So it’s been just over a month since I re-injured my achilles. My life has been very hectic since, literally, the morning after the injury. I went on a vacation for a a week at the beach just 1.5 days after injuring it, and then when I got back I started as an assistant coach for my son’s U-9 soccer team, while also always attending my daughter’s U-11 soccer practices (along with an all day on my feet tournament!), and we just got back from an overnight at the beach. This past month has been a blur, which is good in a way. It has kept my mind somewhat off this achilles and, honestly, the depression that has come as a result of it.
But, alas, I have great news. As I reported in my daily update a few days ago, there has been a major shift. My achilles is definitely still sore at times but it is much improved. To the point where, the past 3 days now, it has not hindered me at all. Whether walking on the sand barefoot, or walking a mile+ stretch of the Atlantic City boardwalk in search of a decent place to eat with the family, or at the local running track tonight, where I logged 2.25 miles walking, I am fully functional now and without major pain/soreness.
Do I still have soreness? Oh yes. When I wake up the morning it is there, but so long as I flex my ankle up and down a bit before stepping out of bed, it’s not bad at all. But what has been different the past 3 days is that my ankle/foot/tendon feels really strong – like I *could* run if I had to, without re-injuring it. But…the soreness is still there. I still do feel it at times. For example, while driving home from the beach today it was fine the first 30 minutes but then very annoying the final 1:15. Then, tonight while at the track, it was fine until I did my 3 sets of eccentric heel drops. Then, I immediately started walking (not at a fast pace either) and felt an annoying soreness in it with every step. But MUCH LESS than before (or else I wouldn’t have bothered going to the track in the first place). After I got back from the track, the soreness went away.
As I sit here writing this, I feel no pain at all. No soreness. I am very excited about my progress.
So tonight I did some static gastroc stretches. The question now is whether to start stretching the heck out of this thing with a session or two of hardcore mobility training per day. Not sure if that is counterproductive, but if you’ve read my daily updates then you know by now that one thing I don’t do is stick to a plan well : ) But the one thing I have stuck to, the flat-ground eccentric heel drops, has seemingly worked really well. Consider that the last time I injured this same tendon, it took about 3.5 months of a combination of rest and 3x per week physical therapy (complete with tons of mobility and traditional stair eccentric heel raises and full flex drops below parallel) before it felt where it does now, after only a couple of weeks of the heel drops alone.
All in all, I am getting pretty excited. Am thinking that a ‘test run’ (i.e., some light jogging) to test the reaction of the tendon just might be worth risking in a week or two.