I felt pretty prepared for the 2011 Chicago Marathon last Sunday. I felt relaxed as I waited to start with the crowd for 45,000 runners.

Right before the start I took 4 Motrin and 2 tylenol to ease the pain in my knee from the Plica that I learned I had a few days before the race. I got across the start line about 7:10 am and felt great.

My goal for the race was to finish in under 5 hours. Jen wanted me to run the first 3 miles as a warm up, so I ran those between 11:00 and 10:30 a mile. I felt AWESOME through 15k.

Right around mile 13 the pain killers started to wear off and the knee issue started to kick in. My pace slowed to about 11:30 at mile 14… Yikes. At mile 15 the Nike 4:45 pace group caught up to me. My first thought was that they were off pace. I asked the leader and she said they were running about a minute AHEAD of pace!

EXCELLENT! I’m not doing so bad! I felt a glimmer of hope that I could finish sub 5:00.

I saw Lauren (Forward is a Pace) at mile 17. Some cheering and high fives gave me a boost, which was awesome!

About the 3ok mark I was hurting… BAD. I walked about a half mile, looked at my Garmin and quickly realized I wasn’t going to hit my goal. My pace was bouncing between 12:30 and 13:30.

Though I wasn’t going to meet my goal, I knew I could still PR as long as I didn’t walk anymore. I started to trot and it hurt A LOT!!! Nothing about my body felt coordinated. There is a pretty awful picture of me running at that point, I’ll post it later.

I struggled to keep motivated through miles 20-24, but I kept “running”. I saw some co-workers at 16th and Michigan, got some more high fives and fought my way around the turn on to Roosevelt (and that bastard hill) and then to Columbus where I sprinted to a 5:24 finish for a 12:00 PR!

My knee and now my right foot were throbbing. My knee gave out as I crossed the finish line. I was saved from falling by 2 volunteers who wanted to take me to the med tent. After explaining that it was my knee/foot and that I wasn’t passing out they reluctantly let me go.

After a few days most of my soreness was gone… except for my foot. We’re thinking it’s a stres fracture. I went to the doctor Wednesday and got an X-Ray which came back normal. Friday I got a 2nd opinion and a 2nd normal X-Ray. The next step is an MRI on Wednesday and then back to the Sports Medicine doc to figure out what we do from here.

so I’m limping around like an idiot for another week. But this “downtime” is giving me time to think about what I want to do for my 2012 racing schedule.

I’m already registered for Ironman Wisconsin, so that will be my focus for the year. I’m also planning on doing Ironman Orlando 70.3 in May. I don’t THINK I want to do the Chicago Marathon again.

Assuming that this IS a stress fracture in my foot, at least it’s happeing now. I’m treating the next 10 or 12 weeks as a maitinance period. I really want to work on my swimming cause I still feel like that’s my triathlon weak spot (even though I usually fall apart on the run).

So there it is. I’ll update on my knee/foot next week.

Have a good weekend!

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