2014 Chicago Marathon

Sunday, I ran what was supposed to be my last Chicago Marathon.  Not sure I  can go out like that and leave it as my last one but only time will tell.  Aby does want to go back and run it when she turns 16 but that won’t be possible because she’ll be at the end of a HS Cross Country season and well, we all know that we can’t run fast short and train for something as mammoth as a marathon.  I won’t be busting her bubble now but that’s reality.  Anyhow, back to Sunday!  It was a PERFECT day to run a marathon.  Run any distance really.  Temps were cool, the sky was clear and it warmed up nicely with a tiny breeze to keep us comfortable.  Start line along with 40,000+ other runners.

CHI Marathon_start

I had one goal for this race:  to finish.  I was forced to take a bit of time off running this summer during the relocation and my build up was a bit too quick and well, I didn’t log the normal mileage.  My longest run was an 18 miler.  I had no idea about pace but knew to go slow.  What I did know is that my feet were in bad shape and I needed to keep moving in order to keep them from tightening up.  I should have guessed from how badly my feet hurt during last week’s 12 miler that things wouldn’t go well.  I have been seeing a physical therapist in Fort Wayne, IN for my plantar fasciitis but he’s been a bit rough on me.  In fact, every week that I see him, I get worse, regardless of my mileage or lack thereof.  This week was the same.  I was much worse than even the week before.  So I was in the mindset to run easy.  Enjoy the course.  And run from one spectator sighting to another.  So thankful that April W took my Aby around for spectating again.  It’s always a highlight to see friendly faces on course.  I saw them at mile 2, then again at mile 13.  I was breaking down badly by mile 13 and my hips were burning because apparently my gait was off due to the pain in my feet.  Both feet.  So awesome. CHI Marathon_Aby & IAfter faking a smile for a pic with Aby, my girl April gave me the only pain relief she had on her person, a Midol tab.  It didn’t touch my pain.  I walked/ran/limped from 13-19 and then I was about done, like out of the game.  Walking was worse than running because I couldn’t put my left foot all the way down so I was walking “crooked”.  The doc who saw me this week said my hips were out of line.  I’m sure they are after my hobble.

So I stopped at the med tent at 19.  In tears.  They have me 2 pain tabs and a nice lady doused my feet with biofreeze to numb out the pain.  I can’t say that I thought it would work.  But about 10 or 15 minutes later, I was on the run again and confident that I could finish the race because the pain was just numbed out enough that I could do another 10K.  THANK YOU med tent!!!!

While I certainly didn’t #OwnChicago in 2014….. photo compliments of my girl Dawn B from WI.OwnChi

I did finish. And I thank my last 6 miles of “mostly” running to my girl Julie who showed up shortly after I emerged from the med tent.  She was on target for a PR but was running out of steam.  That could have been her excuse to run me in, I don’t really know. Regardless, I was thankful to be with her thru those last 6 miles.  She and I have run a lot of miles together this year.  Some really great ones.  Some really cold, snowy, icy, rainy ones.  And she is one person who I know I’ll always be logging miles with …. no matter where either of us live.  She is also fighting the Plantar Fasciitis devil and we frequently commiserate together.  Thanks, Julie!

CHI Marathon_me & Julie

 So I finished.  And I’m thrilled with that because it was a fight this time.  I did see a new doc yesterday who filled me with cortisone.  So I’m temporarily pain free and that is a REALLY nice thing.  It’s awesome actually.  And I have a new PT that I get to start seeing on Friday.  New PT is a runner.  Knows running.  Likes runners.  I already like him too!  Looking forward to rehabbing these feet and hitting the road for many more long runs.  I’m going to change my schedule a bit over the next couple weeks to focus on the rehab but I will be finishing the year strong!

Thanks to everyone who was out there spectating and volunteering on Sunday.  I know it’s an exhausting day, even more so that it was for those of us who ran.  Here is my Aby and April’s daughter “spectating” for the last of our crew.  Yeah, exhausting.  CHI Marathon_Aby & Nicole

How did Chicago go for you?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **



13 thoughts on “2014 Chicago Marathon

  1. I so love that final pic of Aby and April’l daughter!!!!

    So happy you are pain free!!!!!!!!

    Just becarefull and go get it done!!! Great to see you this weekend and RMHC is the way to go as far as charities!!!!!

  2. Congrats on the finish. It was quite a badass accomplishment that you kept forging ahead after mile 19 even though you were hurting so much. I will have to remember BioFreeze works wonders if I ever need it. Congrats again!

  3. I am so glad you feet are feeling a bit better after that cortisone shot! And that’s so awesome that the med tent worked so well for you. I visited one in Fox Valley and they were super nice, touching my smelly sweaty disgusting feet after running 16 miles! Hope to see you soon! Get well! (And yes, Julie is pretty awesome!)

  4. Ouch. Seems like a lot of us are aching these days. It sucks when you have races year-round for obvious reasons. But hey, you made it through, teeth clenched and wincing. It’s not just anyone that can do that. Imagine how much better you’ll feel when you overcome PF.

    Speaking of, a buddy of mine recently suffered a bad bout of PF and overcame it to PR in about four months. Here is his recap of the process: http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2014/08/04/plantar-fasciitis-treatment/ — hope it helps!

