Marathon #28: New York City

3 minute read

In the last marathon report that I wrote about here, I indicated a bit about some foot pain I was having leading up to the Boston Marathon, and didn't follow up at all with what I found out. I figured I would save that for the next marathon report, and here we are!

After the race, I decided to take a solid month off from running to see if I could self-heal whatever was going on. I took the time off, but upon a test run of 2 miles, noticed no difference in the soreness of my foot. Even after another two weeks and forcing my way through a half marathon, it was clear I needed some professional help. I went to see a podiatrist and after x-rays and MRIs, I found that I had 2 partial tears in my peroneal tendon, and inflamation around the connection point where I felt the most pain. I popped on a support boot for 2 more months to try and let my body heal itself.

Fast forward 2 months and I went for a test run, with no perceived progress. Back at the podiatrist, another round of MRIs showed the exact same thing, no progress. Faced with the decision of more time off, or a couple of unorthodox options, I decided to try something called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections to try and speed up the healing process. The theory is that by extracting platelets from your own blood and injecting into a pain site, the body will be triggered into kicking off a self-healing process there, where formerly it was not.

I had the painful injections done in the office, and was told to take it easy for a couple of weeks, and then try a test run. Even after just one shot, I felt a huge difference in the pain levels of my foot. I was able to run several miles without any pain at all, and was hopeful that I could ramp up my training again. After a few weeks of slowly increasing my mileage, I was back to my normal training levels within a few months!

Before long, I started a 8-week training cycle for the 2024 NYC Marathon. Knowing I would be coming off an injury, I decided not to push training too hard, and instead focus on building a solid base again. I was about 15lbs heavier due to non-activity during injury, and I didn't want a regression in the healing process. I worked my way up to a 47-mile week and a 20 mile long run in this cycle.

With my previous marathon time of 2:56:28 in April, I knew I was nowhere near that level of training for NYC. Race day arrived on Nov. 5, and I had set the following goals:

  • C Goal: Finish
  • B Goal: sub 3:30:00
  • A Goal: sub 3:20:00
  • Stretch Goal: sub 3:15:00
Marathon #28 Splits

With low pressure, I started off slow on mile 1, but was feeling great in the first half. I was running at about a 3:02 pace, but started to degrade quickly thereafter. I didn't want to push too hard, so I slowed down a bit in the last half, removed all internal pressure, and I ended up with a 3:17:41 finish!

Marathon #28 Finish

I was happy with the finish, and even though I didn't hit my 3:15:00 stretch goal, I was happy with the progress I had made in the last 6 months. I was able to run a marathon without foot pain, and I was able to run it at a 7:32/mi pace, which was faster than I had expected.

Of course, I keep accurate records and promptly got my tattoo updated:

Marathon #28 Tattoo

So what's next? Back to training, increasing mileage, and trying to get back to sub-3 race times. I have a few more marathons planned for early 2024, so stay tuned.

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