Event Schedule

Archive

Injuries and Related Thoughts11/12/2017

_DSC0918

West Ridge of Mt. Elbert, June 2013. Credit: Caroline Treadway.

Since May 8th, I’ve been dealing with an achilles injury in my left heel. Insertional achilles tendinosis. As if ascribing it a label makes any fucking difference in my ability to do what I want with my body. This spring I was coming off a particularly productive season of skiing (by my standards), so I was cardiovascularly fit and ramping up the running in anticipation of any number of summer objectives (maybe even some races!). I remember that the possibility of tackling Nolan’s 14 in late June is what specifically motivated this particular outing (33mi/12k’). There was a lot of uphill.

I woke up the next morning with a very tight left achilles, but honestly, that’s been typical for me after long efforts for, like, almost 10 years now. So I went biking, which I’d planned anyways. The following day, I jogged through a flat run, but by the end I knew my achilles was fucked. It took more than six weeks to get back to 100%-ish (late June). I re-aggravated it with a week of big vertical and running outings in the Tetons and Wind River Range in early August, and sorta put the nail in the proverbial coffin with a long alpine run/scramble in Rocky Mt National Park in mid-August. I haven’t done any meaningful running, climbing, or scrambling on it since.

When I was in high school, I sucked at running, if one were to evaluate my racing by any objective standard. Sure, I ran more than anyone else, but even so, my meager talent allowed for only mediocre results.  I almost immediately compensated by taking solace in the fact that I was at least trying really hard, i.e. running way more than was reasonable or advisable. If I wasn’t going to win races, at least no one could accuse me of laziness or not caring.

This amounts to a sort of pyrrhic victory. Which is to say, not a victory at all. In fact, it’s kind of bullshit. There is no honor in running oneself into the ground.

In the beginning—even far after the beginning, in my case—assiduously cultivating an ironclad work ethic was the main goal. So much talent is squandered due to lack of motivation, lack of work ethic, lack of discipline. It has always been (at least for me) really difficult to differentiate between feeling reluctant to run because I’m overworked and tired (and thereby flirting with injury) and feeling reluctant because maybe I’m just being lazy or perhaps not tough enough. One of the things that really attracted me to the sport in the first place was the individual responsibility. If I was going to suck, it was going to be on me, not contingent on the apathy of teammates. So, from the beginning, I was determined to at least not fail due to laziness.

I distinctly remember lying on the floor in front of the propane heater in my childhood home, blissfully soaking up the hot air on winter mornings while waging an internal battle between just rolling over, giving in to the cozy comfort and skipping the morning run…or instead rousting myself, getting dressed, and heading out into the icy pre-dawn darkness for the 7mi jaunt into town for school. I was 13. What the fuck.

But back then (1997) I was <5’ tall, 85lb, and basically indestructible. Over the 20 weeks of that winter and then spring track season, I averaged more than 80mpw and ultimately logged more than 3000 miles on a single pair of retro Nike Cortez that I’d gotten for $1 at a thrift store. I basically didn’t know that running injuries were a thing.

Less than a year later, they most definitely were a thing, as I incurred my first (of ~15) stress fractures–this one in my left tibia–in November 1997. Back then, only 14 years old, I healed absurdly quickly, and I was back out there only three or four weeks later. But then it was my achilles, my hip, a femoral stress fracture, my hamstring, etc, etc. The last 20 years have basically been one injury after another, because once I’d gotten through the growing pains of puberty, it was back to that old trope of outworking everyone else and, suddenly, I found that, in my 20s, I could handle up to 200 miles per week of running, for at least a few weeks at a time, before something broke down.

Nevertheless, this obsession—combined with finding my niche in the then competitively immature sport of ultra trail running—allowed me to finally find success as a runner. Volume became both my security blanket and, ultimately, my foil. Due to my lack of success in the conventional (sub-ultra) racing distances, I’ve always denied that I have any talent as a runner and have always tried to make up for that with sheer volume.

Ultimately, whether I have any talent (I’ve accepted that I do, for what it’s worth) has become irrelevant, because I can’t fucking run. And I’d still really, really like to. Races and not. Recently, my physiotherapist made the assumption that I was still running 30-4o miles per week these last couple months (I haven’t, obviously). Gimme a fucking break. If I could run that much—consistently—I wouldn’t be here bitching about it so much! Being able to handle 40-50mpw with additional skiing or biking (season dependent), would be utopia.

Is that too much to ask? Did I really fuck myself with all those years of pointless miles? Is that why my Achilles hurts? (The prominent Haglund’s Deformity that I’ve had on that heel for literally as long as I can remember might suggest yes.) I still have so much shit I really want to do. Maybe I don’t deserve another chance, but, man, I’d really appreciate one.

 

84 responses to “Injuries and Related Thoughts”

  1. Sylvie says:

    Tony, thank you for talking about injuries and real personal struggles in the era of social media where people only seem to be publishing their successes. Makes one feel less alone in it. Hope you recover soon.

  2. Jeff Valliere says:

    Damn, I feel for you. I joke with you on occasion about overdoing it, but I really do get the obsession to a certain degree, maybe not the volume for the sake of volume, but your passion for the mountains and vertical. Heck, if I wasn’t so busy with other things in life like wife, kids, house, working, etc… I would most certainly be injured much more often. I don’t get out nearly as much as I want, but life outside running sort of keeps me in check, for better and worse.

    Anyways, I am always rooting for you to heal up and get back to doing whatever it is that you most want to do and do it at your full capacity. Or at the very least, get back to running with you again.

    • anton says:

      Thanks, Jeff. I definitely do miss being able to get out for just a simple jog up the hill. I’ll get there.

  3. Brad Williams says:

    It’s boggling how the human body can seem completely unbreakable and fragile at the same time. I often hope my passion dies before my body calls it quits. Good luck. I hope you find a way to put it all together.

  4. Paco says:

    Man, it hurts to read you. As a runner. As one who loves running, has been injured a lot, has come back as many times, fallen again, lost hope, came back nevertheless.
    I hope this helps.
    At high school and college I run middle distances, I was a 14:45 5k guy. Kept getting injured, plantar fascitis, hamstring tears, stress fractures. Eventually gave up.
    Came back a few years later, posed to run a maraton, got injured a few times in the process, run 2:32, tore my fascia and metatarsals several times, gave up again.
    Came back again a few years later, this is, a few years ago. I’m now 41 and just run my PB in half marathon 1:10 and marathon 2:29. I have managed to train for almost three years in a row without a serious injury now.
    How did I do it?
    I ditched my insoles. I ditched pronation control shoes. I started walking barefoot and gently stretching my calves and tibialis, the typical pushing the wall and crouching like a pigeon. This is important. But just walking, wide zero drop shoes or barefoot, maybe run half a mile one day, rest, a bit more, rest, and, I know this sounds horribly boring, this way I walked myself out of the hole I was. Eventually I managed to run 5k, then 10k, then faster, then longer, then harder, then reps, then hills, then races.
    My advice is give your achiles a little break, break up that Haglund as much as you can, then start from zero.
    Good luck.
    And thanks for sharing.

