Thursday, June 30, 2016

Not Running around the World

It's been ages, I went pretty blog-silent during my last Oh so Frustrating Up and Down Marathon Training Cycle. I went into January a little excited and very nervous about putting a goal out there to run a 3:30 marathon in May. I've run four marathons, trained for a few more and figured that now was the time to ramp up my training and really focus on speed work. I used my previous training plan from Runner's World as a guide but also looked around for alternate speed workouts and calendars. Looking back I see that I went in too deep too fast and ended up "over training." After about a month and a half I came down with a wicked cold. Then my hamstring started acting up again after months of feeling fine. Finally, I woke up one morning to the dreaded 'bruise on my heel' feeling when I stepped out of bed. I scaled back, stopped cross training, went to the pool, I even took time off, missing an 18 and a not completing a 20 (ew.). It was too little too late and I ran the last month of my training full of doubts about  running my goal pace in May.
As it goes, I had to go offshore for a couple weeks at the end of April. Due to the timing I let Sugarloaf pass by and reset my sights on the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington on Memorial Day weekend. This way I could get back to land, hit it hard for a week or so and then start a slow two week taper. Honestly, I still doubted whether I would run at all.
My main concerns were;
1. My right hamstring would start to really bother me about 7 miles into any run.
2. I had developed plantar fasciitis in my left foot and it was starting to hurt all the time.
3. I wasn't sure if I had lost too much strength and stamina when I scaled back after getting sick.
As the week got closer I had pretty much decided not to run. I looked up the rules for a deferral or refund on the entry fee and found you could only request a deferral over a month before the race. (Which seems pretty silly to me.) A few people and articles were pointing out that continuing to run on a foot with PF could lead to long term damage. I felt that I had probably already passed that point and that I would have to take a considerable amount of time away from running in order to fix it. I also knew that if I didn't run a race I would feel like I hadn't run a full training program and I would take some time off, possibly my foot would feel a little better, and then I would jump back into training somewhere in the middle and push for a summer race, probably hurting myself more. I figured I could either stop running now or run the race and stop afterwards, the damage was already done. I needed an end to the training I had been doing since January. Call it stubborn but I wanted some form of closure. I had had an emotional, frustrating, long few months and I needed a race to finish it.
In the end I ran the race. Since then I haven't run a step and my foot still hurts. Stand by for the race recap.