Busy week…as we prep for a little boy about to turn 5! Austin marathon prep peaked last week, and with Mike and Jasper’s birthdays both being during the peak run weeks, it’s extra challenging. I ended up squeezing in a lonely 20 miler last weekend with a 5am start around my neighborhood and mentally struggled with 10 miles alone in the dark and cold. Once it got light out I felt ok, and actually finished feeling the best I had in a long time and felt good all day. I was pretty bummed about a super crappy time on my 20, and vowed to fix that (more on that later).
The next day I started having some heel pain midday, and freaked out. Long before I started this blog, I once dealt with plantar fasciitis for a whole year. I never had to take a big chunk of off time, just little bits here and there, but my foot hurt for a whole year, and walking sucked. I did NOT want to go down that road again. I iced and busted out some new shoes I’d been saving. Over Christmas I did some research on how to spend my Road Runner Sports gift card and learned that a couple of the shoe companies make shoe specifially to fit orthotics. Cool! They are often a mail order item only, because apparently not a ton of people buy them. I got a pair (I got Saucony but Brooks and New Balance also both make an orthotic shoe), and was saving them for when my current pair died, but seeing as how they were more supportive than my beloved Nikes, I thought using them now was warrented. That seemed to help…as of today the heel pain is mostly resolved. Whew! I’m still being proactive, but I think I caught it in time. You won’t see me barefoot for awhile, as that is the worst thing for heel pain.
So about my slow 20 miler….I’d been thinking for awhile that I need to change it up. Now this marathon is in the bag….it’s a pacer run and it’s too late to really do anything different, but for my next race I want to improve. I bought the Hanson’s Marathon Method book, and I’m pretty sold. I’m not sure if I’m 100% on board with only going 16 miles for a long run, but I don’t think I need as many 20s as I’ve done and I agree with their principal that most of us recreational folks cram miles all weekend then spend half the week recovering. The Hanson’s method is more mid distance runs during the week with more speed work and less emphasis on one long run. If you google reviews of it, people seem to mostly say they saw improvements using this method. The book makes a very compelling argument, and it’s good reading if you are at all interested in the marathon. I’m sold enough that I’m going to try it after Austin marathon. My challenge will be getting up early enough for the weekday runs. I do 6-7 miles on a weekday now, the plan is 8-10 miles most days (there are some 6 mile days in there…plus the speed day is shorter). Anyhow, I’m excited. It will be fun to try something new. I may be fooling myself that I have the mental fortitude to roll out the door even earlier, but if I train myself not to fart around in the morning, I probably could. I guess the pay off is not doing multiple 20 milers and having a little more weekend time.
And on that note….I’m off to bed. 4am wake up for a 4:30 run…to get in 13 miles before work, before two days of rain hits….and a mega busy weekend complete with a party at our house for the little 5 year old. I see some chocolate cake in my future….