Tag Archives: marathon

Race Report: Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

Short Version: Amazing day. Ended up at 2:54:38 and 2nd place female, 25th overall. Proud of my effort and proud to say that it was the strongest I’ve ever felt in a marathon both mentally and physically. That’s not to say that there aren’t things to improve, but I crossed the finish line and burst into a smile which is literally a first for me.

Top 3 Women and our big beer glasses (vases?)

Top 3 Women and our big beer glasses (vases?)

Very, Very Long Version

Preparing to race a marathon starts long before the gun (or cold airhorn in this case) goes off. For me, my marathon prep started in earnest in May, which this blog has cataloged in sometimes painful detail since. I’ll do a separate Week in Review post for last week, but it was a pretty standard taper week. In a perfect world, I would have preferred more rest and less stress, but this is real life and standing at a race on Friday to coach is my reality.

We headed to Albany on Saturday after a morning shakeout run and I was in full-on taper terror mode. Traffic was horrendous courtesy of peak leaf season, Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving. It took us almost 4.5 hours to get to Albany when it should have been under 3. Needless to say, by the time we arrived at the Hilton at almost 5, my husband was most displeased with me. That was not helped when we went to check in and found out that I made our reservation for October 12th (as in, Sunday night). Thus began the scramble to find somewhere to sleep. Thankfully, we found a place across from campus (and maybe 800 meters from my sophomore dorm) that was only moderately bank-breaking.

After the hotel snafu and about 100 apologies to Will, we headed out to find dinner. I took him on a brief tour through campus and then we settled at my favorite Albany diner on Western Avenue. Pasta doesn’t actually work that well for me pre-race so I got chicken pasta soup and turkey dinner. It was the perfect pre-race food; liquid, salt and carb heavy without being pure pasta.

My old campus running loop. 3.1 miles around. I used to run it once every week day and twice one weekend day. How things have changed...

My old campus running loop. 3.1 miles around. I used to run it once every week day and twice one weekend day. How things have changed…

After dinner, we picked up some Gatorade and gum then headed back to the hotel. I laid out my clothes, we watched a couple of episodes of Revenge and were going “to sleep” by 9:45. I actually slept until 2:30, at which point I was wide awake and thrashing around. I fell back asleep around 3:30, but was restless until the alarm at 6 to eat. My turkey sandwich wasn’t looking good to me so I had a Pumpkin Pie Poptart instead and started sipping my Gatorade and water mix. We were out the door of our hotel by 7:30 and at the start area by 8:00 am.

I did a brief 10 minute warmup (which was accurately termed as it was only 35 degrees out) and was thrilled to find that a jogging effort turned out to be 8:02 pace, which was an encouraging sign that taper worked. We found LT and Lauren as well which worked wonders for my nerves. At 8:20, I walked over the start line and just worked on breathing deeply. Paul, another friend and invited athlete, showed up at the start line and we were able to hang out until the start.

Lauren and I showing off our gloves at the start.

Lauren and I showing off our gloves at the start.

My general plan for the race was to go out moderately through the first couple of miles, settle in from 3 to 10, be prepared to slow from 10 to 13 due to the hills in that section then cruise from 13 to home as best I could. I will say that I thought the course would be more level than I found it to be. Although it is definitely a fast course, it wasn’t as flat as I anticipated and I encountered more false flats and fast drops than I was planning.

Elevation, which I should have studied a little more carefully.

Elevation, which I should have studied a little more carefully.

In reality, I found the first half of the race a little…tedious. I went out cautiously but had to keep slowing myself down so that I didn’t end up way ahead of pace too early on. There was a group of guys near me through the first 3 miles but none seemed keen on all of us working together so I was mostly alone from 4 until the end. There is an INCREDIBLE view at 4 when you come around a corner and see the Hudson for the first time. Otherwise, I just tried to get comfortable and checked in with myself repeatedly to make sure my effort felt easy. The only hitch was at 6 where I dropped my first Gu and had to turn around to grab it. Definitely let a four-letter word drop there. I saw Will for the first time at 8 and he told me the first woman was over 4 minutes up (she would go on to run a 2:34) so I just focused on my own race.

Cruising through Mile 8, second woman by 4 minutes already.

Cruising through Mile 8, second woman by 4 minutes already.

