November 20th I went out and did my last long run before the Rocket City Marathon. The previous day, Saturday was supposed to be 5-8x1000m on the trails at Hawthorn Park. I got a mere 1.5 miles into my warmup and the legs were so dead, I had to turn around and walk back to the car and head home. So Sunday, I knew the legs would be a little fresh.
I wanted to see if I could run a bulk of my 20 miler at marathon pace. Started out easy with the legs burning the first 4 miles (8:03, 7:44,8:08,8:08) I was able to work that out and drop the pace down and went through 10 miles in 1:17:15. Continued picking up until miles 14 & 15 where I hit 6:52 and 6:53 pace. I was at 3:00 pace! Of course, I knew I wasn’t in 3:00 shape… I was able to keep the pace up and finished with a 7:18 and a 7:11 to get in 21 miles in 2:35:37. I was pretty pumped. Just 3 weeks to go and a 3:10 marathon was in my reach.
The next day was a cold and misty day, and I headed out of work early for lunch to catch the NCAA meet. When I was running from my car up to the CC course, I felt the pain under my achilles going up the hill. I knew right away what it was. It was retrocalcaneal bursitis… I had it 3 years earlier following a marathon. At that point I was remembering my right foot sliding in my rain-soaked shoes from 18 miles on not knowing I was straining things…
I ran on a couple of occasions and did the Octane each day. The Octane doesn’t aggravate it at all. I then went to do a 13 mile test run on a somewhat hilly course on November 27th. Pretty much had sharp pain the whole way and finished in 1:36. There would be no way I’d be able to even taper for the next two weeks leading up to the race. I did the Octane every day all the way up until today. Yesterday I decided there was no way I was going to run 26.2 miles on two weeks of no running. Even if the bursitis was completely healed by that time, I’d be lucky to make it 3 miles first time out in two weeks.
So, now I’m looking at maintaining fitness over the next few weeks and resume training in another 2 weeks. New goals set in place. The marathon will have to wait until Spring or even Fall. Pretty disappointed as I got in my first ever 100+ mile week en route to a 355 mile month of October. It’s amazing how fast things can go from great, to not running at all.
2011 was a record year for me in number of DNS! I even had a complimentary entry to Papa John’s 10 Miler in March that I had to DNS…
But, I’ll be back!