I hadn’t run in a long time, perhaps six months.
Last summer I read the very entertaining Born to Run, a book about a group of long distance runners, and the mechanics of running barefoot or almost barefoot. I became interested and bought a pair of shoes with minimal soles. When I felt comfortable enough, I went running with them. Running with a thin soled shoe, you learn to land on the balls of your feet; otherwise, the heel bone feels impact very clearly. This is good running technique, but it puts more weight in your Achilles tendons, and mine were not up to the task. They became slightly swollen, and they ached whenever I did something outside of walking. This went on for months.
Recently, I decided that I needed to see a sports doctor, but before going, I wanted to gather some data (I can’t stand it when someone tells me simply that something “just doesn’t work”). I decided to see what happened if I went back to my regular walking shoes for two weeks. After about ten days, I started to notice that the tendons were feeling better, the swelling was decreasing, and jumping and trotting was fine. I decided to carry on after the two weeks were over.
Today I went for a run with my old running shoes. I started lightly, felt well, and went on for 45 minutes without any issues. It’s good to be able to run again.
I thought for a while that it was a poetic thing to have weak Achilles tendons, but then I remembered Brad Pitt playing Achilles with a leather miniskirt in Troy. Oh well.