As we got into the hills from 10 to 12, I was feeling good although a little nervous about the hills. In reality, they weren’t too bad but they did take some momentum out of my legs. I made a deal with myself that I would just ease back into goal pace by mile 15 and that took some mental pressure off as my Garmin pace crept up. I hit the half at 1:26:13. I saw Will again and he mumbled something about my competition but I didn’t hear, which turned out to be a good thing as the dark miles were coming.

Halfway!

Halfway!

Miles 13 to 18 were fine, although my quads were starting to dislike the gradual downhills that kept cropping up. Around 18, a race volunteer told me to “hurry up because the train was coming,” which I thought was a joking way to motivate me. It turned out it wasn’t a joke; about 3 minutes after I crossed the tracks, I could hear the bells start ringing and they would stop a pack of runners for almost 2 minutes as the train crossed.

At 19, however, the dark miles began. I was tired, we were running along 787 and the cones were placed such that I had to either run on the broken up shoulder or in the road with cars. My legs started to feel like concrete and my last Gu, which I took at 18, wasn’t sitting well in my stomach. My pace slowly started to creep up and I was having serious doubts about the pace at which I’d gone out. Other people were hurting too; despite my slowing pace, I was still passing people and my form remained (fairly) good. I did start to worry about my competition, as I really wanted 2nd place and the $500 in prize money.

Not quite a happy camper at 20.

Not quite a happy camper at 20.

Miles 19 to 23 were pretty darn miserable. It’s a quiet part of the course with almost no crowd support and everyone around me was either in the hurt box with me or blowing by me like I was standing still. I’m not proud of this fact, but I was definitely having a pity party. To make matters worse, my foot was starting to KILL me and I definitely had some thoughts of “I did this way too soon.” When I crossed 24, however, I got my shit together. I was at 2:40, which meant that I could still have a good PR. I also thought of my girls and what I would say to them: Don’t give up on yourself. Decide you can. I did both of these things and decided that it was going to hurt either way, so I might as well end proud of myself. I dug down and cranked my pace down to 6:30 again and finished in 6:10 pace including outsprinting a guy who had passed me easily at 20. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I burst into a huge smile, a first for me.

Finishing her up!

Finishing her up!

Splits

1: 6:30

2: 6:33

3: 6:22

4: 6:19

5: 6:26

6: 6:36

7: 6:35

8: 6:40

9: 6:39

10: 6:39

11: 6:38

12: 6:40

13: 6:50

14: 6:38

15: 6:34

16: 6:35

17: 6:36

18: 6:32

19: 6:45

20: 6:43

21: 6:50

22: 6:56

23: 6:58

24: 6:55

25: 6:42

26: 6:32

.2: 6:10 pace

Post race was probably my favorite part, as I was so happy with my performance despite a few rough miles. I also felt GREAT. I was tired, but not injured and besides a big blister on my left foot felt totally fine. I even had Will tape a video of my walking skills. We didn’t hang around long because we needed to get back home to study and even after a 3 hour car ride, I felt pretty good. I’m sore this morning, but primarily in my quads which I would have predicted after how I felt at 20 yesterday. I’ll take today off completely and keep it to walking and biking until Wednesday or Thursday this week when I start getting geared up for Vegas.

All smiles collecting my prizes.

All smiles collecting my prizes.

Post-Race McDonald's Selfie. Fries were SO good.

Post-Race McDonald’s Selfie. Fries were SO good.

The marathon is an unforgiving beast and requires such a long list of thank yous once it’s over. First and foremost is Will, who plays the role of coach and husband. Thank you for crafting a plan that plays up my strengths, for constantly believing in me without inflating me with false hope and for dealing with everything that it means to be a marathon spouse. Second are my “girls.” I draw so much inspiration from you and absolutely would not have had the performance I did without thinking of coming home to all of you and wanting to practice what I preach to all of you daily. Finally, thank you to Ed Neiles (Elite Athlete Coordinator) at HMRRC and to the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon for putting on an excellent race with every detail thought through.

On the Race Itself:

I would recommend this marathon to anyone; the course is great (provided you don’t require a ton of crowd support) and every single detail is attended to. Every water station has a sign about 40 seconds ahead so that you can open and eat your Gu. There are volunteers on every single corner or turn and even at the bumps along the way. The post race food was plentiful and included veggie broth and chips, which are my two favorite things post race. Of course, the weather was perfect (and it was the first time I did it too), but I don’t think HMRRC has a lot of control over that. All in all, this is a must-do marathon from my perspective and I’ll definitely be back in the future.

