October 2012-January 2013
After the Twin Cities Marathon, I started training for the Walt Disney World Marathon. Specifically, I was training for The Goofy Challenge. This is a half marathon one day, followed by a full marathon the next. The main adjustment to my training was to start running back-to-back long runs every week. I wanted to build up to 10 miles/20 miles before race day. This ended up being a fairly big mileage leap. My shoes were also in need of replacement (old ones had holes in them…but I didn’t want to swap them out just before a marathon). I got the same brand/style/size that had served me so well so far. I put them on for the first time during my first long run-13.1 miles (I did a 10k the previous day). By mile 8, my foot didn’t feel right. I figured it was a random “phantom” pain (I get several of those per long workout…they tend to be forgotten within a mile or so). Also assumed it was my shoes just getting broken in.
By mile 12, something felt very, VERY wrong with my left foot. There was a knot in my arch that was not going away, and my medial ankle was feeling unstable. It didn’t hurt that bad, but it was just feeling more and more “wrong”. I stopped the run at 12 miles (first time I think I had ever done that quit a training run early).
I assumed it would be gone the next day.
I skipped a couple of short runs.
So, I went running again. It didn’t exactly make it worse, but it didn’t feel right either.
I cut down on mileage. Got another pair of shoes.
Event weekend was starting to draw closer. My training window was closing.
I also was starting to get the feeling that this could be the beginning of the end for my running.
I also knew what a Doctor, Orthopedist, or Podiatrist would tell me…”Stop Running”.
So, I did the stupid thing…I kept on running and built up my training. This would be marathon number three. I will have racked up Dopey and a half IM as well. If this were to be the end, then I would finish off what I chose to accomplish.
I had trouble flexing my foot downwards or rotating it inwards. Range of motion and strength were vanishing…but it did not directly affect my running.
Three weeks prior to the event, I did my 10 mile/20 mile back to back.
The next week I ran the Polar Dash in -30 degree windchill.
The week before the race, I scheduled a podiatry appointment for my return. I expected bad news.
It was worse than I could have imagined.
But, before I could hear it, I had to run 42.2 miles in 3 days on a bad foot…