Aug 12 2014

6 months - all is progressing

Published by smick at 1:45 pm under Uncategorized

Hey everyone,

It’s been a while and just thought I’d check in and post a report at the six month mark for anyone looking ahead and needing inspiration.

Life has continued to get better and better. I’ve bought a road bike as biking has proven to be the best rehab exercise for me, and I’m up to riding around 50 miles a week and training for a metric century in October as a goal. I find that even after a hard 20 mile ride with lots of climbing, my achilles still feels great. Swimming is also another great rehab exercise, but I find riding is much more fun than doing laps in a pool.

I did get cleared for a return to run program three weeks ago, but I’ve only attempted it once so far. It’s mind numbingly slow (1 minute of jogging, 5 minutes of walking, repeat 5x) and I could tell the pounding bothered my achilles even in that first day. For now, I’m sticking with riding and will likely try to do some more jogging in the Fall when it gets wet.

For other activities, my PT wants me to do 3 sets of 10-12 full single leg calf raises before I go back to playing any cutting sports (tennis), which I’m about 1/2 way to accomplishing. I can do around 8-10 3/4 height unassisted calf raises, but only about 2 sets of them. I’ve been slacking a bit on calf raises given how much I’ve been riding, but am going to refocus on them for the next month.

I’m still going to PT, although dropping to once a month. The focus is now on strength, agility and balance. Lots of jumping, single and double legged, ladder drills, squats and balance exercises on the bosu ball. Hard enough that I am sweating and exhausted by the end!

The only negative is that I still have some tingling numbness under the ball of my foot. Doctor said it was a side effect of the nerve block, and should go away by now. I’ve since read that it can take a year, and maybe never go away. It has gotten better, and doesn’t bother me really, but is annoying that it has lingered this long.

Other than that, life is feeling back to normal. I’m surfing, going on long walks, have done some 3-4 mile hikes, and mostly forget about my achilles. Keep up your PT and maintain a positive attitude, things do come along fine!


4 Responses to “6 months - all is progressing”

  1. gocanes123on 14 Aug 2014 at 10:17 am

    Great news smick! I’m about a month and a half behind you but feel the same way. My AT is not a factor in my daily life at this point, and I have been improving my gradual return to running, it is a good place to be at!

  2. davidkon 14 Aug 2014 at 10:56 am

    Smick, nice update–glad things are going well for you! I’m about a month behind you on the timeline (since surgery), but my recovery status seems very close to yours. Our PT sessions sound very similar, and I know that I am sweating and tired at the end of mine, too. As I tell my PTs, what I’m doing now is SO much more satisfying than writing the alphabet with my toes–and it shows me how far I’ve come. I also love biking and think that this has been one of the best ways to build-up my calf strength. I got the same running program as you, but I modified it to suit me better and the use of a paved 1/3 mile loop path around a park near my house. I just run a loop, walk a loop, and then repeat–usually 3 times. It’s much simpler than constantly looking at my watch. I told my PTs and they said that was fine. Like you, I prefer biking, but I think there is a recovery benefit to incorporating some running as well. -David

  3. kimcon 14 Aug 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Love to read all accounts of recovery going well! Like you, I did a lot of biking and it felt great to get a true cardio workout. The century sounds like a fantastic goal! As for the running, I can report getting off to a “mind numbingly slow” start as well. Incremental additions took on a whole new meaning from what I was used to in terms of running pre-achilles surgery. However, after a couple of months it began to seem fairly normal - and from there it really took off. As David mentioned, I think there is a recovery benefit to running, if that’s something you like to do. I experienced a huge benefit in terms of push-off strength, ankle strength, and calf strength from the running. (Of course, biking - and lots of walking - prepared me for the running!) Wishing you well as you progress and cheering you on toward your century goal in October!

  4. annababion 14 Aug 2014 at 7:36 pm

    What a great 6 month update! Definitely helps me to read how far one can get in that time, especially as I take my first FWB steps. Seems like an impossibility to me right now. I feel like I get a lot of encouragement just reading everyone else’s progress - because if you can do it, so can I! :) Best to you in your continued healing.

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