Week in Review 8.18.14 to 8.24.14

This was just one of those weeks where I did not feel like a runner. In fact, I felt a lot more like this baby horse trying to stand up every time I tried to walk.

Monday: 9.35 mile run. Tried to do my workout and it just wasn’t going to happen.

Tuesday: 8 mile run plus lifted arms.

Wednesday AM: 1.5 miles with the Girls for the Relay.

Wednesday PM: 7.4 miles with some shakeout strides.

Thursday: 9.55 miles with 7 by 5 minutes at T pace. Still felt clunky and awkward. Lifted legs afterward.

Friday: 8 mile recovery run out in Underhill.

Saturday: 4.5 mile easy run just to move, out of miles for the week!

Sunday: 17 mile long run in the heat with 20 minutes at T pace. Felt horrible from the start so just glad to get through it.

Total Miles: 65.3

Arm Lift, Leg Lift

Plank Set every night.

I’m hoping that this funky week passes and my legs feel better through this week. I’m hoping for a Wednesday workout which gives me plenty of time to recover before my race on Sunday even in the midst of an 80 mile week.

How was your week of training? Anyone else have the mid-cycle blues?

 

The Runner’s Body

Normally, I would share this article in my reading round-up but it resonated so deeply with me that I kept coming back to it on runs. Lanni Marchant (@LJM5252) is the current Canadian record holder in the marathon. She’s also a practicing attorney. Marchant gave a recent interview about learning to love her body and appreciate it despite not “looking” like a marathoner. I understand where she’s coming from 100%. As grateful as I am to be part of elite tents, there is nothing that sparks insecurity like standing next to a group of runners who are half your size. It doesn’t take much to convince yourself that if you are bigger, you must also be slower.

Lanni Marchant after setting the Canadian marathon record.

Lanni Marchant after setting the Canadian marathon record.

Body image issues in running start early and run deep. I started running at a time when the “thin is faster” trend was in full swing. We were encouraged to lose weight and restrict food. Teammates were praised for losing weight. I distinctly remember not being allowed to get a snack on the way home from a race if I didn’t PR. I also distinctly remember a coach from a nearby high school telling his athlete “not to worry about Waterman, she’s heavy on the hills.” I carried those words with me with me for years. I hated having to wear our team shorts because I was convinced I was fat. Once in a while when I’m climbing a hill, I still hear his voice.

Heavy on the Hills Waterman, circa 1999

Heavy on the Hills Waterman, circa 1999

Now that I’m responsible for 35 gorgeous, fit high school girls, I cannot imagine ever telling them to lose weight or change their bodies. The body types on our team run from short to tall, from ultra lean to muscled out and you cannot tell by looking at any of them whether they are fast, slow or in between. In many ways, the landscape is shifting on the desired body type for cross country running. Stronger runners are getting the best performances and more importantly, lasting longer than a season or two at the college level. We’re not out of the woods, however, as long as old school coaches continue to push for the classic long distance frame. While coaching last week, Will heard another coach berate his athlete for “letting that ox by her.” I pray that the “ox” didn’t hear his comment.

There are ramifications from this for elite and regular runners alike. I know women who run in pants year round because “they hate their legs” and know extremely fast men who talk about being too fat. I’ve overheard and witnessed shame from people at races who worried that they weren’t the right body type to be running and it crushes me. Regardless of what we look like, if we’re running, we have runner’s bodies. We may not all be sinewy and lean, but we’re all runners.

“You Have Beautiful Form!”

As most runners know, people love to yell things at us. Usually it’s some iteration of Run Forrest Runnnnnn or a slew of angry words because they had to stop at a crosswalk. Yesterday, however, I had an utterly fantastic experience that made my run.

I was starting my warmup on the bike path and trotting down my pre-workout downward spiral of I feel tired and it’s humid out and my hamstring hurts. For whatever reason, when I’m anxious about a race or a workout, my left hamstring feels tight. I panic about until the workout or race starts, then it magically goes away. Anyway, as I was running along, a biker came up behind me and said “You have beautiful form! I aspire to run like you.” I sputtered something back along the lines of thankssomuchareyoutalkingtome. I was stunned both by the fact that someone speaking to me on my run wasn’t quoting a movie from 20 years ago and that someone thought my form was admirable.