  5. AJW says:

    Hey Tony, well said. When you get back to that 40-50 mow you’ll be grateful (I know I AN). Running is a gift guys like us have taken for granted and as we get older it has to be respected and cared for a bit more carefully. Or it will bite us in the ass. Good luck on the recovery trail.

  6. Injuries suck – plain and simple

    But they do force you to focus on what’s most important, goals, loves, and healing. I am not an athlete of your caliber – but I once was a decent athlete, and I pride myself on the journey I am on to get semi-close to the decent athlete I once was.

    I’ve had to balance that goal with being a single mom of 3 kids, working a full time job, and being the chief cook and bottle washer at home. In between all of that noise I’ve made time to hike, run, swim and bike – and I was on my way – feeling stronger. But then I took a bad step on a rainy night in Minnesota and ended up in the ER with a cracked right fibula. I was angry with myself and devistated that all the hikes and events I planned for the summer were doomed – not to mention taking care of everyone whilst crippled.

    I moped around after the surgery for a few days, but then read about healing and nutrition and decided if I couldn’t move – I’d make sure everything I ate was optimal for healing. It gave me new focus and I felt great – from the inside out. I also gained a whole new appreciation for the handicapped. I sought out handicapped accessible trails (like up at NCAR), I was more understanding and patient than I had ever been – AND I got really good at allowing people to help me, something I’ve always SUCKED at.

    I follow you and many other mountian athletes not because I aspire to be as good as you (I’m a realist), but because I like to see where your adventures take you. I work on achieving mini versions of what you do (like your bike trip for example), and like to see myself someday taking on greater, longer treks. But for now I focus on what I can do, not what I can’t – and I don’t think about what I once was – I’m better than before because I’m stronger mentally, waaaaay smarter, and far more focused than I ever was.

    My ankle is strong enough for the hardware that was put in to come out. I started running and biking (albeit slowly) again in August and hiking in September. I’m going to try to continue my new healing-focused diet with some small modifications, and I’m looking forward to every day with anticipation of new goals. I feel strong and so will you – it just takes time to get your head wrapped around letting healing take its course.

  7. Manu says:

    I got haglund syndrom too…but with nike free 5.0 (back very very soft) i can run with no pain.
    Good luck Anton

  8. Sam Bosworth says:

    Been a fan for years Anton I don’t know if you have read Chi running by Danny Dreyer (Pose Method by Dr. Romanov has some good stuff too) or not-it saved my running life. I couldnt take the mental roller coaster anymore and quit for a year. You probably have looked at the way you run and what’s driving it (internal such as posture, and breath or external such as “training”. I used to have achilless issues and the cause was (in basic terms) pushing off with the calves as opposed to picking the feet up with the hip flexors. I am an artist and (and ultrarunner for 11 years) running mechanics have kinda taken over my subject matter. Some of Dr. Phil Maffetone could help you too. Mechanics, gets off the sugar and fix the perspective so you can listen to your body. Drop me a line if ya wanna chat

  9. Mike V says:

    Tony: I’m sure you get all sorts of unsolicited medical advice so feel free to disregard. Have you considered PRP injections? Hope you recover quickly. Would love to see you out there tearing it up!

    • anton says:

      Yes. I had a PRP injection a little over six weeks ago. It had little discernible effect. After a month of being much worse (typical with the procedure), I seem to now be stuck at the level of function and tolerance of activity that I had prior to the injection.

  10. OJ says:

    I added a 20lb dumbbell to eccentric heel raises. After not running for 3 months, it cleared up in two weeks.

    • anton says:

      Been doing weighted eccentric heel drops for three weeks now. Progressed up to 60lbs added weight. Fingers crossed!

      • Kieran McCarthy says:

        I’m gonna offer some more unsolicited advice. But for what it’s worth, I’ve had the injury in both legs and have since recovered fully to be able to run 70-plus-mile weeks with 10k plus of gain.

        What worked for me was straight leg only eccentric drops on flat surface. This approach was based on the study cited below.

        http://www.runningwritings.com/2011/09/injury-series-flat-eccentric-heel-drops.html

        “In a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Jonsson et al. investigated this modified version of the eccentric heel drop exercise. The flat eccentric heel drops are done as follows: starting on the uninjured side and standing on level ground, the patient raises the heel of the uninjured leg off the ground. All body weight is then transferred to the injured leg with the ankle in a plantar-flexed (foot pointed down) position and the knee straight. The patient then slowly lowers the heel to the ground, then uses the uninjured leg to return to the starting position. Unlike the exercises for midpoint Achilles tendonitis, there is no bent-leg variant for this exercise. The flat eccentric heel drop protocol consists of three sets of fifteen repetitions done twice a day for twelve weeks. If there is pain on both sides, the subjects in Jonsson’s study used a box to get into the “up” position, avoiding any concentric contraction of the calf. Just like all of the previous eccentric exercises we’ve seen, patients are encouraged to exercise into moderate pain (though instructed to stop if it becomes debilitating). Once the exercise can be performed without pain, weight is added progressively using a backpack (illustrated at right) so the exercise is always done with mild or moderate pain.”

        Don’t add weight until it’s pain free. Really try to get high as possible onto the tiptoes. I found that getting higher on the toe mattered more than the amount of weight.

        Best of luck.

  11. Randall says:

    Anton, like so many others, I have enjoyed your writing for a long time as entertainment and as inspiration for my humble outdoor adventures, but also because of its quality – your ability to turn a phrase and articulate so well the ethos of the mountain athlete.

    Over the past years, you have lived the life that I and many others dream about, but now I find myself feeling sorry for you, just as I feel sorry for myself because of this sore knee I’ve got that has turned me into a temporary trail hiker.

    Everybody’s got advice, nobody has a magic cure. My 2 cents worth: Take some time off, and when you are physically able, slowly start a basic yoga routine. Gradually move back into physical activities outdoors as you sense your body loosening up. You’ve always looked way too tightly-tuned to me. Take the focus off yourself and find a way to contribute to the efforts to save some wild country in Colorado or elsewhere. I visited your state a couple of months ago for the first time in 11 years, and I was not encouraged. Maybe I will do the same.

    I wish you well.

