Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 20)

Here was my weekly mileage for the first three full weeks of May 2020:

  • 8.20 miles
  • 8.10 miles
  • 8.25 miles

I was getting there.

The operative word is “was.”

My mileage for this week was zero.  Zip.  Nada.  Nothing.  No miles.  None. 

I’m getting frustrated, a little.

I’m getting depressed, a little.

I feel like I’m in a never-ending cycle of pain, hope, progress, set-backs, remedies, hope, pain, progress, and set-backs.

Last Friday (May 22) I felt a twinge.  Not pain.  A twinge.  I was going to try to run three miles that day.  I stopped at one and returned home.  

I haven’t run since.

The twinges haven’t subsided.

I feel like I’m back to square one. 

I’m tired of square one.


Due to the pandemic, I hadn’t been to see my physical therapist since March. 

I had a blood test and found that I have the antibodies (hooray!) which allowed me to start going back for in-person visits.  

When my physical therapist saw the surgery area, the first time she has seen it in person (and not over a computer screen for months), she wasn’t pleased.

It’s inflamed.  It’s warmer to the touch than she’d like.  It’s swollen more than she’d like.  

We talked about all of this – and more.

When she started the manipulation, I asked, “On a scale of one to ten, how concerned are you?”  Her reply didn’t make me feel much better, “A five.”

As she continued the manipulations and physical therapy (and Graston) her level of concern fell, first to a four, and then, by the time she finished, to a 3.5.

3.5 is better than 5.0, but it’s still too high.

We realized that due to the pandemic, and life, and such, I am (like so many others across the country – and most with much more dire circumstances and situations than mine) somewhat of a guinea pig.  Never before has my physical therapist worked with a patient that started regular physical therapy and then had to stop for months on end due to a pandemic.  I did do my exercises.  And my running comeback was under the advice of the therapists.  I’ve tried to be smart about all of this.  

As she worked on the Achilles, she suggested I text the orthopedist, which I did as she manipulated the area and worked on fixing me.  We were both extremely impressed when he texted me right back.  A good man, that doctor is.  A good good man.  (I have an office visit scheduled for June 9.)

The concern could be just from the my body has reacted post-surgery due to the fact that I didn’t have the opportunity for proper follow-up care.  That’s likely true.

Now that I can go back to regular therapy, the hope is that I will get better and back to normal sooner rather than later.  I believe that’ll be the case.

I was making great progress!

I am an optimist, 99% of the time, but in these moments, as I take another step backwards, I do somethings think the worst.

I asked about follow-up second surgeries… she said it was possible, but that it’s way too early to tell.

I didn’t ask, but I wonder if, once and for all, after years and years and years of pounding this body and pushing it as hard as I can… if I’m just at that point, approaching 52 years-old, that the gig is up.  I think I’m a young guy, I try to act like a young guy.  I have the energy and determination and focus and drive… but maybe it’s over.  I sometimes think this way.

Maybe, it’s over.   

No, no way.

No way.  At all.

It’s just a slight step backwards.

Before I left the office on Friday, I was even told to try a short run to see how the Achilles reacts.  I might go out later today.  

I’m not done.  No way.

I’ll stay positive.

Even as I take this giant step backwards.







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