Don’t get me wrong. There are good things about my form. I have a quick cadence and I land lightly. In fact, from the waist down minus poor knee drive, I look pretty darn good. Waist up, well, there were Tyrannosaurus Rex(i?) who once ruled the Earth with better arm carry than me. Still, it made my entire workout to have someone say she aspired to look like me when I ran.

Does this mean I just do really good workouts?

Does this mean I just do really good workouts?

Later in the workout, I was on my last cruise interval when she biked by again and said “You are so fast, is that like a 7 minute pace?” “620ish right now” I huffed back at her. “You are AMAZING.” And with that, my amazing random support biker biked off. As I finished the last interval, I was so touched that a perfect stranger would say something, that she dropped so much kindness and support on some sweaty, ponytailed girl huffing along the bike path. I also wondered if my husband planted her to stop my hissy fit. He claims to know nothing.

She wasn't wearing a cape but this is basically what she looked like to me.

She wasn’t wearing a cape but this is basically what she looked like to me.

So to the lady on her bike that made my morning yesterday, you might aspire to have my running form, but I aspire to make other people feel the way you made me feel yesterday.

What’s the best thing someone has ever yelled at you on a run? The worst?

Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose

I’m not sure where all this introspection is coming from this week. Maybe it’s a few solid weeks of training under my belt. Maybe it’s this weird feeling I’ve had lately that things are about to pull together for me athletically. Anyway, one of the scariest things to do is to put yourself out there and admit your goals. When Katie and I were getting ready for VCM the other day, she started hedging her goal. “Well, I’d like to run under 1:27. I should be able to. But I don’t know…” She blew her goal away, running well under 1:27. Sometimes the biggest part of the battle is admitting what you want from a race.

Stating your goals takes courage. It puts your dreams out there and makes a clear marker of success or failure for everyone else to see. Below are my goals organized into the next 18 months, someday and pie in the sky. Some are pie in the sky because although they are theoretically attainable, they’ll take a lot of things pulling together for me. Furthermore, I’ll be just fine if those remain things I worked for my whole life and didn’t quite achieve. My someday goals and next 18 month goals should be closer in reach.

Next 18 Months

PR in the marathon Mohawk Hudson, 2:54 in October of 2014

Break 1:20 in the half and 37 in the 10K

Get a shiny new 5K PR (see also, race a 5K)

Someday

Win a marathon RDC Marathon 2017

Win a national title (Masters Club Nationals for track is my best bet…)

Run a beer mile

Break 2:45 in the marathon, 1:18 in the half, 36 in the 10K and 17:30 in the 5K

Run a trail marathon

Transition to an excellent masters career

 

Pie in the Sky

Olympic Trials Qualifier in the marathon

Start in the Elite Women’s Corral for the Boston Marathon

Get invited to the USA Running Circuit

Get a mention on Let’s Run or Running Times

 

I put myself out here, now it’s your turn. What are your goals?

 

 

 

Week in Review 5.19.14 to 5.25.14 and a VCM Half Report

This was a really solid training week and my first above 60 in a long time.

Monday: 7.7 mile recovery run with a still-broken Garmin.

Tuesday: 9.15 miles with 4 strides at the end. (4 by 60 meters at a pretty-darn-quick pace).

Wednesday: Best workout post-surgery!!! 8 mile structured fartlek on the Causeway. 2 mile warmup, 5 minutes at slower tempo effort, 5 minutes recovery, 4 at faster tempo effort, 4 minutes recovery, 3 at interval pace, 3 minutes recovery, 2 at interval pace, 2 minutes recovery, 1 all out, 1 minute recovery, 30 seconds all out, 30 seconds recovery, 2 mile cooldown. Felt awesome the whole time which was a miracle given that I did this at 1 pm in 75 degrees and sunny. So encouraging to have a good workout. Hipcore after.

Slow Tempo: 6:45

Faster Tempo: 6:35

Interval: 6:10

All Out: 5:40

Thursday: Scheduled Off Day, prorated 7.5

Friday: 8 mile run with Annie, extremely humid out.

Saturday: 4.5 mile run with Will and Annie with 4 strides after.

Sunday: 20 miles. 2 mile warmup, 13.1 at tempo effort in 2-person Vermont City Marathon relay, 5+ miles of jogging around the course afterward.

Total: 64.9 miles

Finally feel like I’m hitting my stride this week. I still need to be better about the extras, in particular lifting, drills and core, but things are starting to feel better and I don’t feel so clunky all the time. I see Dr. Kevin on Wednesday and am hopeful he can help me keep working on improving my form/getting back to pre-surgery form.