  12. Dave says:

    Tony – I remember running with you on May 10th with my son at a BRC event and you seemed a little off (running wise). I guess this post explains what was going on. Don’t get me wrong – you were very nice to my son (12) and made a big impression on him, but I could tell you really didn’t want to be out there running.

    I too am suffering heel pain, though what started as insertional achilles tendonosis has turned into a months-long (year-long?) bout of retrocalcaneal bursitis. No amount of rest or stretching seems to be having any effect; a solid week of running puts it back in the “bad place”. Because I’m a typical big stupid male I haven’t had a doctor look to see why I have a big red swollen heel. Hmm… probably a Haglund’s deformity…or generic heel spur (guess I can’t go to war).

    Long story short, I don’t want this “not-quite-an-invalid-but-still-can’t-train-properly” thing to drag out any longer and will get this checked out. Any local recommendations for a minimalist-runner-friendly podiatrist? :) I’ve already picked a surgical option (Keck and Keck). Docs always love a runner-patient who’s come in with a google-web diagnosis!

    Best of luck Tony. This is an awful mental trial for you to go through (let alone a career-threatening one). Hopefully we’ll all get ourselves figured out some day.

    Dave

    • anton says:

      Thanks, Dave. Yeah, that jog that evening out of BRC was a total teeth-gritter for me. Achilles was killing me.

  13. Ashton says:

    I have been running for about 11 years now. I have been injured from the start pretty much. In college I joined a team and when I looked around everyone had nice sports clothes with functional uses I had never heard of. I ran in pajamas some days. My first race I was in last place on my team, it was a 5k. Soon after I got a bad achilles injury where I could hardly walk for months. Basically, I joined a team of people who were faster and more experienced then me. I willed myself to keep up and it resulted in injury. Later on I left the team because I moved out of the college town I was living in. I knew I wasn’t anything special with running fast but I felt over time that I did have the gift of mental toughness. I didn’t know anything about ultra running until a few years ago. I wanted so badly to compete in one of these events but doubted myself because of my consistent history with injuries. I tried to train for an ultra a little over a year ago and got injured. I decided to give triathlons a try which I did pretty well in this year. However, although I enjoyed triathlons I didn’t like how high maintenanced they were. I missed the simplicity of just shoes and trail…or even cement. I just love running. I remember watching some YouTube video about you and how you are constantly struggling with injuries. I thought to myself how even a top performing athlete struggles with injuries. In that moment I decided I wasn’t special. I started training a little under 3 months ago for a 50k. It was the only ultra in panama at the time and I figured I could give it a shot. Time was short but I knew it wasn’t that big for an ultra (although I had never ran a marathon race). 2 weeks before the race and my fucking achilles flared up. Same one from the 7 years ago. I ended up racing with the mindset that I very well likely might need to drop out. I finished 3rd. April I want to run the 100k in Costa Rica or possibly one in Colombia. My point of this long personal record I just shared is that although I know pretty much nothing can ease your angst right now, thank you for sharing your experiences because it has helped me to continue to persue my own passion of running. When I am injured I have such an all or nothing attitude. I feel like a failure and like everything I have ever accomplished was not real and any goals I have are gone for good. my thinking is often irrational. I have run with and through addiction and so it is often somethibg that has helped to keep me centered when I gave up other faulty coping mechanisms. I am afraid for the day where I possibly won’t have this release, the experiences running brings. However, I also know that we are adaptable and that once something must be accepted that we can change and find love and passion in something else.

  14. Greg H says:

    Thanks for sharing your struggles and feelings. I’m pulling for you.

  15. Tony says:

    Feel for you man as I have an achilles issue on my right foot that just seems to stay around. I can rest for extended periods and it does no better so just run some and see how it goes. First real achilles issue in 45+ years of running, even though I too have the proverbial bump on my right foot that invariably wears through about all my shoes but till now has not been an issue. As you share the issue is just that I cannot run as I would like is frustrating. I know I have a lot of miles in my legs, 45+ years will do that, but know I have more if I can get by this issue. Often hard for others who do not love to run to understand as it is easy to just say take a rest but harder to do.

    Funny how your story is much like mine as I ran for a really good team many years ago and pretty much had to race workouts to get a shot at going to meets and was in the end injured quite a bit. But that did nto stop my love for the sport but curtailed progressing in it. I even went to racing bikes and did well for 10 years but just so hard to find races and also real expensive in the end so went back to running. So now that I am back to running and done a few ultras I get this stupid injury and was not really running much, but it is what it is and just want it gone so feel your pain – so to speak.

    Hoping you can get the issue cleared up and get back to what you love and will be good to see you back in the Ultra world if that is where you get back to. But more than that just hope you can get back to running as you want so you can enjoy it.

  16. Carlos says:

    Anton, Muchos ánimos desde Barcelona. Estoy seguro de que volverás con mas fuerza aún. Todos estos contratiempos y lesiones te habrán reforzado mentalmente. Mucha fuerza y nos vemos en los senderos, bro!

    p.d: I can´t wait for my next shoes. Sportiva Unika model. Reminds me another Krupi pro model style 😉

  17. Brad says:

    I think you’re being too hard on yourself. And I don’t think your heavy training from a young age is the reason you find yourself injured now. I’ve never put in 200 mile weeks, but I used to beat the shit out of my body. Day after day of running hard, and just horrible eating habits and a constant state of dehydration. I look back and have no regrets about training hard. Those are great memories. However I have a lot of regrets about my lack of attention to nutrition and drinking water. Feel like that shit caught up with me. Achilles tendonitis was one of many injuries I endured. Like every other injury, I researched it to death to find a way to manage it and keep running. It was so inflamed, I’d basically tape my ankle like a basketball player just so I could run. There’s light on the other side. Once that inflammation comes back to earth, you’ll be able to recognize twinges and when you need to stretch and or rest. It will probably flare up from time to time for the rest of your life. Being injured in today’s social media frenzy makes it even harder. You see your peers doing things you know you could be doing just as well. Finding perspective is crucial. The heartache we feel over not being able to run is nothing when you compare it to the pain some people endure every day of their lives. As I’ve gotten older and smarter, I no longer let injuries hold me hostage. I take care of non-running related things that have been on the back burner. Maybe you never race at the high level you once did again. Who cares. I have a feeling you’ll find a way to get back into some regular running again. Stop kicking yourself over your past training.

  18. Emerson says:

    “A man is what he thinks about all day long. The ancestor of every action is a thought…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  19. Jim Campiformio says:

    Have you looked into PRP or stem cell treatment for the tendonosis? Worked for me. Shoulders and knee. At the age of 67. So you might even have a better outcome.

