Marathon – 8 Weeks to Go and Injured

I’ve picked up a minor injury along the way to my first marathon. I fractured my 5th metatarsal at the base (right foot) at the end of May 2011. It healed well and in 13 weeks I was back running again, I took it easy and built up to a first half-marathon  at the end of October. I felt no pain (apart from a bit of ‘nerve stiffness’ and ITB annoyance) and really enjoyed the ‘White Night’ midnight halfie for British Heart Foundation.

I booked myself in for the Peacehaven ‘Mince Pie’ 10 miler in early December but ended up with a chesty cold so that scuppered my efforts there.

I have very limited time available for training so I opted to go with the Furman 3-day-week marathon training schedule. I’m thoroughly enjoying the speed/track and tempo work and recommend anyone training for anything from 5k to a marathon to have a go with this program. I’m not enjoying the very long, slow runs as much as I thought, they are quite frankly eating into my weekends when I would rather do a 1 hour tough workout then just hang out with my family. As I’ve hit a mental block with the long runs I now realise I’m very much suited to 10k and half-marathon races. Moan over.

I had to take week 8 off from training due to a bout of the norovirus, I can’t tell you how much I hate these bloody vile illnesses, I know nobody likes being sick but I spend a lot of my life worrying about it so when it bites, I get in a right state and it knocks me for 6! Training resumed with a 3 mile plod and then the right foot started to swell around the perineal tendons. My personal medic explained that it could be to do with wearing tight shoes so I’ve put my favourite little flat red brogue-ish shoes to the back of the shelf for now. The swelling went down and I recorded a best ever week on the track and a 9 mile tempo at 07:55 per mile, pretty pleased as my training has been broken up.

Now, I’ve been ordered off training for 5 days as the sheath that holds the tendons is pretty inflamed and quite sore. The goal is to keep the swelling down and manage the condition until the marathon is done. Funnily enough, I feel no pain when I’m running, it just balloons and feels very stiff, like someone has put a mini coat-hanger down my heel upon return. The treatment plan is to emerge the foot into an ice bowl a few times a day and take anti-inflammatories. That gives me a great excuse to drink lots of ginger beer then!

This week I’ll be cycling and getting stuck into the strength work, which I should’ve been doing for weeks now but I always end up being too busy preparing for a gig or helping somebody do something or another.

One way, or another, I’ll get this marathon done. It was probably a little ambitious of me to attempt the 26.2 within a year of  breaking my foot and there’s every possibility that the foot swelling is directly related to poor rehab from the major injury. My goal is to run the Marathon in 03:45 but I’ll be happy with a breath under 4 hours with the way things are going! Bring on the 8th July when I can get really stuck into a 10km PB.

My sponsorship page for the London Marathon.