Rehab Day 1 Comes Tomorrow – So Long, Running. See you in 6 months.

Hello everyone. I feel like lately I’ve been writing so many posts that I’d rather not be writing. Posts about missing goals and fighting tired, banged up legs. Posts about the struggles of running, training and racing. Currently, I’d give quite a lot to be able to feel those things and write about them.

Last night while playing basketball, I ruptured my Achilles Tendon. For those of you unfamiliar with this injury, the Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture) completely or just partially. During a fairly routine play, I went up for a jump shot and felt like somebody hit me with a crowbar right in the back of the right leg. I actually thought the defender hit me at first. I was on the ground and by the burning sensation in the back of my leg and my inability to get up, I knew something was wrong. This was bad. My teammates helped me up and I lied on the floor. A teammate got me some ice. The first thing I could think of wasn’t about basketball, it was about running.

I love basketball and I love my teammates, but running makes me whole. It’s so much a part of me these days and I risked it for something that means less to me. I finally paid the price.

My good friends Cody and Brandon took me home and drove my car back for me. Jen was there waiting for me to help get me what I needed. I was smiling and joking with them about it. It was all I could do to keep from crying, honestly. I took some pain killlers and tried to be optimistic. Maybe it was just a calf strain. I’m no doctor. So what if some of the guys heard a pop. They could have been imagining it. Other things pop anyway.

The pain was a bit intense for a short time last night, but after some RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) my leg didn’t feel too bad this morning. I was actually optimistic. I scheduled an appointment just to make sure it wasn’t something major. Unfortunately, it was. We talked about my options. You can choose to not have surgery and just rehab, but with that option an athlete will likely never be the same. That wasn’t an option for me. The surgeon came in and we talked about what I can expect. 2 months in a boot. Rehab. At least 6 months before I can get back to being the regular me.

I was thankful that the plan was to get me into surgery on Monday. I want that rehab clock to start as soon as possible. Now I’m having surgery tomorrow. I’m a little freaked out since it’s my first surgery ever, but I’m excited to start the process.

I’ve thought about how I’m going to handle this time away from running. Will seeing posts and chats about running make me bitter or sad? Maybe I should just stay away. No, I can’t just stay away. The people and the stories are too important to me. So, I guess I’ll see running again in 6 months or so. That doesn’t mean I won’t be a part of the running community.

My posts will be different for a while. There won’t be races and there won’t be miles. There will be a slow, frustrating road to recovery. I hope that some of you will join me in that journey and help me through it.

I plan to come back stronger and better. My body might not ever be quite the same, but my experiences and my mind will make up for whatever is lost. I’ll be back.

Has anyone else dealt with major injuries? Do you have advice for me? 

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29 Replies to “Rehab Day 1 Comes Tomorrow – So Long, Running. See you in 6 months.”

  1. Oh my…. I’m in the midst. You know that! Hardest thing I have ever done. I have gotten pissed.. I have cried. I have felt encouraged. I have cried again. I see a picture come across of my fondest moments in running and I get pissed again. I want them back. Every one of them!! The good the bad the ugly.
    I made a lot of mistakes with running and training. I wish I could take every one of them back. I wish I would have listened to my body and not done the damage.
    You, my friend, will run again. I’m in therapy now. I hope to run again!

    Only advice I can offer is be easy on yourself and rejoice in the smallest accomplishment. This time will teach you how much you truly love the sport and how much it becomes the deepest element of you!

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  2. Oooh my word, I’m so so so sorry 😦 oh my goodness….. I don’t know what to say. It doesn’t compare, I had a stress fracture and was out 6 weeks (not months 😦 ) and couldn’t run. I didn’t get fat or lazy though. Instead, I taught myself to swim (I was a nose plugger swimmer lol) and swam away the weeks. I came back stronger than ever PRing in every distance that year.

    You will come back stronger. You WILL come back. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no!!!!!!!! So so so sorry to hear this!

    I fractured my 5th metatarsal (a Jones fracture – the worst, most unheal-able kind there is) about 10 yrs ago. I opted for the boot option initially and after re-fracturing it repeatedly, I wound up having surgery. It was my first surgery and I was so frustrated about it! I was worried that I’d never be as active again as I wanted to be (I was wrong!). After surgery, I was off my foot for around 6 months, in total.

    My best advice? TAKE IT EASY and be patient with yourself. There will be days after surgery where you feel great in the boot and wind up making it worse (causing swelling from being up on your foot too long or shattering the bone at the end of the screw like I did.) I took the advice (eventually) to rehab and strengthen my feet in the pool by using the kickboard. That really helped. Listen to your surgeon!

    Regardless…. it does get better and you WILL get back to running! It’s going to be hard but it will happen!

    Sending positive thoughts your way!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As you know I tore my hamstring at the beginning of the summer. Listen to your surgeon and your PTs afterwards. Do what they say it will work. I’m slowly getting there.
    My mom actually tore her achilles and had the surgery. She was in a boot and the whole bit. She’s super athletic. Today you wouldn’t know that she ruptured it. She plays 18 holes of golf 3 times a week—walking the course most of the time rather than riding. She’s 78. Says the biggest problem is tightness in the morning so she stretches it in the shower daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh man. Your post just makes me want to cry- that timeline… tearing it, going to the doc, surgery the next day. It has to be a real shock, but maybe that’s not a bad thing because your mind doesn’t have as long to dwell on it and process it, where it would if you were waiting weeks to have the surgery (side note: it’s really amazing you can have it so quickly!). I thought I was on #TeamJanky…

    I agree that you should keep your head up and keep blogging. You never know who else out there might have the same experience- a runner who gets injured when cross training, and who might stumble upon your blog and find it as a source of comfort. I personally have not had this injury but have gotten close to other bloggers or people I’ve “met” online who have had injuries and issues similar to mine. I have a ton of IRL running friends but not all of us have had the same injuries.

    Not only that but you’ve got our support no matter what. Six months is a long time but you’re fairly young and healthy and will hopefully heal quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Whether you’re at the top of your game or at the bottom, you’re never there forever. It’s a hopeful thought when you’re injured and a sobering one when you’re having success in running…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Well fuck. I am so sorry about the rupture (just the description made me cringe — I don’t ever want to know what that feels like!)
    Since you love NASCAR talk so much, I’ll tell you about the pit crew guy whose Achilles was COMPLETELY SEVERED in a freak accident by a passing car on pit road. He had surgery and he was totally fine! If he can come back from that, I think your surgeon and PT can bring you back from a rupture.
    I’ve only had one running injury that put me out for months, and I will just say to remember progress doesn’t always go in a straight line. Some days you’re going to feel like you took a step backwards. Just stick to the rehab plan and have faith it’ll get better. Keep us updated here too. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 12 months out with a ruptured plantar fascia in 2006. Best advice: DON’T RUSH THE COMEBACK. Number two would be to do the rehab religiously. And – this is a request, not advice – keep blogging. You have friends cheering and fellow sufferers who can benefit from your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to be patient with my recovery. I don’t just want to come back. I want to come back strong. That will take time. I’ll keep blogging. My interaction with other runners (like you) means too much to me to quit.

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