  20. Art says:

    You are making progress by identifying the addiction and reason why; credit yourself because many do not. You are into a deep injury/over train/injury cycle. If you are not seeing a mental health professional this is where I would start to try and break the addictive cycle. With all due respect, all the recommendations of treating the physical symptoms are just a smidgeon above worthless. What good will it be to “physically “recover” for “one more shot” if you fuck yourself? Other doors beyond constant physical training are open to you; explore these. You are not a one trick pony. Best of luck.

    • Jackie Lai says:

      Art, I agree with your recommended direction of treatment. Anton, your physical ailments will only continue until you are able to quiet that voice in your head telling you untruths. You are an amazing person and I know you can get better!!! Much respect and love to you!

  21. Patrick says:

    Hi Anton – falling into the category of ‘unsolicited layman eccentric heel drop advice:’ I had (and resolved via eccentric heel drop protocol) mid-portional AT on both sides by adding 5-7 lbs a week – up to +65-70lbs ([previously left you a comment to that affect)…just noted you are +60lbs in 3 weeks with your Insertional drops — while ‘overload’ is an important component of the protocol, just wanted to mention you may want to be circumspect about how fast you add more lbs from here…really hoping things improve for you!!

  22. Drew says:

    Hello Anton,

    Have you reached out to other top runners such as Sandy Nypaver who’ve seemingly had successful minimally invasive surgery for this condition? Sandy wrote about about her experience here:
    http://sandinypaver.blogspot.com/2015/05/an-achilles-story-personal-account-of.html

    I’ve done way too much personal research on Achilles tendonosis. Fortunately, mine was non-insertional, never required surgery and is mostly manageable now. It certainly is a tricky one and it has been the most problematic of all the running injuries I’ve experienced so far.

    Spirits up!

  23. Albert says:

    Anton, like everyone else I bring unsolicited advice, but it’s based on my many years around running mountains consistently (24+) and ultras (17+), all in a very mediocre manner but damn it I’m still out there. I’ve seen so many people come and go on the scene, with virtually all of the burnouts doing the overtrain/recover/overtrain cycle for years until their bodies gave out. They were all over-obsessed, never listened nor experimented with what others told them about how to stay healthy, and refused to change their ways. In answer to your final question, in my opinion you may not have fucked yourself and can get back to fully doing what you love, but I think it’s going to require a fundamental internal change, perhaps in training, perhaps in diet, perhaps in footwear, perhaps in all of the above. An example: someone asked you at one time if you considered doing heart rate training. You said no, and that you ran by feel only. Perhaps if you had given it consideration and did other things that go along with heart rate training such as going paleo or low carb high fat or something like that, instead of ignoring it, then who knows what might have happened? If you’re not TRULY willing to entertain new ideas and make fundamental changes, and you’re going to stay over-obsessed, then maybe yes, you’re fucked.

  24. Cyril Laffitte says:

    Hello Anton, as we say in French :” un pas après l’autre”. Send you my best thoughts Much love and respect from France. Always. Cyril

  25. ch says:

    Sclerosing injections. Appear to be very promising for insertional achilless (eccentrics dont seem to work for insertional). From the paper: “…showed that 8 of 10 tendons were pain free after a mean of two treatments”
    Link to the paper:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658946/

  26. Kelly says:

    Dang man, I feel this so deeply (while doing eccentric heel raises at my makeshift standing desk). Best wishes on a strong recovery! Also, this may or may not be the place for it but: that Touching the Trail pod episode you did was a fantastic departure from the typical endurance athlete podcast. I do enjoy discussions of training styles, race strategies, and racing anecdotes, but at some point those stories can all mush together and I realize I have spent countless miles of a long run/ride/car commute tuned out to the sound of people to whom I truly enjoy listening; and then you and the host Jarod put out this anything-goes segment about books, life, and a lot of non-running stuff and it was different enough that my focus did not wane. I would like to hear more climbers, runners, cyclists, authors, musicians to whom I have grown endeared discuss the more esoteric subjects, passions, hobbies, and obsessions that keep them mentally/emotionally fresh. That said, I completely understand why every host wants and needs to ask the primary activity specific questions and I am assessing zero fault to host or guest- as I do not want anyone here to think I am grumbling when praise is the goal.

    Sincerely,
    a Hagland bro

  27. Teresa Smith says:

    Hi Anton, Food for thought: Stephanie Howe Violett had Haglund’s Deformity on both feet which caused her Achilles issues. She had surgery on one foot (the other was asymptomatic)- shaving the bone and reattaching the Achilles. She had healed and came back to compete this year. Have you considered correcting it? You probably don’t need to fly to Sweden to seek the premier doctor, like she did, because it’s a common deformity. We feel your frustration and pain! I just had foot surgery (on 11/7) and can’t walk on it for 4 weeks. Rest & heal, Teresa

    • anton says:

      Both hers and Sandi’s cases (cited above) have definitely piqued my interest. I’ve had Haglund’s Deformities on both heels since high school, so about 18 years. This is the first time since high school that I’ve dealt with insertional achilles issues, though. Hmmm…

      • jeff r. says:

        Anton, I’m 60y, 100,000+ miles I’ve had hagland since 14y age. developed into insectional a.t. as you over time. pain for 15-20 years. hills made it worst. painfree last 6 years after figuring out my calf muscle was so tight, like concrete. I could stretch fine but until a PT started DEEP muscle massage to stripe my calf muscles to loosen them nothing worked. then he used ART methods (used his fingers & metal instrument) to break down the scar tissue built up where AT attaches to heel bone….after 1 year of painful work I could run pain free…miracles do happen!!…I’ve now back doing everything I want but the key for me has been regular DEEP muscle massage to keep the calfs/shins loose….best of luck, don’t give up

      • Stefan says:

        Hi Anton, I can vouch for the surgeon that Sandy Nypaver and Stephanie Howe went to as I also had surgery by him last November in Sweden. Hakan Alfredson is his hame. I had ongoing issues with insertional achiilles tendinitis in both heels.

  28. Logan Brooks says:

    Call it sheer work ethic and NO TALENT if you want. But as you know Tony, just getting your ass to the start line of the objectives that you have placed before yourself in the past 20 years, especially those in the mountains, is the most crucial bit of talent even the most successful people on earth must posses. And you my friend, have shown up every fucking time. There are outlier’s on earth, but there is a reason you have sponsors, and a reason you and your place in the outdoor world is nearly unparalleled. And fortunately, results cannot take that away.

  29. Elsa says:

    Thank you for sharing. I hope (and think) that you will get better soon.