VCM Half Marathon Race Report

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

I was really happy to only be running the half this year. It started off as a very humid morning and progressed to just plain hot by the time the second half of the race rolled around. It was reminiscent of 2011 when I led the pace group and people were just dropping like flies. I saw multiple pace leaders drop out yesterday and many experienced runners come in far off goal times. The weather really is getting too darn unpredictable at VCM recently.

I ran a full volume week so this race was intended to be a big workout for me and another opportunity to get back into racing. My only hope was to pop up a VDOT level with my performance and get through it without hurting myself or ruining this coming week of training. I’m glad for that, as I was drenched with sweat by mile 2 when I am not typically a heavy sweater. I didn’t wear a watch but remember a few splits from the course clocks. We went through mile 1 in about 6:45 pace and then Katie took off. I spent the rest of the run working through the pack (people went out SO fast) and just focusing on keeping good form. My pace was between 6:40 and 6:50 for the whole run and the only negative was that I felt like I could never get into a groove. My higher gear felt too fast and the 6:45 pace felt too slow. I was in the process of beating myself up for my second slowest half ever but corrected my attitude as we went through Church Street the second time when I reminded myself to be grateful that I was running a half 5 months after surgery. I finished the half in 1:29:05 (6:47 pace) which pops me up a VDOT level. Mission: successful!  Even after hours in the sun and lots more miles, my legs felt fresh. I’m happy to find that although my quads are a little tired today, everything else feels great and I’m ready for another week of training.

I have 2 weeks until the Causeway 15K and am looking forward to another opportunity to race the 15K on a flatter course with a few more weeks of fitness.

How was your weekend? Anyone race? How do you monitor your progress?

Kara Goucher…again, a massive hurdle pileup and an ethical dilemma

It’s getting a little old (in a good way) to write about Kara Goucher every week. This week, she, Nick Symmonds and Alysia Montano all signed with Soleus, which is a watch and GPS company. I actually checked their product line out after the announcement and am really interested in trying them out. They have a nicer aesthetic than Garmin and since mine is totally and utterly broken, maybe now’s the time. This most recent announcement is another awesome example of the quiet shakeup occurring in professional running. Goucher, Symmonds and Montano were all Nike runners at one point but all now run for shoe companies that allow them more latitude in other apparel and gear contracts. It’s also interesting to me that Goucher has a young child and is currently injured while Montano is pregnant and not competing this year, but Soleus was still happy to sign them. In the world of professional running, non-performance punishments are part of the business, but it seems that some of the smaller companies are starting to realize that elite runners are human too.

In more local news, an amazing story about a Vermont runner who had Guillain-Barre this winter and came back to be able to run half of VCM. We just did GB in a case study this week, so this story was about as timely as possible. My only objection to the story was the mention that the flu vaccine was a plausible cause of his GB. While the influenza vaccine can cause GB, it is FAR more common for a diarrheal or upper respiratory virus to cause GB (although GB is not at all common).

In another collision of my worlds, an interesting editorial was published on KevinMD this week, written by a resident who was running Boston and taking pictures for the Boston Globe to commemorate the experience. When a medical emergency occurred, she stopped to help and took a picture of the first responders. She also inadvertently got a picture of the victim and took considerable criticism. Her situation is somewhat unique but brings up both the interesting experience of the physician-runner and of social media rules for physicians. Every year at VCM, there are medical issues along the course and friends/colleagues of mine have to stop their races to provide medical care. It’s part of our job; whether we’re on duty or not, we have an obligation to help. I’m still getting used to that responsibility/requirement.

Rogue Running posted another great training article this week, this time on de-training and re-training. I know way too many people who go from marathon to marathon to marathon, only to have results stagnate or even get worse. This article is a simple explanation of why this happens.

Finally in “newsy news,” one of the most epic hurdle crashes I’ve seen in a long time. Hurdles and Steeple make for fantastic spectator fodder, but this almost takes the cake. I was never a great hurdler, but it seems like the guy in the lead fouled a few times, kicking through his hurdle instead of over it. You can clip a hurdle without a DQ, but not if it is intentional or impedes the progress of others. I don’t know about the former, but the ramifications of his clip clearly impeded (impressively) the entire heat.

