March 18, 2009


The foot and ankle feel fine. There is still a bit of numbness on the outside of the foot, but that will come back as the nerve endings repair themselves. Every once-in-awhile, I feel a sharp quick pain across my foot. It's a nerve coming back to life!

I'm able to run, but still not as fluid as I did pre-injury. It's still a bit "clunky" when I get fatigued. The 1/2 marathon is probably not a reality this year, but I can do my CrossFit workouts. I ran a Crossfit "Murph" today. 1-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, 1-mile run. It's one of my favorite workouts as it completely depletes me. The last mile I had to walk part of it because of conditioning, but the Achilles held up just fine. My running gait was a bit off near the end, but I completed it.

My running shoes are by far the most comfortable shoes for me to wear. My work boots get a bit tiring as they don't offer the support that my running shoes do. So...looks like I'll be buying new work boots! I still have a bit of trouble getting my fire boots off after a call because of the scar tissue, but that has become a bit easier with time as well.

See you at the 8-month mark! Running and walking are awesome!!

March 12, 2009

I passed my pack test!

The pack test is to get our wildland firefighting card to fight these type of fires on a federal level. It's also part of our physical that we have to pass every year if we want to keep doing what we are doing as firefighters.

What is the pack test? It's a 3-mile walk with a 45-pound pack that has to be completed in 45-minutes. Actually, we get a bit of an extension to 46:30 due to a higher altitude. This year I completed the test in 44:12.

Why is this exciting? Because just a month ago....I failed it. Due to the pain in my lower legs as I recover from the Achilles injury. The right calf is still a bit atrophied and the pain shooting up my shins became excruciating. I had to stop at the 1 1/2 mile mark. This last test started off the same with the pain, and I became concerned I would fail again. But...a miracle at the 1 3/4 mile more pain! My cardio was just I knew I would make it. Yeah baby! It's done until next March!

I've come along ways since August 15, 2008. I have a long ways to go, but the progress is there. Albeit slow, the progress is still there. Since there is no weekly gains, I will updated monthly unless there is major breakthrough or setback. wife and I are pregnant with our 2nd child. See what bed rest can do! : )

February 16, 2009


wow...a milestone...the 6-month mark. When I was first injured on August 15th, 2008, I thought this day would never come. 6-months seemed so far away at the time. I knew it would take approximately 6-months to get a the full speed ahead from my doctor, and that's exactly what happened. I was fully released on Friday the 13th. According to the worker's compensation doctor, I have hit maximum medical improvement or MMI. I'm not sure what my impairment rating will be if anything at all, but I'm satisfied being released from doctor's visits.

During the impairment rating appointment, the doctor said I had not quite reached full dorsi flexion, and had some tightness with flexion. Meaning...the muscles and scar tissue are tight enough in my foot to not allow full range of motion pointing my toes at the floor and the sky. My side to side motion is 100%. He said this would continue for about a year...maybe two. I might not get the power I use to have in that area back....ever. My guess is I'll get back 90 to 95% of what I used to have prior to the injury. The one year milestone will tell me quite a bit when it comes around in August.

I continue to work fact....much harder than what I was doing a month ago. I'm following the CrossFit plan, and it seems to work the best for me at the moment. I've lost quite a few of my post injury pounds, and I'm slowly making gains in my cardio that I lost. The strength has definitely returned in both legs. My right calf, although smaller than my left calf, has gained back enormous amounts of strength and size over the past 2-months. I was able to do a 5K run today with limited problems. Just the typical soreness from running.

So, I've hit 6-months. I'm quite pround to be where I'm at! The mental game of the Achilles rupture continues, but each day I get better.

And for those that might read this blog and be in the beginning stages of recovery or the late stages...

you will get better. Hang in there.

February 01, 2009

24 Weeks

Running sucks...but my crossfit continues to improve. Today my workout was a 1-mile run (jog), 50 pullups, 100 pushups, 150 squats...finishing with a 1-mile run (jog). Killer workout...and the Achilles feels just fine. I can still feel the weakness in my lower right leg, but it slowly....slowly dissipates.

