In August of 2015 my Podiatrist looked at my X-Rays and confirmed I had a heel spur associated with Plantar Fasciitis.  He prescribed me orthotics and other treatments (which I describe here).  I asked him if I could run the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon I had scheduled in the following 6 weeks.  He looked to the ceiling and wavered his head and hand back and forth – a sort of “maybe.”  When I asked if I could run my Marathon that was 3 months away from his diagnosis, I got a hard “No.”

I ran the 1/2 Marathon, and to no surprise, I got my worst time ever.  I wasn’t tired when I crossed the line.  But I was sad.  My foot hurt.  I wondered if I would ever be able to run long distances again.

I spent the better part of the fall and winter on a bike.  Lifting weights.  Some days I would run, but my gosh, it was slow.  I usually run about 7 races a year.  After the flop at the half marathon I sat out of all my regular races to get to my final race of the year.  My favorite, the Delaware Marathon.

I follow the Hal Higdon Marathon Training Plan.  Based on my mileage, I went with the Advanced 1 option.  Occasionally I would look over to the Intermediate 2, but stuck to the Advanced 1 as my guide.  Using the Advanced 1 as my guide, here is what I actually ran the 18 weeks leading up to the Marathon:

Week            M                   T                  W                R                   F                  Sa                  Su

1 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 x hill Rest 5 m pace 10
2 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 7 m run Rest 5 m run 11
3 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run Rest 7 m run 10
4 5 m intervals 10 m run 5 m run 4 x hill Rest 5 m run 12
5 5 m run 7 m run 5 m run 45 tempo Rest 7 m run 14
6 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run Rest 10 m run 12
7 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 7 m run 10 m pace 13
8 3 m run 5 m run 5 m run 40 tempo 7 m run 10 m run 5
9 10 m run 8 m run 5 m run 10 m run 7 m run 19 Rest
10 10 m run 11 m run 5 m run 10 m run 7 m run 15 Rest
11 10 m run 8 m tempo 5 m run 45 tempo 18 m run Rest 8
12 7 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 15 m run 5 m run
13 10 m run 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run 20 m run Rest 5 m run
14 5 m run 6 m run 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run 12 m run 5 m run
15 5 m run 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run 22 m run Rest 5 m run
16 5 m Intervals 6 m run 5 m run 5 x hill 12 m run 0 6 m run
17 5 m run 3 m run 8 m run 10 m run 0 m run 8 12
18 3 m run 4 x 400 4 m run Rest Rest 2 m run Marathon

To get through the training I required a lot of stretching and Ice.  I wore the best shoes for me and I felt the best relief when I slept in the boot.  I got to the marathon and I got through!

I had never gone over 2 hours in a half before, but with my spur I hit 2:10.  In the marathon my 1/2 split time was 1:56.  So I felt redeemed.  By mile 21 though, my heel was on fire.  I was forced to stop and stretch.  My left foot became my boat, my right toe was my paddle.  I got through the marathon, but was still in pain.

I’m resting and beginning my attack plan for my fall races.  I am preparing for a 1/2 marathon in September, and a full marathon in November.  Training now?  Kind of.  Just running.  I got an easy 5 in yesterday and a solid 10 in today.  All is well in foot world.  But as I look ahead, I took this moment to look behind to see what I am preparing for.  And you know what?  I CAN’T WAIT!!

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