  30. David Kelly says:

    Hi Anton,
    Dr. Sarno & Alan Gordon.
    After literally years of grappling with Achilles issues (boom/bust) and some low back pain I finally opened my mind to pain science.
    Trust me, moving from a mechano-structural approach to running injuries to a more mind body approach was not easy for me.
    I’ve studied sports science & physical therapy and had to fundamentally change the way I understand pain.
    I won’t try to convince you but rather encourage you to read anything by these two gentlemen.
    Summery
    Stress / perceived threat / context / anxiety / beliefs all have the ability to affect out sensitivity to pain.
    You have sensitive Achilles. How do you get them de-sensitised? Well that’s where it can get tricky but I’m now running x3 times per week without problems.
    Best of luck
    David.

  31. Cecilia Gómez says:

    Hi Anton, the only thing I can say is I am sending you light and a big hug 🤗 from Argentina and it’s a long way!!! Don’t lose your faith. I has some health issues and I thought I was not going to be able to get my health back. Last year I was blessed and I was able to be at western states as a crew member. I saw the Billy yung documenal during that time and not even a a million years I thought I was going to be there. Life is uncertain you already know that don’t lose your faith. Love Cecilia,
    💜💜💜

  32. Damn! That sucks. Only thing that got me back from injuries is going back way, WAY back to the basics. Assume that you never ran in your whole life and start accordingly. Check the program that saved me here: https://lacliniqueducoureur.com/coureurs/apprendre/programmes-de-course/programmes-de-course/retour-de-blessure/programmes-de-course-fractionnes/
    Start with “Program fractionné 1”. It’s in french, but you should get it. It starts with 3x(1’Run/1’Walk) !

    Good luck and keep inspiring!

  33. VeganTrailRunr says:

    Hi Anton,

    I think we have the same issue. I had the same symptoms as you for nearly two and a half years. Nothing seemed to work and after every period of enforced rest I’d slowly build back up again until my Achilles failed again.

    I turned out that I had a bone spur caused by debris from my Haglunds Deformity. Back in August I had an OS Calcis operation which, basically, moved my heel bone 12mm away from the Achilles. It’s a long recovery for a simple op but I can now just about walk normally, if slowly. I’m told I may be able to have a little jog at Xmas. I’m hopeful, excited and nervous.

    I had physios, podiatrists and musculoskeletal experts lead me a merry dance. I had an inconclusive MRI. It took a simple X-ray to show what was wrong. Maybe worth having a word with your chosen medical professional to see if this would help you. Fingers crossed for you.

  34. Shoebacca says:

    Really talented guys on more structured training plans with coaches and managers surrounding them still get bad achilles injuries, particularly after age 30. Dathan Ritzenhein, Alan Webb, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Sebastian Coe to name a few. I won’t pretend to diagnose your problem, especially since you have Haglund’s and that may complicate it, but I do recommend you look into their cases if you find yourself obsessively bored one night. The achilles thrives on elasticity and that is harder to maintain as you age. Your running does not have to end, but at some point you might really have to weigh surgery and months in a boot if running is important to you.

  35. Ceci says:

    Insertional Achilles tendinopathy is the worst. I have a Haglund’s deformity and had a terrible episode with it around two years ago. Doing the eccentric heel drops actually made me worse. They do seem to work for some though but not as often as with midpoint Achilles. Hopefully that will do the trick for you. What fixed me was five rounds of shockwave therapy(ESWT). It takes weeks to feel better but I was back running after about a month after the first treatment and was completely better after a couple of months. Six months later my tendon was better than it had ever been. There is good clinical evidence supporting the efficacy and way, way less downtime than surgery. My sports podiatrist has treated a number of professional runners for this issue with ESWT and recommends trying it before surgery (which he also does). Something to think about.

  36. I’m totally late to the unsolicited advice party, and I’ve never had Achilles problems myself, but I know how much riding you’re doing to supplement running/everything.

    One thing that many of the peeps in the Tour Divide do, is run their cleats way, way back – farther back than the ball of your foot. This is said to relieve a lot of the tension/stress on the Achilles. Some racers have stories of adjusting their cleats mid-race and getting instant relief. I run mine so the bolts holding the clear on are ~inch back from the widest part of the toe box.

    I’d hate for bike riding of all things to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back on this issue. Maybe it’ll help promote relief w/your Achilles stuff, or at least pass the idea to your physio. I know you run fairly cheap and not very stiff shoes (like I do), perhaps that’s a benefit in this situation, or on the other hand, leads to more stress on this particular problem. If pliability is better, consider even running flats on at least your REEB.

  37. James says:

    Hey Anton,

    Try to hang in there, sounds like a sucky year. From the posts, sounds like you have been able to get the range of motion and strength back multiple times but it still breaks down at some low volume of running. So mechanical to your running. Your physio should be able to watch your running gait combine that with their evaluation and tie together some sort of treatment plan. Would probably be interesting to look at video of your running gait from 5-10 years ago and compare it to a more recent video. My team of physios who are all runners would be more than happy to look at some video of you on a treadmill or outside if you have any interest.

    Cheers,
    James

  38. Joey says:

    First off, thanks for providing a forum for so much sharing of solutions to Achilles tendon issues. Clearly there is no magic bullet, but there are certainly successes to be learned from. I’m going to provide a link to what has helped me recover from around 20 months of ongoing issues. My aversion to medical intervention led me here, rather than the recommended PRP injections. The bottom line for me (and maybe you too) is that this issue was ten or more years in the making, and it will probably not be fixed in a day of surgery or a month of heel drops. Achilles healing is an ultramarathon, too! Anyhow, I’m using these packs 4 times daily, and following it with a hot soak immediately after 10-15 minutes of cold. It is beyond painful, but has gotten me back to running regularly and well (although nowhere near triple digits weekly). Also, I have stayed OFF the bike, which I miss, but certainly seemed to slow the healing process. Good luck.

    https://www.amazon.com/TheraPAQ-Achilles-Fasciitis-Microwaveable-Freezable/dp/B01LWHOY39/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1511276052&sr=8-3&keywords=achilles+ice+pack&dpID=51HhPRLCLfL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

  39. Jonathan Pierce says:

    Anton, came across this as someone sent me the link, tough case. I’m sure you have plenty of options and have done homework, still perhaps more things you can try. I have worked with many elites and other runners w/ similar issues. Many with good results. Happy to discuss over phone if you wish.

