steep hills with no pain, no limp - I thought back to this time last year. Pain, limping, depression because of the pain. What a difference! Glad to hear you are back to enjoying running again! Life is good here, as well.

  6. kimc Said,

    October 29, 2014 @ 11:55 am

    Awesome to hear from you, Janis! Even better to hear the almost-a-year has made a huge difference in your life, as well.

  7. coast2coast Said,

    October 30, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    awesome, Kim! Congrats on reaching this point — I’m about two weeks behind you. Good luck with your Spring marathon (which one are you doing? I’m signed up for O.C. in May), and qualifying for Boston!!

  8. kimc Said,

    October 30, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

    @coast2coast - I’ll sign up for Lincoln Marathon on May 3rd.

  9. kimc Said,

    October 30, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    @coast2coast - I’ll be cheering you on in your training and Spring marathon. Let’s check with each other along the way!

  10. ruptured Said,

    November 5, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

    Do you still feel any discomfort back there?

  11. kimc Said,

    November 5, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

    @ ruptured: Running still produces some low level soreness in my achilles at the insertional point - after hard, fast efforts, sometimes after increasing a long run’s length, usually after racing - but it doesn’t last. A day off in between hard efforts takes care of it.

  12. gocanes123 Said,

    November 6, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

    Hi Kim, have you ever encountered a scenario in your recovery where you are safely building mileage, feeling great, then after a long run that felt fine, suffered discomfort and an inflamed AT that lasts for several days? I ask as I have been doing quite well in long runs of 8 miles for about 4 weeks now, with a 10 mile race coming this Sunday. My last long one was 9 miles this past Sunday, and felt ok. I have been in discomfort and highly inflamed in the injured AT area ever since, putting my race this weekend is serious doubt. Have you ever had discomfort after a long run last this long?

  13. kimc Said,

    November 6, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

    I ONLY have discomfort AFTER running. Never during the run - at least, not from my achilles:) I checked my training log and there have been two instances where I took several days off after a run left my achilles sore: once for 3 days, once for 5 days. Those two instances happened in months 7 and 9. They weren’t predictable, either. Both times, I did not run again until the soreness was gone. If your achilles is “highly inflamed” - don’t risk losing ground. Rest it. You’re way ahead of the curve for 7 months, and it sounds like your achilles is reminding you that it has ONLY been 7 months!

  14. gocanes123 Said,

    November 7, 2014 @ 9:26 am

    Thanks Kim, you are right, no sense pushing it and losing out on a possible spring PR

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