Secondly I've explained the moment I knew the tendon was weakened after our flight to America. I knew it was at risk, had noticed the altered blood flow and did all I could do prevent the injury. Well I didn't do everything, I could of not walked around Vegas, Oahu and San Fran. I could of dropped out of my competition, but I didn't want to miss out or spoil my honeymoon and trial.
Despite actually being their for when my injury occurred, its amazed me the stories my dad has been told. From crashing heavily to falling while walking a section. Lots of people have all given their perception of what happened. If you view video footage of David Beckham you'll see how he was standing by himself, shifting his weight slightly. I didn't fall off. Not bragging about talent or anything, but I simply didn't didn't crash, fall over when walking or anything else as dramatic. It does not take much to force the tear or full rupture to occur.
The tendon in question is a thick strap of material that combines the calf (2 muscles, gastroc and soleus) to the foot to move the ankle down, and prevent it from moving too far upward. While its strong and incredibly powerful it isn't resistant to trauma. A massive amount of force is applied through the tendon during walking and standing. Just watch someone's tendon stepping of a kerb (while wearing shorts obviously) and you'll see it at work.
The achilles has a weak spot a few inches above where it attatches to the heel, and chronic stress can cause this weak spot to loosen and tear. Walking on slopes (hello San Fran, stairs (hello Vegas), or from simple repetitive athletic activity (hello insane amount of walking that we did on honeymoon). To compound this, the weak spot has less blood supply (just as I noticed the difference in my right achilles blood supply when we landed in Vegas) than the rest of the tendon. Once the damaged area weak after our initial flight and walks round the strip in Vegas, the lack of blood flow or rest meant injury was inevitable. I even told people it felt ready to snap (why didn't I heed my own advice and stop?). From this point only a relatively minor injury was needed for the tendon to fully rupture.
So was the section to blame? Was it too hard? No the section was just a normal section and it happened on a flat section. The final bit that sealed my fate was removing my waterproof trousers (due to overheating) just before we set off for a ride on the road. Que muscles that cooled far too quickly and became tighter. A few sections later it all became too much for my delicate pre weakened achilles and BANG.
I didn't ignore the warning pain and I used various treatment methods to stop the rupture occurring on my honeymoon, (Jen would not have been pleased). I also prevented it for most of my competition. My failing was simply running out of luck. I'd already decided that when I got home I was putting myself in an aircast boot to rest the inflamed tendon. Another 45 minutes and thats what would of happened.
If you get Achilles pain, visit me or someone else to get treatment. Do not ignore your warning signs that something is wrong. Like others who have ruptured their Achilles tendon and have reported the sensation of popping, being punched in the back of the heel, or even shot, you do not want to experience it. Its followed by a searing pain, bruising and a weird warmth. If your thin enough you can often see the gap under the skin which is grim.