Injury Report: Achilles Tendonitis

A few months ago, I pulled a muscle. I wasn’t doing anything when I pulled it. One moment, I was fine. The next, I was in terrible pain. This was in a time when I was less than half way through a 4-week boot camp. Because the injury prevented me from putting weight on or extending my left arm, I had to withdraw. Just as I was feeling so empowered.

Now, I have fit into clothes I haven’t been able to wear in over 7 years (yes, I still have clothes from 7 years ago I haven’t been able to fit into). Now, I am finally seeing some definition and getting some downward movement on the scale. Now, I have finally started running again.

I went on a beach trip in mid-July. During that trip, I ran each morning for the first time in a long time. I was barefoot and used a nice, easy pace to the pier and back. That was almost exactly a mile. I was amazed to find that even in the heat, I wasn’t getting winded. This from the same woman who failed at Couch to 5K just last November (15th place for females in my age group).

Ran to the pier and back each morning
Ran to the pier and back each morning

But I was suddenly running and feeling great. It felt like a new start. When I returned home, I took a couple of days off from running because of my overexposure to the sun (that’s another story), but then I headed out again back to my old running path: Duke’s East Campus Wall. With the minor adjustments to the path they’ve made over the last year, the route is almost exactly 1.5 miles. I figured it would be easy.

As soon as I got out of my car and was walking to the running path, I felt a tightness in my right ankle. I ran anyway. I stopped and stretched after a half mile and went back to it. I got a side stitch after a mile, but mostly powered through to finish the last half mile. By then, my side and my ankle were really painful.

Then I was limping. Yes, I somehow managed – just by returning to running in running shoes on a regular running path – to get achilles tendonitis. This has sidetracked all of my fitness work. Most sources tell me I need to take it easy 4-6 weeks or almost twice as long as my pulled muscle took to repair.

Bandages, ice, heat and rolling. That’s the plan for the next few weeks. Hopefully, by the time I’m running again, I will still have the endurance and cardio health to make it without hurting myself some more.

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