  40. Jared Scray says:

    Hey Tony,
    Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear your frustration. I don’t think you are broken, though, but you may need to rebuild from the foundation up. I’m sure countless other trainers and specialists will chime in on this page too and offer their services, recommendations, etc and hopefully something will work out to figure out or fix the issues you have been struggling with. That said you’ve probably forgotten more about running and training than I’ll ever know but if you want some info you can hit me up by email and I will just email you some ideas (not a training plan) about a foundation for rebuilding based on the building blocks of movement/development patterns. It’s the “Blueprint” method that I’ve been working on for about 5 years now, nature’s way to build us up from a pile of infant floppiness to dynamic hopping bouncing and yes running machines. If you want more details let me know (and NO I’m not selling anything, not even training services)

  41. Erik says:

    Nothing like an injury–especially Achilles–to bring out the armchair doctors! Get that Haglund’s deformity cut off. I had one done when I was in high school, 35 yrs ago, and the other one done when I was in my late twenties. The procedures were much more invasive back then (there was even a huge difference in the decade between my two surgeries), but most importantly they worked. I still have occasional minor/moderate inflammation, but not the totally debilitating sort that I would get prior to surgery.

  42. Rob Trachtenberg says:

    Hey Anton,

    Thanks for sharing your story and frustrations so eloquently-the very one thing we runners want to do when we can’t run is just be able to get out there and run easy and pain-free…i get it, especially after 40+ years of running and having my share of injuries.

    Last year at this very time I had insertional tendonosis, gout and a staph infection–all in my Achilles and heel, and, three weeks before moving with my family from Rhode Island to Portland, Oregon, I was in the emergency room b/c my staph infection was so bad, complete with a really ugly abscess.

    What got me back to running and now actual training (50-60 mpw is generally good for me) was: 1) a Portland-based PT who helped me with scar tissue break-up, tons of single-leg balance exercises, core exercises (including lots of glute work) and a slow ramp-up of eccentric heel drops (have done thousands, easily) for both traditional and insertional tendonosis (all of which continue nearly every day, including 50lbs in a backpack for the heel drops insertional and traditional–both straight leg and bent for gastroc and soleus); 2) a prescribed nitroglycerin patch on my heel where the Achilles inserts; 3) a ridiculously slow build up–literally running for 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then day off, then 4 minutes, etc…all the while doing the eccentric drops both off the stairs and directly on the floor); 4) cross-training on a road bike; 5) committing to running as comfortably as possible-slower than I ever have before and 6) limiting (which is hard to do in Portland) the amount of climbing i do. I was walking up the steep trail stuff-still do if necessary–so as to limit any strain on my heel.

    I know you’re a committed zero-drop runner, but anytime i used a shoe with less than 4-5mm i felt the strain on my heel. as a result, i made the choice that being able to run slowly and perhaps with more shoe than i would like outweighed the pain and potential for further injury.

    I think I’ll always have to be careful about overdoing it–either too many miles, too much elevation, running too fast or blowing off the core stuff–b/c it’s not 100% (probably never will be), but being able to run consistently after feeling like my running days were over is a blessing. I tell you all this b/c I think you’ll be able to get back once your achilles is re-formed and your calf is strong enough to provide the supportive link in the chain. I’m sure you’re doing all the right things and I hope for a speedy recovery for you. There is hope and I’m happy to talk with you about my journey if you think it would be beneficial for you….my best to you!

  43. C. says:

    Anton, you’re not a smart guy. I’ve followed you for years, but you never get smarter. So, here’s some free advice to help you. You won’t take it, but I will still give it.

    1. GO VEGAN.

    Scott Jurek can help you with this. You eat garbage.

    2. MAKE 100 MPW THE CEILING.

    There’s a reason Lydiard recommended this but not more. He recommended slower running beyond the 100, but you would be better with the cycling, climbing, etc. Accept that it takes 7 years to achieve your peak aerobic fitness. You would be there now except you had to overdo it and destroy yourself. This was stupid. Consistent mileage beats mega mileage.

    3. HIT THE GYM

    You need to do strength work like Dean Karnazes who is never injured. A lot of people slam on that guy, but he is still running. You ain’t. Strength is the foundation of fitness. Rob Krar learned this lesson.

    4. GO BACK TO MINIMALIST FOOTWEAR.

    That was the one smart thing you did. I have no idea why you dropped it.

    Sorry to call you out for being stupid. I’m not going to pity you like the rest of the combox. Take the advice. If it doesn’t work, you can go back to whining. At this stage, you have nothing to lose.

  44. Vis says:

    Sorry to hear about your injury. I’ve dealt with something similar for a few months. It sucks.

    I’m sure it’s no consolation, but you’ve become more than just a runner. Over the years, i’ve come to appreciate your perspective on books, life, and music greatly. Thanks for sharing your life.

    Thanks.

  45. […] Anton Krupicka – Injuries and Related Thoughts Something about Anton just appeals to me but it’s not his injuries. Yes his site sucks on mobile but still read this personal thought on injury and still wanting to do so much. I’m not injured but I do find myself looking at my kids sometimes when I’m sitting at the arena watching figure skating think “Why am I here I have so much I want to accomplish in the mountains.” That’s not fair to them and I’m only 37, I have lots of years to do stuff left. Just need to keep picking parts off as many weekends as I can. […]

  46. Aleksandar Radan says:

    As a physician/MD with a specific interest in sports medicine, accept the inevitable need to let your body heal and trust that there is a future. Sure you may not find your ‘peak fitness and competitive years’ but i’d rather run a lifetime than break myself indefinitely in the ‘joe’. I work with masters athletes in their 50’s and 60’s still chasing insane adventures and that is who i’d aim to be rather than a flash in the proverbial pan.

    Consider a prolonged 6-12montb recovery/rehab phase and get in with the rest of your life. Be grateful for the experiences, insights and memories you have been fortunate to gather, but let go of the nostalgia of being a 20 year old athlete and embrace the reality of what your body needs to function in it’s 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond.

    I’m happy to provide free medical research and connect you with specialist, surgeons or other practitioners you may need to get to the other side of your situation.

    Sometimes it’s better to declare bankruptcy and build from the ground up, rather than continuing up try and get back at it too early and keep grinding yourself into the ground.

    Mad respect and admiration to you. You have shaped and influenced the sport perhaps more than any other individual runner. Don’t burn out in obscurity. Rebuild and return anew to inspire a different evolution in the sport – the mindset of full insight wisdom based rebuilding and individualized purpose toward what you want, nig what commercial interest dictates.

  47. Markus says:

    Anton, reading this makes me sad.

    When you showed up in Leadville 2006, I thought I saw the most talented ultrarunner. And to this day I think you were the most talented ultrarunner I have seen.
    Unfortunately that doesn’t mean much if you don’t train and race smart enough to avoid major injuries.

    Now you are 34, still young. Still enough time to change your training style. Train less, be more focused and learn to eat so you can get a go again at Nolan14 again. You still have enough time to do a lot of great things in endurance sports but you have to change your training.

