My last post on my progress was @ 8 weeks. I am now a full 22 weeks post-op. (See my last post.)
My last doctor appointment at 12 weeks went well. He released me on my own recognizance. He reiterated that no real training should take place until I can to the one-leg toe raise. I could do a shortened toe raise but only lift my heel barely an inch off the ground. The calf was too weak. It was not pain from surgery or the tendon that prevented me from doing so.
My physical therapy ended on 12/8. Due to the holidays and some travel I did not pursue running on the Alter-G treadmill. [Spooner Physical Therapy offers a monthly “membership” fee to come in and use it.] I also will admit I have not been as diligent at my exercises on my own. I have continued some strength work.
The key however is that I have begun running – real running. Ok, jogging – real jogging. My first run was on 12/7 – 3 full months post-op. It was a 1 mile jog on the track. My goal was to run on ground by the end of the year. Success! Here is how my running log looked for December.
I felt as though I was favoring my right leg (the surgery side). There is no doubt is was weaker. The achilles tendon is still very thick compared to the other side. But, other than a slight twinge in one tiny area I have no pain or discomfort at all. It’s just weak. I cannot push off.
I experimented with paces. The bottom line is that after 26 months of non-training, I am simply very out of shape and my legs are weak. I need time off after a run due to other aches pains and my left calf cramping badly. No doubt much of this is from compensation. I can do a toe raise but not well, not repeated, and not powerfully.
January I ran a total of just over 40 miles total. I am still struggling with other aches and pains. No change in the achilles tendon.
One notable difficult thing is how this has worn on me emotionally. It is very difficult fighting back. I have to practice a good “mental game” and stay in the moment and focused on the current task at hand. My mind tends to wander back to how “I used to be” and if I will ever run well again. The doc says the surgery will not prohibit that. But, it most certainly is taking longer than I thought.
I have put off all thoughts of racing until the Fall. There will be no way I can regain my strength to even think about racing until then.
In the meantime, I enjoy being able to run at least some.