Chicago Marathon Training Week 4: 9/1-9/7

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Thank you Michael Jordan, I needed that.

As I discussed in last week’s post I have been experiencing heel and knee pain during and after my runs. As much as I wanted to stick with my training plan and continue on, I knew my body needed a break from running. The increased mileage and little recovery between runs left my body wrecked. So, this week all runs were scratched.

The pain in my left heel is on the outside and can be described as a constant dull ache, but it does not hurt when I run. My right heel however hurts when I run, but it fine when I am not running. On top of the heel pain both knees hurt when running, on the outside and the bottom.

I went to see a foot specialist Friday afternoon to get some answers. After an examination and x-rays he determined that because of my extremely high arches (60% degree angle instead of a normal foot which is more 30%) when I run the impact is high and there is little shock absorption. I have a rigid foot, which does not absorb shock well, this shock just shoots up my leg. The outside of my lower leg has to work harder as well – I have had issues with this in the past. It is like a burning sensation on the outside of the calf, extremely irritating and painful. I still will get this sensation every now and then, especially when I do certain yoga poses. The doctor pretty much told me my feet are not made for running long distances/marathons. Welp, thanks for that and I already knew my feet suck!

I want to seek a second opinion though, I believe I can do long distances I just need to have more down time between runs, incorporate strength and cross training, and do the little things. For this marathon training cycle I increased my mileage pretty quickly, which caused this overuse injury. I had also been wearing my Saucony Kinvaras during all my runs, even my long runs. These are minimalist shoes and should not be worn when doing slow, long runs. They are also worn down – I bought them back in March and have put a good deal of miles on them. I really should know better. I immediately bought a new pair of Brooks Glycerins that I will now be doing the majority of my runs in. I have also been wearing bad shoes at work, wearing cheap sandals, and going barefoot around the house. This has all changed in the past week.

On top of this issue, my left hamstring feels like it has been tweaked. My right hip flexor is strained and I have pain in my left shoulder blade and arm from swimming. The last one has been ongoing for awhile now, like back in 2008 when I stopped swimming. When it rains it pours right?

I have already scheduled a visit to a physical therapist for tomorrow.

Now let’s get back to the point of this post…here’s how my training played out for the week.


It was Labor Day so I took advantage of having the day off and went for an open water recovery swim. I had my open water 5K swim coming up on Saturday so it was nice to get in the lake without a wetsuit for a 45 minute easy swim, about 2,500 yards.

It was a gloomy morning and a tad wavy in the water.





Post swim protein blueberry pancakes :)



Rest day. I walked around 2 miles during a break at work, but my heel hurt, that’s when I decided no running for me.


Rest day.


Swim after work for 45 minutes. I wanted to throw in some strong efforts to wake up my body and keep it fresh before the race Saturday. Below is the workout if you want to give it a go!

400 swim
200 pull

1,000 strong (timed)

100 easy + :30 sec rest

1,000 strong (timed)

300 cool down

3,000 total

I averaged both of the 1,000 strong efforts at 1:24 min/100 yards. Happy with that effort.

I followed the swim with a bit of strength training and extensive stretching and rolling.


Doctor’s appointment…

I was going to get on the trainer for a spin, but then I just didn’t.


Big Shoulders Open Water 5K Swim Classic. Race report to come! It was a fun one!


Headed out for a short run as my heels were feeling good. Nope, stopped after 1.2 miles…my knees hurt.

Got on the trainer for 1 hour, no pain cycling so that’s good.

Beautiful Day!

Total Miles: 1.2

Lots of swimming though – over 6 miles! I stretched and rolled every night as well.

Not sure how this week will go, I hope to start running again and the Chicago Marathon is not off the table…stay tuned!

One thought on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 4: 9/1-9/7

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