Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 13

On October 8th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

What a week!  Much of the week was spent sidelined by the blister on my heel that I got during last Saturday’s long run.  With Chicago right around the corner, I refuse to let this blister keep me from moving, so even though it was difficult to run I found other ways to stay active.  Even though I did complete my long run yesterday, my blister is still a prominent fixture on my heel, so I still need to be careful in order to let it continue to heal.

Monday, August 28th

I returned home from the first day of school with my new students to fall like weather.  The temperature was in the low 70s and the humidity was very low.  It was perfect summer running weather, and I wanted to take advantage of it, despite the open blister on my heel.  I bandaged myself up, but putting my running shoe on was still incredibly painful.  That should have been my sign to not go for my run.  But I’m stubborn, so I still headed out the door.  I only made it 1.85 miles down the sidewalk before it was too painful to continue.  I sat down on the sidewalk and took my shoe off to discover that not only had the band aid moved but that the short run had made my blister larger in size.  There was no way that I could continue running.  So what did I do?  I walked 1.85 miles back home in just my socks.  I’m sure I looked absolutely crazy to everybody driving by, but I had no other choice.

I only made it 1.85 miles before the open blister on my heel was just too painful to keep going. So what did I do? Walked 1.85 miles back home without shoes on. I felt quite defeated as I walked back home.

Tuesday, August 29th

Refusing to sit still, I headed to the gym after school.  I crossed my fingers that I’d be able to get a full workout in, and thankfully the elliptical didn’t bother my heel, so I completed a 40 minute workout on it.  Afterwards I did 30 minutes of weight training.  Surprisingly, it actually hurt more to walk around the gym in the weights area than it did to use the elliptical.

Wednesday, August 30th

I didn’t have time to get to the gym before picking little man up, but I still wanted to get a workout in.  So what did I do?  I put on my athletic sandals, put little man in his stroller, and went for a 2.40 mile walk.  I know that walking in sandals in far from ideal, but it was the only way that I could walk without irritating my heel.

Just because I was facing a setback didn’t mean that I could sit on the training sidelines.
Since my heel was still extremely sensitive due to the open blister, I put on my athletic sandals and walked.

Thursday, August 31st

Thursday evening was Back to School Night at school.  Because of traffic in Northern Virginia, it made little sense to drive home to just have to turn around about an hour later in order to make it back to school on time.  So I just stayed at school and grabbed an early dinner with some coworkers.  I didn’t arrive home until around 9:30.  After being out of the house for over 15 hours, my bed looked like a much better idea than trying to work out.

Friday, September 1st

Our first home football game at school was Friday evening, and there were food trucks brought to school for some pre-game festivities.  Preston and little man met me at school, where we grabbed some BBQ from one of the food trucks for dinner before staying for the first part of the game.  We arrived home around 8:00, and again, I was far too tired from a long day to work out.

Saturday, September 2nd

I usually complete my long runs on Saturdays, but between it pouring all day and wanting to give my heel another day to heal before attempting to run, I decided to push my run a day back.  Instead, I did a 30 minute full body strength training workout.

Sunday, September 3rd

After being uncertain for the entire week whether I’d be able to run at all, I was very cautious Sunday morning as I bandaged myself up and put my running shoes on.  For the first time since I first got the blister, my heel wasn’t bothered too much by putting a running shoe on.  Yes, it was sensitive but it wasn’t painful, so I took that as a sign that it was time to attempt running again.  I had 18 miles on my training plan, and as I headed out the door I had no idea how the run would go or how many miles I would be able to run.  I took it pretty easy with my pace, and thankfully running didn’t hurt.  It was far from how I felt during Monday’s run.

I modified one of my usual out and back route for a couple of reasons.  I knew that there were several gas stations and stores that I could make pit stops at if needed on the modified route.  It was also a route that Preston could easily pick me up on if I needed to stop.  I ran into a CVS at mile 11 to refill my Camelbak, and then sat on the sidewalk outside to change out the band aids on my heel and to change into a dry sock.  I’m so glad that I had planned ahead and had brought along extra band aids and an extra pair of socks.  During my pit stop, I did notice that my heel was a bit more irritated than it had been prior to the start of my run, but again, it was nothing like it had been on Monday.

As I left CVS I was uncertain as to whether I’d be able to finish all 18 miles.  My heel was definitely more sensitive, and the last thing that I wanted to do was make it worse.  But as each mile passed, I wanted to push myself even more to run all 18 miles.  And I did!  It felt so good to see 18 miles on my Garmin at the end of my run!

After not being able to run for a week I was very uncertain how this long run would go, or even if it would happen at all. After stopping at 11 miles to change out bandaids on my heel and put on a dry sock, I pushed through and finished all 18 miles that were on my training plan for this weekend! To say that I’m in disbelief that I was able to complete this run is an understatement!

I still need to take it easy on my heel in order to let it continue to heal, as it still has a long way to go.  At the beginning of the week I was beginning to worry whether I’d be able to fully prepare for Chicago.  Yesterday’s long run has given me the confidence that even with my blister that as long as I take care of it and take the proper precautions that I should be able to continue my training, even if it isn’t exactly as I would like.  My number one focus right now is on getting to the start line of Chicago, no matter how many modifications I have to make in the remaining weeks of my training.

