In mid 2012 I injured my achilles. No surgery required, but a nasty injury. At 51 things take longer to heal, and there was no way I was doing the 25th Kepler Challenge, despite having an entry (getting an entry is a race in itself, places fill in 4-5 minutes!).

By Christmas I was running again, just built up to about an hour gentle running. Physio had forbidden me to sprint.

Of course, over the Christmas break it's summer here in NZ, and the kids (well - young adults) were playing "backyard cricket". Foolishly, I joined in and unsurprisingly, the sprinting between the wickets aggravated my achilles.

Sigh - back to the physio and more inactivity, more mountain runs missed (eg Routeburn Classic).

Built up to about an hour again by May, and was feeling good, running faster than I ever have really. Then 1/2 hour into a run on easy ground (grassy 4WD lane) I pulled the calf - same leg as achilles.

Not too serious, and two weeks later I was running gently again. My son has just taken up orienteering. I've always enjoyed longer navigation events (rogaines and mountain marathons) so decided to try orienteering too. Joined the local club, and went along to the club event. I ran the hard (technically) course and had a great time getting lost in the forest and running round for 90 minutes. That was Sunday.

Thursday, gentle run in easy terrain, concentrating on easy pace and running form. 10 mins into the run, stepped up on a root and pulled same calf!

I've just finished reading Cool Impossible and turned back to the start to read it again. My 5 month program looks tight now to prepare for the Kepler Challenge this year! That's still my Cool Impossible for this year. (I've done it once before, but living in Te Anau, it's on my back-door step)

The Everest Marathon and Dragons Back Race are longer term Cool Impossibles, and in the meantime I will continue to enjoy orienteering and rogaines - injury permitting!

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Comment by Andrew Pealing on July 4, 2013 at 4:14am

Entries for Kepler Challenge ( open 0630 New Zealand time Saturday. Generally takes ~5 minutes to fill. Hoping I get a place

Comment by Andrew Pealing on June 22, 2013 at 7:38am

@Lori. Yeah, I'm onto the strengthening exercises (been running barefoot for about 2.5 years so it makes 100% sense). Achilles is all good; seems I just have to accept the healing takes longer as you age, and give my body time to do it's thing.

Comment by Lori Enlow on June 22, 2013 at 3:53am
I tweaked my achilles about 2 months ago...highly recommend the strength program in eric's book. I would almost rather go to the dentist than do strength work but my but it is a must for me and keeps my form in check and really helped me get past the achilles issue. I would also suggest deep tissue/myofascial release if you are not already doing
Comment by Yael on June 21, 2013 at 8:18pm
As someone who hiked the Kepler trek several years ago (the full 3 days round) the view up the trek is a great reward by itself, and I can only imagine after running it... I give you a big like on this challenge!

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