My Achilles’ Heel—Really!

This morning as I began mile three, I felt a tug in my left ankle. It took a moment to register, but I had injured my Achilles tendon. This is the same ankle I broke four years ago. I still have a plate and six screws in that ankle.

Ankle Injury

At first, I was in denial. I walked a few steps and then tried to run again. Nope, I thought, I’ve injured myself. I began walking home from the Park. After another 100 yards, I tried to run again. Bad decision. That only made matters worse. Now I was limping.

This is my first bona fide running injury. I plan to lay off for a few days in the hopes it will get better. Bummer.

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  • David

    Sorry, Mike. Guess it’s the elevator for you. Keep telling yourself it has nothing to do with age. I hope you mend quickly.

  • http://www.brandonkraft.com Kraft

    Mike- I’m sorry to hear that! Get better soon. You’re in my prayers.

  • Tamara

    Injuries are a badge of honor among runners. Congrats on earning your stripes.

    A physio friend of mine recommends calf massage to speed Achilles rehab. She also suggests rolling the injured foot over a golf ball (obviously without your shoes on) to loosen up the plantar fascia. This will keep the tissue on either side of the injury from getting tight, a potential cause of your Achilles problems in the first place.

    With a little Advil, you’ll be back on the roads in no time. Looking forward to reading your first post-injury run report.

  • Michael Covington

    Mike

    I had achilles tendonitis a couple of months ago and found that the best treatment was some physical therapy (topical steroids do wonders), ice, rest and ibuprofen. Mine came on a week before ICRS and I could barely walk, with that regimen I was feeling no pain by Atlanta.

  • http://biz.blox.pl TesTeq

    Get better as soon as possible and come to Poland for some running!

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com Lawrence W. Wilson

    Mike, as an arthritis sufferer and veteran of four joint-replacement surgeries, I sympathize … these bodies of ours are a mixed blessing.

    Hope you’re on the mend soon.

  • http://www.blcassociates.com Randall McCathren

    Having run some 55,000 miles over the past 30 years (averaging 30+ per week through every injury, family and business crisis), I can say unequivocally that it’s all about “preventive maintenance.” What kind of stretching are you doing pre and post running each day? If you don’t have a routine that you follow religiously, you are reducing your flexibility day by day until inevitably your tendons and ligaments will give way. “Cures” will help you get back out there, but preventive maintenance is the ONLY way to avoid further injury. Plus I recommend strongly cross-training on an exercise bike, plus yoga and swimming – I put too many eggs in my “running basket” for many years!

  • http://www.maxbooks.9k.com Max Elliot Anderson

    Reading your injury report just sent a chill down my back.

    When I was a little kid, a friend and I were playing with heavy, steel trucks in the back yard. He decided to tie a rope to his and began swinging it around in a circle. I couldn’t get out of the way in time, and his truck struck me in the back of my ankle. A sharp edge of the truck nearly severed my Achilles tendon.

    I’ve never felt such pain!

    So, I hope you repair soon.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    Did you know you can get that plate and screws taken out, Mike? It’s an outpatient procedure and not very painful even. I had mine out about a year after I broke my ankle and my ankle felt so much better immediately.

    I’m sure you’re bummed about your ankle with the way you love to run–I know I would be. Praying for you!

  • http://www.zeal.com Phil Bandy

    Mike, regarding the removal of the plate and screws. Be careful! I too broke my ankle and after a few yeasr had the plate and screws removed in an out patient procedure. Only after he was into my ankle did the doctor realize that bone had grown OVER the plate, so he had to chisel it off to get to the plate. It was not a comforatable out patient surgery. Have the doc double check the X Rays.

  • Dan

    Yikes….hate that. Hope you heal quickly… I’m in training for my 2nd half-marathon… decided to run the Disney…appropriate as I’m still half-kid (at least in my head). I had a lot of calf pain this time training and have alleviated most with a good stretching routine. Heal fast!

  • Lindsay Terry
  • http://www.lexicallight.com Lexie

    How frustrating.

    I second the physical therapy. I ignored my minor Achilles pain for over a year, developing a big lump and ending up barely walking. Now I’m in PT w/ultrasound, ice massage, stretching & strengthening. It’s helping.

    Seeking PT soon should help your recovery time and arm you w/some preventive maintenance. Catch it while it’s new.

    Speedy recovery.

  • Rick Regenfuss

    May you heal quickly without future complications. Life without running is almost as bad as life without reading!

  • http://www.geekfit.com/ Steven Klassen

    Feel better; that’s got to be some miserable stuff.

  • http://daveanthold.typepad.com/elevate Dave

    Michael,

    You’ve probably heard many remedies before, but let me add another one. My achilles tendon occasionally will flair up when I’m out on a run and it usually comes from an improper warm-up for me. It tendons to strike if I had done a speed or hill workout where I am doing quick turnover stuff.

    To help olivate the problem, I do a short warm-up followed by static stretching (especially the achilles – hang of a curb) and then some dynamic drills (high knees, high skipping, and quick turnover). It adds a little time to my overall run, but it helps me in the long run. Also, you might want to include toe raises into your routine, either with weight or without weight.

    I hope some of this helps you. Feel better.