Total Weekly Mileage – 28.39 miles (5.23 miles more than week 12)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 352.14 miles

QOTD: How do you approach set backs to your training, especially when you’re only a couple of weeks out from your race?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  I’m also linking up with Courtney for the Training Recap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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51 Responses to Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 13

  1. irunelite says:

    Great job getting in that long run! I too had an off week last week, but managed to get back on track for the weekend. I hope the blister continues to heal. : )

  2. Jessica S. says:

    This past spring I was training for a half. One week before the race, on a 12 mile run, my left knee became excruciatingly painful. I simply had to let it rest, pray, and know that I was as trained as I was going to be. I did a short 3 miles five days later (2 days before the race) and felt pretty good and ended up with a PR on race day. Keep doing what you’re doing and listen to your body. Best of luck!

  3. Montana says:

    I think your plan is good- modify workouts if necessary but at least you’re getting some in. Some miles are better than no miles! Can’t wait to meet you in person! One more month to Chi town ❤

  4. Karen :0) says:

    Way to go with your long run! Good thing you thought ahead and brought dry socks and an extra bandaid! You did great the rest of the week too by not letting the blister sideline you!

  5. Lesley says:

    Great job! My fingers are crossed that the blister will heel and everything will be good to go for the race.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Have you considered swimming? I know it seems crazy … BUT you could swim for the length of time that you would be running for and try to let the blister heal??? I had to start swimming to let my hip heal and I am actually enjoying it!

  7. kookyrunner says:

    Congrats on knocking out that long run – that’s awesome!! I know you were worried about it so I’m glad you were able to get in all 18 miles!

  8. Way to get those workouts in and that long run! Sometimes when I have a bad blister I use two bandaids. One I cut in a donut shape to put around the blister and then one to protect the while area. The donut hole band aid takes a little pressure off the blister. Of course, this might be size dependent on the blister.

  9. Jennifer @ Dashing in Style says:

    Wow, that must have been some blister! Knock on wood, but I’ve never gotten a blister from running in the 7 years I’ve been running. I’ve gotten them from walking though–go figure! Anyway, I know an ultrarunner who runs in sandals. Seems like it wouldn’t work–he’s running on technical trails!–but I guess there are such a thing as running sandals!

  10. It’s tough transitioning back to school for all of us! Glad your heel blister is feeling better. That’s the worst!

  11. I treat setbacks (close to a big event) by proceeding with the utmost caution. Bottom line, when you’re that close to race day, the bulk of your training is done. Even if you come a few miles short on your long run(s), or even have to skip a run, in those final weeks…you’re better off going easy rather than risking further injury. I think you’ve had a great training cycle…just ride the wave and relish what you’ve accomplished 😉

  12. Rachel says:

    Girl, this is some wicked blister! I hope it heals up quickly for you. Ouch.

  13. Chaitali says:

    That blister sounds really painful :(. Way to go completing that 18 miler! That was smart to take an extra bandaid and sock.

  14. Proud of you for powering through. Heel blisters can be so uncomfortable and even painful, but you did a great job getting through it!

    This close to a race, a situation like that would have put me into a bit of a tailspin. However, that’s just my anxiety at play. The hay is pretty much in the barn at this point, so you are going to be in great shape for race day!

  15. Wendy says:

    I don’t want to put it out there but I will–I haven’t had a blister that kept me from running. I’m so sorry that you are suffering from this. I hope it heals up soon. You’re doing a great job getting ready for the marathon and I think you’ll be fine!

  16. Great job getting that long run done despite the blister! I hope it heals quickly for you.

  17. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    You are tough running 18 miles in so much pain. Great job!! I hope you heal ASAP!

  18. Isn’t it crazy that something as ‘simple’ as a blister can keep you from your training? Hopefully healing is coming soon and you will have a better week this week.

  19. Coco says:

    Ugh. That blister sounds so frustrating. Fantastic job on that 18 miler! You were smart to wait until Sunday – I got drenched on Saturday.

  20. Can’t believe you managed those 18 miles after such a difficult week with your blister! Well done! That’s awesome. Blisters can be such nasty things. I had one on my big toe for a couple of days and it was so uncomfortable.

  21. Renée says:

    OH MAN blisters REALLY suck. I’m so sorry you had this setback. It happens though and basically all the training you had before and after will make it ok for the race. You are still going to be fine! My husband is running Chicago and has also had a few setbacks, but last Sunday he ran like before he was ever injured and it was a good boost for him with Chicago around the corner. Trust your training!

    I HIGHLY recommend Compeed to heal your blisters faster. Seriously, I was getting so many blisters a few years ago and I SWEAR by this stuff. sometimes I even put compeed on blister-prone toes before a race to make sure nothing happens. It really helps!

  22. It’s so frustrating to have something so seemingly simple derail your training for a bit. Letting it heal but still being active sounds like the best strategy. And using body glide afterwards! I find that once I blister in an area once, it’s likely to happen again. You are getting so close!

  23. Toni says:

    Great job and great planning for your long run. Blisters are no joke.

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  26. Awesome! Great job on the run. I’ve totally had a blister like that before…SO ANNOYING! I know that most training plans go up to 20-22, but for some reason, as soon as I see an “18” on my Garmin I feel like I’m ready. You’re going to rock Chicago!

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