I have not re-tried the pack test at work, but will give it a go in a couple of weeks. I've dropped post injury pounds. My goal is low 190's to upper 180's. foot gets tired at the end of the day, and I can feel the stiffness after a really long day of standing on it. A good foot, heel and Achilles massage helps bring the blood flow back for a quicker recovery, and my limp is less pronounced in the morning.

I'm getting better! Quicker, stronger...happier!

See you at week 25

January 25, 2009


Not much change over the past couple of weeks. Actually, my crossfitting is much stronger, but my running is still fairly gimpy. I was able to run a full 2.5 miles at a very slow pace with not much pain. But...that's probably from my crossfit workouts. I had no problems with strength during a workout the included a 45-pound barbell above my head doing 50-foot lunges. The Achilles felt just fine. I was also able to squat 265 pounds and deadlift 345 pounds with no Achilles problems.

My current milestone is to pass my fire department's pack test. It's 3 miles with a 45-pound pack in 45 minutes. I tried a week ago, but failed. My left side...not the injury side...but my left lower leg was killing me. I think due to the weakness in the right side, my left side overcompensated and felt the pain. I made it a mile and a half before I had to give up. bummer. My cardio was fine, but my leg strength was not. I'll give it another go in about a month.

My foot does not get as tired anymore as it did just a 2-weeks ago. Ohh...and I can feel the pain when the weather changes!

See you at week 24

January 17, 2009


I've come to a bit of a resolution that I will not be able to run the marathon in May. My running form sucks as I compensate for the weakness of the right foot. And...I actually felt a bit of pain in the Achilles 3-days ago during a run and had to stop. Bummer.

I think I'm fully healed when I walk, but running takes me back to the realization that the lower right half of my body is not quite ready for the jarring and demands of running. Although I'm gaining strength back slowly, my calf is still atrophied and my foot is still weak; especially in the arch. I failed to realize what 6 to 7-weeks of non-weight bearing will do to the body.

I'm able to front squat, back squat, peform power, hang and regular cleans, and do plenty of calf raises, but I underestimated the amount of time this is going to take to get back to full strength. I tried to sprint at the end of a short run a couple of days ago...and it was a show of comedy. I sort of limped sprinted...if that's a the finish line. It was an interesting mix of left side power and a right sided flat footed gait. My speed has completeley dimished. Again, I'[ve heard it can take up to a year to regain power and strength in the Achilles. Maybe never.

I'll keep running slowly building strenght and endurance. Maybe I can shoot for the Denver Marathon in October. I'll keep an eye on the Colfax Marathon in May...but the October run sounds like a more realistic time frame.

Work is going well. We've had some early morning calls where I found myself limping to the fire engine while my Achilles warmed up. Once on board, I was fine. I still have some problems getting my bunker boots off because of the scar tissue, but have found a method to get them off with a bit of a struggle. My everyday work boots begin to hurt in the afternoon, but I'm able to get out of those at 5pm and into a pair of running shoes. Much better!

Overall life is great. It's 2009...thank god 2008 came to an end! My family's good and my overall health is good.

See you at week 23.

January 11, 2009


Still running...and still weak on the right side. I tried to run a 5K on Friday, but had to walk the final 1/2 kilometer; actually limp the final 1/2 kilometer. My right hip was acting up the worst. No pain in the achilles or calf, but the right hip was causing some serious distress in the running form. I was actually running with a limp. Not good for the lower back!

I went immediately to the chiropractor and massage therapist. She said that I was "super tight" in my AT band, and that my hips were out of alignment due to the Achilles recovery process. After a killer sport and deep tissue massage, finishing up with an adjustment to my spine, I felt 110% better. I actually walked normally...yes walked and not limped....out of the office. I took Friday and Saturday off to recover, and I will try for a 5K today (Sunday).

My official training starts on the 13th of January for the May 17th marathon. Hopefully I can run at least a 1/2 marathon on that date. I'll have to see how the training goes. I'm 17 pounds over my ideal running weight of 190...that's going to be the hardest part over the next couple of months. 207 pounds is a serious stress to the body for me. This is the heaviest I've ever been in my life. definitely slows me down.

Maybe this will turn into a weight losing blog now!

See you at week 22.