What new equipment/gear companies are you loving? Do you use periodization in training or are you guilty of jumping from cycle to cycle? Best race related wipeout you’ve been a part of or witnessed?

I’m off to pick up our bibs at the Expo. Seems strange to have it be VCM weekend and not be preparing for a big race but also nice to know that I get to stop at Oakledge Park tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Fall Marathon News

I am overwhelmed and grateful to be able to even write this post. When I met with Dr. Charlson in the fall, he promised that I’d be back for Fall 2014. I didn’t believe him. After all, my first surgery was the perfect example of “what could go wrong, did” and I went into my second in a world of pain. But here we are on May 13th, 3 months after my first post-surgery steps and I’ve picked my fall marathon. The selection process actually wasn’t that easy. I wanted a marathon that gave me a decent shot at good weather (so no September and no southern marathons), that I could travel to easily (med school scheduling sucks) and that had a reasonably fast course and competition. Going in as an elite athlete was a secondary criteria. In the running were Chicago, Monumental, Las Vegas, Rocket City and Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. All had various pros and cons but ultimately I decided on Mohawk Hudson and am thrilled to be headed there October 12th as an Elite Athlete. Huge thanks to MHRM for inviting me; I’m looking forward to helping make for a fast day!

Mohawk Hudson was actually my first half marathon, way back in 2009. I was 2nd in my age group in 1:33. How things have changed. I went to undergrad in Albany and knew the half course well. Although I’ll go down once before this fall to run the first half of the course, there is something wonderful about racing somewhere familiar. I’m especially looking forward to a Bomber’s Burrito after the race! I’m also looking forward to a wickedly fast course, easy travel (I can sleep in my own bed on Friday!) and great competition on the men’s and women’s side.

A Goal: Break the Course Record of 2:47:22

B Goal: Break 2:50

C Goal: PR

Will did some math and if I’m in VCM 2013 shape and get decent weather, the course record should be well within reach. 5 months to go! Let the work begin.

What’s your fall marathon? What races have you run multiple times?

Decisions, Decisions

Somehow, we’re at the beginning of November. The cross country season is all but over and our mornings are now starting in the 20s. I’m confident I’ve had my last run in shorts and I’m confused by the time change over the past weekend. I loved walking out the door at 6:10 to light this morning, but I’m struggling to stay awake in the evenings. Keeping up with running in medical school is challenging, to say the least. There is significant pressure to study all the time and taking an hour off to run every day makes me worry that I’m falling behind on the ever-present new material. As such, I have good weeks of running where I get in 60 miles and bad weeks where I don’t crack 30. I’m working on being okay with that fact.

It’s hard to focus on mileage right now for another reason, namely that I’m staring down the reality of needing another surgery. Back in the spring, I had a repeat EMG on my foot because I was having numbness again. It turns out that my tibial nerve really doesn’t work that well, which explains my odd footstrike on my left foot, recurrent numbness and why speed work has felt so awkward over the past year. I met with the surgeon in October and it seems that to meet my current performance goals, I need surgery first. I’m struggling far more with this decision than with the decision to have compartment syndrome surgery. With my CS, it was urgent and I was young enough that I felt like I had many years of my best running ahead of me. With this surgery, however, I find myself wondering if another surgery (plus the recovery, plus 6 weeks of sub-q blood thinner, plus risks) is really worth it. Will I have time to recover, rebuild and try again at my OT time before the natural slowing of aging sets in? How long will my recovery and return to competition be? Do I even have time to train at the level required for an OTQ while I’m in medical school?

If I don’t have surgery, the biggest risks are permanent damage to the nerve and curling of the toes as the intrinsic muscles of my foot stop functioning. The prognosis for tarsal tunnel surgery is generally good, with about 2 weeks on crutches followed by 4 weeks in a boot. Dr. Charlson (who did all three of my husband’s surgeries) feels confident that with surgery just before New Years, I could be competitive by the fall. With my track record of healing, Will and I think a half marathon for the fall is probably more realistic than Chicago. Since we have Summer 2014 off from classes, that is a huge opportunity for me to log serious miles and see how close to the OT standard I can get in the half marathon.

For now, I’m moping around and alternate between good run days and bad run days. I change my mind on surgery multiple times in a day, even multiple times on a run depending on whether I can feel my foot or not. I’m hoping to have it figured out in the next couple of weeks so that I can plot both my path leading up to surgery and try to come up with a plan for coming back (again).