This past weekend I did my first 20 mile run (20.13 to be precise). I ended up skipping a midweek run last week, but I don’t think it hurt me a whole lot. It’s hard to believe it has been over three weeks since I last posted a note about running, but the past few weeks have been mostly uneventful, at least as far as running goes.

For my 20 miler on Sunday, I was up around 5:20 in the morning, and I was outside putting foot to pavement before 6am. On Saturday night I had eaten whole wheat spaghetti, which is good for the carb effects, and I was hoping that it would serve me well on Sunday. Before leaving Sunday morning, I had filled the camelbak up with water, but not totally full. I took the 50 ounce bladder, and I’d guess that I had about 40 ounces in it.

I started off feeling really great for the run. I actually had to force myself to slow down for the first few miles. I wanted to run faster, but I tried hard to keep myself at the pace that my training program recommends. I ran solid for the first 6.5 miles or so and then slowed to a walk to drink a little bit of water. About 8.4 miles in I sucked down a Gu packet as I crossed the bridge over the Interstate, and I took a second Gu packet at 14 miles in.

When I reached about 16-17 miles, I realized that my camelbak was getting awfully light. I rearranged my route slightly so that I’d be going by a restaurant and ended up stopping and putting some more water in my camelbak. Even with that, I still ran out of water about half a mile from the finish.

And, I was very thirsty the rest of the day. When I got in from the run, I drunk a good sized glass of water. I then took a 20 ounce water bottle to church with me and drunk it during Sunday School. I drunk water out of the water fountain in between Sunday School and Church, and my mouth was dry during Church itself. At lunch I drunk about 5 glasses of soda, and it just kept going like that. Lesson learned: drink more water next time. I have a 70 ounce camelbak that I’ll be using for the next 20 miler, which should help out a lot. That extra pound of water will come in handy.

For a good portion of the run, my right knee was hurting slightly. This is a feeling I’ve grown accustomed to, and it isn’t that big of a deal. It feels like the knee cap is bruised. I first noticed my knee problem on the day after my last big run that I posted about, so I guess it was early this month. Anyway, it feels like the soft stuff on the top of the knee cap is bruised. As I run, I don’t notice it much, but I feel it more when I bend my right leg. But, no big deal.

About 19-19.5 miles into the run on Sunday my left foot started hurting. It was basically on the outside of the foot, just barely in front of the heel. This pain mostly went away after the run. (keep reading, though)

Sunday night I played a little bit of outdoor volleyball and the pain came back. If I put my weight on my left foot and rolled the shoe out so that the weight was resting on the outside edge of the foot, I really felt it. Monday wasn’t too bad. I had a volleyball game on Monday night, and it went pretty well. Tuesday morning came around and I had 5 miles to run. I ran the 5 miles with minimal notice of the foot.

However, after the run, walking into work was not a fun experience. My left foot just didn’t want to have any weight on it. Not a pleasant thing. If I had had a pair of crutches, I really would have used them. The foot continued to hurt a reasonable percentage of the time I was on my feet for the rest of the day. This morning I woke up and knew as I walked to shut the alarm clock off that it hadn’t magically healed itself overnight. So, I didn’t run this morning. My plan, as of now, is to hop on the stationary bike and really push myself tonight for an hour or so. Hopefullly that won’t aggravate the condition.

Speaking of “condition”…. On Monday I started doing some research, and found that there are a couple of common foot problems that runners seem to having. There’s “runner’s heel”, where the heel really hurts when you apply weight to it, and Plantar Fasciitis, which usually exhibits itself as a pain in between the heel and the ball of the foot. Neither of these matched the symptoms.

Today I discovered another ailment, called Peroneal Tendonitis, which seems to perfectly match the symptoms I am seeing. The Peroneal tendon runs along the outside edge of the foot back near the heel and that’s exactly where I’m feeling pain. Tendonitis is just something that occurs when the tendon is inflammed and unhappy, so I’m thinking that could be what I have. The treatment for it is rest, and lots of it (on the order of weeks). Tendons don’t get much blood flow, so they take a long time to recover. I’m thinking that 20 miles might have been enough to overwork them. Anyway, I’m hoping that I have a relatively minor case. I’m not going to run today. I’ll see what happens tomorrow. This weekend my long run is only 12 miles, so hopefully I can deal with that. I bought another pair of running shoes last night, so I might transition to using the newer pair more often and retire my oldest pair (which now have 430 miles on them)

This saga we call marathon training continues. I’m very excited about the marathon. Now I’m just hoping my body cooperates and lets me do what I really want to do. I so completely feel like I can do the marathon, God willing. At this point I am bubbling over with confidence, as long as I can take care of my injuries. I spent most of last week’s shorter runs doing intervals, where I would run faster for a while and then slow down some. I really think I can get my time down quite a bit before the big day, which I would love. It would be amazing to qualify for Boston the first time out, but I know it is still a long shot, and it requires me to be healthy.

One more month!

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