  5. Way to go TTF (Amanda)…you accomplished goal and just finished…and that is always better than not finishing…right? How did it go for me? Absolutely great…cause I didn’t run it…and just stayed home and watched the NBC online streaming of the elite part of the race, and all the while tracking a bunch of different runners…one of them was you! You were very consistent…the splits were consistently declining…straightline. Nothing wrong with that and it told me you were having your battles with the “enemy” and adjusting accordingly. But you knew what you were up against and had no clear idea what pace to run from the start. Really…have to compliment you because the “slow-down” that I cite…was very consistent…not drastic changes…just slower a bit every 5k. Seems like a smart way to salvage a marathon for finish in the face of those chronic issues/injuries you came in with…namely the plantar. And correctly…you diagnose that leads to mis-alignment and overcompensation elsewhere…that causes undue stress and potentially new injuries elsewhere…like in hips.

    So seems like plantar fasciaitis is a big issue you contending with. I know this one well and have posted comments and suggestions before. Therapy is critical…but most that therapy you can do on your own at home and doesn’t require a visit and paying hard-earned bucks to a therapist…certainly not if you end up hurting more in aftermath of therapy session. Pain is not gain when it comes to recovering from or healing an injury. And PF is not an easy one to resolve.

    Now that you have finished your marathon….you have to take some extended time off and focus on therapy to de-inflame that plantar tendon. You know how to maintain some aerobic fitness with x-train in the pool and on the bike. But for God’s sake…I have posted several times on the two podiatrist treatments…one that can substantially subdue that inflammation…the other can heat it totally. Zeel injections in area where inflammation most pronounced. They do an ultrasound to find that area where to inject into. Zeel is an anti-inflammatory and it can be adminestered as much as Dr thinks or you want. No restrictions like with cortisone. When I had Zeel injection followed up with a 2nd 2-weeks later…90% of the plantar issue was curbed. Therapy routines ad-nauseum and some time off running…also big factors. But what really ended PF once and for all was the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection podiatrist did. You might not like the thought of big needle sticking in bottom of foot just anterior to heel…but it really wasn’t much in terms of painful.

    The bottom of the foot is notorious for lack of vascularization and it is blood flow that is necessary to facilitate healing. That’s why it takes so long for PF to subside. The PRP injection therapy speeds that healing process because it puts concentrated platelets in the inflammed plantar tendon area as well as human growth hormone…that is naturally concentrated with that platelet rich plasma they centrifuge. When I had my PRP injection…within 48-hrs I was pain free and within 2-weeks…back to normal running regimen. Call or email me if you want to discuss further, but by God’s sake…look into these treatment options. If your podiatrist won’t do it or doesn’t know anything about it or respnds…WTF…then I can give you info on awesome foot-guy at Hammond Clinic in Munster that did both Zeel and PRP injections for me. Think about it…pursue it and maybe in 2-weeks you got it cleared enough to run again…but you have to keep up on physical therapy routines also that stretch that plantar tendon….when not running. The CWX or CWC compression plantar sleeve that has similar pullback tension strap like Strassburg sock…that while you sleep.

    Ya…I am not a doctor, a therapist or such…but I am a certified coach and I have run quite a few marathons. More importantly…I was contending with various degrees of plantar intensity in L-foot for more than a year in the aftermath of finishing INC NY Marathon. I tried all the therapy exercises that worked to some degree…but never got it to subside totally. It was only that podiatrist that I went to…only on a whim…cause at the time I was in an HMO and went to whomever primary care referred me to. And you know what…this dude knew his stuff…was cognizant of PF and with runners. He said there were 4 options….zeel, cortisone, PRP and surgery. Zeel was the least invasive and least expensive so we started there. Dr didn’t like cortisone cause it is limited in its applications and has side-effect issues especially when tendons and cartilage are involved. But he has well informed about PRP therapy. Dr ruled out surgery and felt PRP would be just as effective with less time off running.

    The problem with Zeel and PRP…is I don’t think there are many out there aware of it or considering it as a viable medical treatment option. Years later…discussing my experience with Dr. Pappas…he informed me insurance companies won’t cover PRP therapy for PF. That came as a surprise to me…but I said at that time…it got paid for…totally…under my then HMO plan. Maybe some things have changed out there years later. Doesn’t matter…the two treatments, Zeel and PRP are viable options to contend with PF. Look into it if anything I say gives you confidence.

  6. Congrats! Finishing is winning, my friend.

    Haha, my spectator looked like that when we got home. He passed out on the couch, and I sat down and watched football for the rest of the night. I was really mad at him for being more tired than I was!

  7. Way to go!!! I know it wasn’t the race you were looking for but once the dust settles you’ll be able to look back at it as being one of your more defining races because of what type of odds you had to overcome to cross that finish line. Tough races like these are the character builders because it so we are in even through the though times and you show 100% character!!! A new PT who is a runner!!! Yay for you!!! 🙂 I hope those PF issues clear up for you really soon I know how crippling it can be. I lost nearly an entire race season due to PF a few years ago. Hoping the best for ya Amanda aka TooTallFritz!!!

  8. I’m glad to hear you finished! I cheered near Taylor & Ashland for about 4 1/2 hours … and needed a nap when we got home. I tried to look for you but wasn’t able to spot you in the crowd. But i was tracking you on my phone!

  9. You are amazing…to come out and do this thing, even tho you knew it would be tough! I was so glad I saw you on the course. You looked strong, even tho you told me you were struggling!! Just like a pro! I hope your feet are better and I look forward to seeing you at a race or 2 next season!

    ~Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home

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