After a few days of professional-grade denial, I’ve decided to come clean with myself and admit I have a sore Achilles’ tendon. This is something of a setback to the reboot, but it is what it is, and now that I’ve come to terms with it I can start working the problem.

It first surfaced 3 weeks ago on my first run for about a month. I warmed up properly like a good runner should, and abandoned the run when I felt some tightness, smugly thinking I was bound to be rewarded for this uncharacteristic prudence. It was a lunchtime run and I clocked 5 miles, walking the last mile back to to the office. For the next couple of days the tendon was a bit stiff, but nothing to write home about, so I set off on the same route a week later. Same story; run abandoned for the sake of prudence.

Once bitten, twice err bitten. Yet again, another week on and the stiffness had gone so I set out again, this time after resurrecting the compression socks I scored for the Great North Run. No problems for the first 4 miles or so, until Mr Achilles woke up again and commanded me to walk home.
Now, I may be slow but I’m not crazy. Another week on, it’s finally occurred to be that this cadence is not working and I am abstaining from anything more than a walk.

Walking is OK. The tendon feels stiff in the morning and I can feel some pain if I massage a specific spot above the heel. To resist the urge to do more harm than good I have come up with the following cunning plan …

  1. Massage the tendon gently but frequently
  2. Monitor for signs of stiffness in the morning
  3. When (1) and (2) show no negative effects (not even a hint), go to (4)
  4. Wait 7 days
  5. Go out for a gentle 3 miles at > 10 min/mile
  6. Wait 7 days
  7. If tendon is sore, go back to (1) and double the time in (4)
  8. If tendon is not sore, go back to (5) and double the distance in (5)

imageI’ve had injuries before. I just need a little pa… Hold on, I feel a song coming on.