Running Reflections: Achilles’ Heel

Training has taken a turn for the worse over the past two weeks. My overzealous enthusiasm for running has left me with a text book case of tendinitis in my Achilles tendon, and training has officially halted after reading it is possible to rupture the tendon and/or cause permanent damage. Both not good.

In the story of Achilles, his mother, in an attempt to make her son immortal, dips him in the River Styx holding him by his ankles. Because the river could not touch his feet where she held them, it was where he was most vulnerable. He ultimately died from a poisoned spear to the foot.

This tendon is the largest in the body and can withstand force many times greater than a person’s weight. I’m surprised how easy it is to forget just how integral it is to getting around, and that it is not impervious to damage.

Statue of Achilles
Image courtesy of florathexlplora on Flickr


  1. I feel your pain. I too have given up heavy training after my achilles tendon tear. Actually I gave it up *before* too!

    I still have my cam-walker if you want it 🙂

  2. This is true… and I would seriously consider it if SL could keep my a** from getting saggy over the winter. Though, admittedly I’m planning on spending an inordinate amount of time logged into the grid while the temps drop below -20. Maybe we can go running together 🙂

  3. hello flora,
    i wonder where this statue is. i like it very much. might be you can tell me where to visit it?

    Ciao Pavel.

  4. Just an update about the trouble with my Achilles tendons and running. I made it through an entire year without injury this year. I spent a god deal of time evaluating the biomechanics of my stride and took some tips from the Chi Running technique and everything feels great.

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