    Just my 2 cents
    Best of luck and good recovery
    Markus

  48. Rodolfo Oliveros Herrero says:

    Anton, te daré una solución muy concreta y definitiva: ponte en contacto con el doctor David López Capapé en España,acaba de operar de Haglund a Manuel Merillas, que quedó justo detrás de tí en la Cavalls del Vent. Te lo curará y ya. Y a partir de ahí, habla con Luis del Águila, formado en Estados Unidos, para que te diseñe un programa de fuerza que te permita no lesionarte NUNCA MÁS. Mi correo es anandacorredor@gmail.com

  49. Martin says:

    Anton, what’s your diet these days? Do you still et anything you can grab (quoting you from a few years back)?

    There is a connection between the injury rate and diet in athletes. Ever since I went low-carb (via recommendations from Phil Maffetone, Tim Olsen, Tim Noakes and others) I have not had a single aching day. Sure I run nowhere near your level but I climb much harder ;-). I’m over 40 btw.

  50. Wolfgang says:

    Hi Tony,
    I’m sorry to read you’re injured once again.
    From my point of view as a health & running coach too much emphasis is put on the (too much) running part, shoes, etc respectively all those heel raises & stuff.
    More often than not – unless of course it is a fall – the cause of an injury is not a single one but the sum of many. Since you tried “everything” from a physical (therapy) standpoint I’d suggest to look at your diet. In case it is the typical diet of an endurance athlete it is very inflammatory. Hence, you can do a million heel raises but won’t get rid of your inflammation if it is diet – related.
    Cut out all sugar, grains and vegetable oils ( with the exception of olive & coconut oil ), get some healthy Omega 3’s from either fatty fish or fish oil supplements and I can almost guarantee you will feel much, much better in a matter of a few days.
    ( Sorry for my poor English, I am from Austria. If you like you can get in touch with me at wolfgang.zingl@gmail.com )
    Good luck, would love to see you return to UTMB one day. You still got unfinished business there and the first victory by an American male is still up for taking :-)

    • I would second Wolfgang’s post. I eat a LCHF diet and have never felt better. Prof. Tim Noakes would also advocate the switch and says that one should rip out the chapter on carb loading from “The Lore of Running” because he got that all wrong.

      The nice thing is I get to eat lot’s of bacon, and I don’t need to bring much food on a long run, since I am in nutritional ketosis.

  51. Sam says:

    Hope you heal up soon. You’ve be an inspiration for a long time. Keep up the good work (and the great posts about books, too!).

  52. Emanuel says:

    Hey Anton, sad to read. i really wish you all the best!

  53. Charles says:

    I don’t know what people are talking about. There’s nothing sad here to read. You’re injured and your still getting out there and taking action. I wake up most days with a head that convinces me that life isn’t worth living. I commend you for taking action, for actually living the life you want to live.

  54. 45year old says:

    Hi Anton,

    You are one of my favourite ultra runners!

    Anyway I am a hardcore fitness addict in my mid 40s.Peopel mistake me for someone in his early 30s. I am a trail runner but nothing like you guys. Anyway I have been Vegan for 20 years. It was one of the best decision of my life from general fitness POV but it is not going to magically fix your Achilles issue like some vegan seem to suggest.

    Hell I even got Gout 10 years ago as a Vegan and never even drank alcohol. Now if that ain’t cruel I don’t know what is. Gout runs in my family and I was handed the genetic lottery! I am on Allopurinol (Gout med) for last 10 years and it has kept my gout under 100% check.

    I also have Achilles issue near insertion point, no bump though. It seems to be under 90% under control but I always feel something. I do think sometimes maybe my Achilles problem started because of silent damage that was done by gout to my tendons before I went on Allopurinol or it was purely due to increased milage.

    I do poweryoga, pilates and weight training and it might have helped me in recent years.

    I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe there is none. We all will die and decay one day anyway.

    Take care and enjoy life as much as you can. I wish you all the best. Just be careful as there are too many snake oil dealers out there.

  55. Chris says:

    Hey Anton, just wondering about overuse injuries. I’m a big tennis fan and slightly disturbed by the recent news of Andy Murray, who at 30 and World NUmber 1 in 2016 may not even be able to play again due to repeat hip injuries. Do you think it’s best to rest up at the slight indication of injury in ankle/knee/hip or do you subscribe to the theory of hard knocks, as in your body will adapt and get stronger. Cheers, Chris

  56. Very great post,Good job.

  57. Douglass F. Rohrman says:

    Tony
    I have been following your blog for years. It is exceptional. Your film of the Owen/Spaulding Route on the Grand reminded me of my day of terror and fulfillment years ago.
    While I am 76 years old, I grew up in Boulder and hiked, climbed, (even speed climbed for a while) in the Front Range and beyond…Europe, South America, California, etc. …..so when you said “Did I really fuck myself with all those years of pointless miles? Is that why my Achilles hurts? (The prominent Haglund’s Deformity that I’ve had on that heel for literally as long as I can remember might suggest yes.) I still have so much shit I really want to do. Maybe I don’t deserve another chance, but, man, I’d really appreciate one.” ….that resonated with me. My climbing and hiking (and doing some stupid things too) has left me with an artificial hip, bad back, and peripheral neuropathy. I am totally commiserate with you…I too am constantly, as an old fart, retrospective.
    DO NOT REGRET what you have done. It is not “pointless.” You are admired far and wide. You have inspired many. And, in doing this, lest I sound like Frank Sinatra, you have don’t it by your method…your drive…your fulfillment…”your way”. GO FOR IT. Keep at it…get the best advice, maybe slow down a little, put a little less stress on the tendon….but DONT THINK that this is “pointless.” Keep running, keep climbing, in your own way…and keep writing for us Old guys.
    Doug Rohrman

  58. Sean McGrath says:

    Tony, Ever read the book “Anatomy for Runners” by Jay Dicharry? You might get some valuable info from it that could help you overcome your injury challenges. Jay just authored another book called “Running Rewired” which I hope to read soon. He seems sound in his approach to helping runners overcome injury challenges. Good luck,

  59. Tommy Nunley says:

    Man that sucks, I’ve dealt with injuries and other things coming up in my running as well. I’m going to pray for healing for you.

  60. Jay says:

    Thank you for posting this. I went for an easy 10 a week ago and once I got home I couldn’t move, walk, and even sitting hurt. It was a lower back injury and I am currently out of everything fun I enjoy doing. I’m finding peace in the simple things, such as, listening to classical music, going for walks in the woods, and now reading. With you writing this piece I have strong hope again and I look forward to my come back. In a few weeks, I should be 100% and I should be able to start logging the small miles. Hopefully, to be ready for a 50k in 2 months.

