First Run!

Hi Folks,

I did my first run yesterday, since Jan. 23 when I had my fateful rupture at the end of a 15K race.  I did three miles non-stop, and yes it was slooowwww…BUT it is the best my heels have felt in ten years or more!!  It felt so weird to not favor one side or the other that it was almost abnormal!  I fully expected the heel to be sore this morning when I got out of bed but it feels just fine!  So I am anxiously looking forward to another three-miler this afternoon, and I will continue on and try to keep consistency for several weeks.  Unlike before, I am not planning to do any speedwork until the first of the year, at least, so that I can build up a nice mileage base of around 70 miles per week.  Once I can do that, pain free and consistently, then I’ll know I can start training to be fast again and this time, hopefully with no injuries!!  One thing this experience has taught me is patience…and that the ultimate goal should be a long and healthy athletic career that is not pockmarked with injury-causing inconsistency.  I am so stoked!!!  And I’m hearing so  many wonderful stories…you guys have really kept me going.  I’ll keep posted; am headed off to swim now :-)  Take care!  Mary Margaret

8 Responses to “First Run!”

  1. Congratulations! What a great accomplishment. Keep at it and you’ll be better than ever.

  2. awesome. sounds like you might actually be better off than before the rupture.

  3. Great news, MM — Don’t Stop!! Your Doc thought you’d be Better Than New, and it sounds as if you’re making an honest man out of him! ;-)

    MM has been too busy having fun to post frequently, but she’s told us about a rough history of heel pain and Haglund’s Deformity (and surgery!) on both feet — AND she’s a serious runner! So when she writes about running without favoring one heel or the other, it’s not just the usual “same old, same old” that the rest of us ATR folks have faced!


  4. Thanks so much for all the encouraging comments!! Yes, this has been a long road but I have learned a lot, thanks primarily to all you guys! I’ll stay in touch and let everyone know how it’s going after about a week :-)

  5. That’s awesome Mary! Congratulations and thanks for the motivation, good to see life will be back to normal ;)

  6. Hi Mary,

    Congratulations on running again. I have some questions I hope you’ll be kind enough to answer. You stated that it happend during a 15k race. Did it just pop in the middle of the race or while your were sprinting to the finish? Do you know of other people who ruptured his/her AT while running? What does your doctor say about running again?

    While I was recovering from me ATR almost 2 years ago, I read a lot of stuff and, from what I learned at the time, virtually no one had ruptured their AT jogging or distance running. That was why I started jogging after my ATR and it led me to marathon running and now triathons with a full ironman in mind. I haven’t had any problems but the fear is always in the back of my mind. Especially while I’m doing speedwork or running up steep hills.

    Thanks in advance,

  7. Hi Phu,

    Thanks for writing! To give you a little background, I started running at age 11 and I’m now 40…so a long time running! I have completed 10 marathons and am presently trying to get into triathlon, with hopes of eventually doing a half-ironman.

    Regarding your questions, yes, mine ruptured at the end of a 15K…in the last 50 yards. I was not sprinting, on purpose…for one thing, I was 15 mins. ahead in my age group so no need to (I hopped across the line on my good foot and still took the win :-) and the main reason was I was still recovering from Haglunds surgery on the same heel that ruptured. I had had surgery in July 2009 (the rupture was at the end of Jan. 2010 so I didn’t think I was pushing too much). I was holding about an 8-minute pace when it happened. It was completely unexpected, happening when I landed (not when I toed off) and right around the prior surgery site. The doctor is convinced that due to the location and nature of the rupture, I had tendinosis caused by the continuous rubbing of the Haglunds spur against the tendon for a year or so before I finally had it fixed. Having had the same problem (Haglunds) in 2005 on the right side, I was not anxious to go under the blade again.

    Regardless, that said…my rupture was likely unusual in that the running didn’t actually cause it but perhaps increased the chance of happening because I was tired, being at the end of a 9.3 mile race (the longest I had run in a while) and it just gave in at the weak spot.

    As far as future running is concerned, my doc. doesn’t seem worried that I will not make a full recovery. When I went to my last post-op on June 14 (surgery was Feb. 2), he told me to “start running in two months”. I dutifully waited ’til Aug. 16 and took my first 3-mile jog. It felt really good…and the next two runs (the same 3-mile jog) felt even better. However, my last two jogs (same 3 miles) I have noticed significant soreness toward the bottom of the back of the heel. This could be due to the anchors that were placed (they anchored the tendon into the heel and sewed the rupture spot). At least I hope this is it…I must confess I am a bit paranoid about a re-rupture, even though I don’t think my conservative doc. would have suggested I start running if there was any risk. So…I’ll probably back off for a day or two and see if it subsides.

    I have an Olympic distance triathlon slated for Oct. 16 on a hilly course. I am praying that things feel good enough for me to make a respectable (not necessarily fast) showing. I’ve been swimming but can’t seem to find the motivation to get on the bike due to time constraints and the fact that there’s no place safe to ride around here. We’ll see…am also doing a lot of strength training. I am not planning to do any speedwork or hills ’til after the first of the year, as both speedwork and hills are really hard on the achilles. How far are you out from rupture/surgery? If less than a year, I would just concentrate on getting a good mileage base and and hold off on speed/hills until the fear is minimal.

    Hope this helps…and best of luck! Keep me posted.


  8. Hi Mary,

    Thank you for the additional information on the sequence of unfortunate events that lead to your ATR. It has been almost 2 years and three full marathons since my ATR and I haven’t had any problems but recently finding out that some people, such as yourself, suffered ATRs while distance running/racing did concern me a little. You’ve helped ease my concerns.

    I’m doing my first triathlon in a few weeks and I’m going straight to a half ironman. Did a 40 mile ride that was immediately followed by a 10 mile run last weekend and I was surprised at how good (or not so bad) the whole thing felt. Much easier than the 20ish mile marathon training runs. I surf a lot and can swim for days so I can hopefully put it all together and not embarass myself too much on race day. No real goals, just have fun and finish. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Good luck with your return to running (& now swimming and cycling) and I hope your heel problems improves as you steadily increase your distance and speed.

    BTW, I’m halfway through Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and I’m totally hooked. If you haven’t already read this book, check it out, I know you’ll really enjoy it.

    Happy trails! phu

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