Sunday morning I had a complete rupture of my left achillies tendon. I somehow saved my bike from a slide out, I must have used my leg as a kickstand and I felt someone run into or kick my calf. I looked behind me to see who was there, and in that matrix like moment, time slowed, I saw no one, dropped an f bomb and knew. I knew instantly when I didn't see anyone behind me. In the seconds that processed through my brain I thought, here comes the next year of my life.
Take Care of Your Joints.
It would come and go the inflammation around the achillies. One thing I've neglected is dynamic loading when I was feeling good. We know you need to use the qualities you want to keep. Healthy tendons need load, eccentric strength and must go through stretch shortening cycle. This had started to fade over the years.
Variable Loads Are Needed.
I normally take my HRV every morning, but I had just finished getting over a weird cold that seemed to last 18 days and had gotten out of the habit. It had left me with good power in terms of strength, but anything over 160 heart rate I was wiped out. Part of me thinks I was still fighting something, had extra inflammation in my system when this all when caput.
When I got home from the ER, that Sunday reached out to a bunch of friends and got some surgeons names that were recommended. I was able to see my Doc Monday morning and he stated it was a bit higher then normal. I said, great more blood flow! He said yes, but less tendon to work with. (here's hoping I'm right)
A good friend sent me to the website of Dr. Amol Saxena, one of the leading foot/calf guys in the world. He performs lots of achillies surgeries on athletes who's livelihood depends on it. He lays out a great rehab protocol. Week by week. Post Op Rehab Achillies
Nutritionally I'm going to do a very high protein, high fat, low carb diet for at least a month. Essentially eat no junk and try to limit inflammation. Bought a bunch of high quality bone broth to drink multiple times a day to see if I can maximize connective tissue health.
Have a Plan
ALTIS just posted a nice recap of their Coaching program and one thing that stuck out was this from Matt Jordan. 1. Know what matters. 2. Measure what matters. 3. Change what matters. Dr. Saxena has seen hundreds through to the return to running and 3 things matter. 1. Perform 5x25 single leg raises with 15 seconds rest between sets. 2. Have a post operative limb within 5mm of the good leg. This is tricky as mine was already 1.5-2 cm smaller from when I had a back injury to the left. My goal will be to get as close to the size pre surgery. 3. Have ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of 5 degrees of the good limb. If access to an AlterG run 85% bodyweight for 10 minutes.
Be Abel to Measure Your Plan
Surgery is in the morning. Then the fight begins. It's been humbling to feel and hear all kinds of support from family and friends. My wife has been amazing. Funny, after my first thought of oh shit I tore my achillies, my 2nd thought was, Kelly is going to kill me! lol