  61. Elizabeth says:

    The most interesting thing (to me, at least) that you’ve written in this article is the idea about mind and body. I always thought my body could do anything my mind would allow it to. That the only thing holding me back from getting better was a mind that told me I was too tired, that it was too far, that I was too sick. I thought that I just needed to overcome mental obstacles and my body would be able to follow. After a massive total body collapse after training hard through a virus, I found out that our minds can push our bodies further than they are capable of going.

    But it’s too simple to chalk it up to ego, or addiction. Running and pushing ourselves to our limits can be a spiritual endeavor. For me, it is the only time I genuinely feel joy, and am one with the present moment. It is fascinating that an inherently embodied experience allows us to go beyond the physical boundaries of our selves and become part of nature. That is the hardest part of not being able to run – losing that experience, that merger with the divine.

    It’s a like a devotee suddenly being told that the only way she can recover from an illness is to stop praying. To stop tapping into what had been the source of life for her.

    Thank you for letting us into your thoughts. There are so many of us injured runners, and it’s so hard to see others trotting by when we have to sit it out. It is so helpful to hear the stories of other runners – top runners – and how the work through the falls and the risings. I know it’s hard to believe, but you inspire people as much with how you handle your injuries, and not being able to run, as you did when you were running.

    I hope you get back out into your church, and can pray with your whole body again soon.

  62. Joe Barnes says:

    This may sound like a stupid suggestion but it has really worked for me.

    By doing deep Guasha over all of the lower leg muscles and tendons every day I’ve gone from 8 months of severe pain in both achilles to running 50+ miles a week again. It took about 6 weeks for the pain to disappear after starting doing it. I didn’t use a guasha tool, just a regular spanner from my garage and coconut oil. By using lots of oil you don’t get the horrible bruising that comes up when you Google guasha.

    The idea with the guasha is that it breaks down the scar tissue in the muscles and mobilises waste fluids out and blood in. It also aligns muscle and tendon fibres.. tendons don’t heal in straight lines and repair themselves like spaghetti. You need to help them remodel and hard scraping breaks down calcification etc.

    The other exercise that really works is to deep tissue massage the whole calf and lower leg area with the knee of the other leg. It was incredibly painful for the first couple of weeks until the calf muscle relaxed and took the permanent tension away from the tendons.

    Really simple, and probably sounds like it won’t work but I can only go from my experience.. I did my first ultra since last July last weekend and there is no pain at all.

    Best of luck with the recovery!

  63. Weide says:

    Look into TMS – tension myoneural syndrome. There are some good books by Dr Sarno.

  64. Barry Bliss says:

    Even if you never run again, at least you got out there and did something, man!
    Bruce Lee hurt his back once and never fully recovered. We live and learn. I know for a fact you have much left to offer Anton, one way or another.
    Great writing, as always.

  65. Rafael says:

    Vamos anton!! Entiendo que estas pasando momentos duros , el querer y no poder es de lo más frustrante , pero estoy seguro que darás con la fórmula adecuada que ayude a recuperarte y te permita volver a correr y competir, eres una inspiración para mucha gente y eso debe continuar, ánimo!

  66. […] Anton Krupicka – Injuries and Related Thoughts – Man, it hurts to read you. As a runner. As one who loves running, has been injured a lot, has come back as many times, fallen again, lost hope, came back nevertheless. […]

  67. Simon says:

    Hi Anton, i feel you. I’m a young ultrarunner and i’m struggling with OTS. I devoted myself to go beyond my physical and psicological limits just to discover that the two are strictly intertwined. Now i’m realizing that maybe the damage done to my health is quite serious, not a joke at all, or something i can overcome with the right “samurai” attitude or meditation or rest or i don’t know. Hope with medical and techno-medical progresses they will find solutions for all the people who are still struggling with injuries/health problems due to their passions for sports and outdoor…

  68. Milan says:

    Hi Anton,

    another unsolicited advice: you can try infralamp – it is supposed to help with inflammation. 15 minutes daily. At least it can’t be harmful. The lamp itself is not expensive. Wish you quick recovery.

  69. Anton,

    I see a lot of people on here being very supportive – people like myself that love and admire you so much for your genuine connectivity with nature, your deep love for competition, and your brilliant minimalist approach to life. These are things that I strive for as I transform into my 30’s. Some people on here, however, have been quite ignorant. I’m not sure if the ones that have been particularly insensitive have even ever tried running 100 miles. They might not know what kind of heart it takes. They might not understand how it changes you for the better, even if you fail (and I have failed twice around mile 87, and I am so thankful for the experiences and the pain and suffering and happiness that came from them – and I will continue to try try try). They certainly don’t understand that changing your diet is not the end-all-be-all. Just remember man. Remember that you are more than just an ultra runner or skiing enthusiast or scrambling junkie. You are in our hearts for so many more reasons bro. I’ve never even met you, and you have changed my life so profoundly that sometimes it makes me wish so badly that I could have just an ounce of that special thing you’ve got. I know that you will ease back into doing what you love, just like I know that not being able to do what you love won’t stop you from being such a blessing in our lives, and a reminder of the kind of heavy sacrifices it takes if one is to strive for greatness. You don’t strive for it man – you are the epitome. Keep going to physical therapy. Ever since I adopted forefoot running, I sort of had to bounce back from some injuries that seemed to stem from my body needing to adapt to the change. They were really bad and don’t seem to go away. I’ve got a fucked meniscus (I refuse to let some bastard cut my knee open), My left Achilles is no good, my right ankle is jacked, and the cartilage where my left leg connects to my pelvis is basically no good and hurts all the time along with the knee. Everything hurts, but I’m happy… I will tell you this. Weight training has somehow helped a lot with the knee and ankles. Not going to preach or be condescending like some, but this year my 100 attempt was way more pain free than last year’s and I ran a lot better with the overdeveloped muscle tissue in play. Who the hell am I to give you advice haha, you’re so much more experienced. I’m just so happy to be able to follow and read about your activities and see you smiling and doing the things outside that make you happy. You are really so very special to us all man. I’ve borrowed so much of your attitude and been uplifted so many times by your vibe man, it’s brought me to tears to see how righteous and pure you are as a human being. Please don’t ever stop doing the things that you do, and being the person you’ve become – because without that person, a lot of us would be a whole lot more lost and empty inside. You are one hell of an inspiration.

    Thanks for being so dope dude,
    -Another guy named Tony.

  70. Jim Rogers says:

    Not much to say other than I hope your body heals and allows you to do those things that support your journey. I turned 55 this year and am thankful for the 50-60 mile weeks on the road and trails, but this too may end. Perhaps 35-40 miles/week will be offered me. We don’t own this body — just get to tag along for a bit. Treat it well and listen mindfully.

    Wishing you the best. You’ve inspired many (including me) — enjoy the rest of the journey, however it unfolds.

    Deep bows,
    Jim

Leave a Reply