Friday, February 3, 2017

A look back: 2017 WDW Marathon Training

It's hard to believe the Walt Disney World Marathon was almost a month ago! It's even harder to believe that the official training plan kicked off seven months ago!

I document most of my training here on the blog and on social media. It helps keep me accountable and I like being able to reflect on previous training cycles.


...there's one part of this training cycle that you didn't hear about: I spent December 6th through January 3rd with my right foot in a boot. The only folks that knew were people that saw me in real life during that time; I did not post on social media; mainly because I wanted to wait until I knew what was going on with my foot before telling the internet about it. And because I needed time to process what it might be like if I couldn't run the marathon, the race I'd been training six months for.

Right after the Race 13.1 10k, the outside part of my right foot, right along the metatarsal, started to ache. Dull at first but then to a screaming pain that radiated under my arch and along the outside of my foot. It throbbed constantly, even when I tried to sleep. A few days after the race, I saw the tell-tale signs of bruising on the outside of my foot- classic 5th metatarsal stress fracture symptoms.  I was able to see my ortho on December 6th and she immediately put me in the boot. X-rays did not show any abnormality; she told me I needed to wait at least two weeks before I could get an MRI to diagnose a stress fracture. She suggested it might be tendinitis and that the boot would help calm it down. 

For two full weeks, I was in the boot, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, only removing it to shower. I managed to get in some bike workouts and do some simple strength exercises, but my foot still hurt. A lot. I had to face reality; I may miss the WDW Marathon for a second time. The 2017 WDW Marathon was supposed to be my redemption from missing it in 2015- it was supposed to be my fastest marathon yet. I'd been training so hard, had fought through so many other stupid injuries this cycle- there was no possible way I had broken my foot again. But that's what it looked like, And that's what it felt like. Even in the boot, my foot was killing me.

Luckily, the boot looks great with skinny jeans and pug leggings. I biked a whole lotta miles while M would do his long runs.

After the initial two weeks, an MRI was ordered, my insurance company rejected it, I had to make about a thousand angry calls to get them to reconsider, and then it was another two full weeks before I was finally able to get the MRI- which I finally did on the Friday before we left for Disney (December 30th).

I walked into my ortho's office on Tuesday, January 3rd for the MRI results expecting the worst. I had already cried, bargained with God, yelled, and finally, reluctantly accepted that my foot could be broken again. And because I'd just spent the last four weeks in a boot, I had no clue if I'd even be able to handle the marathon if it turned out my foot wasn't broken.

My sweet, amazing, incredibly caring ortho walked into the office, looked at me, and said, "I was sure you had a stress fracture, but you don't!" She explained that two surgeons and the radiologist had all looked at the films and there was nothing there. Her exact words: "You are clear to run the marathon this weekend as tolerated. It will hurt like hell [because I hadn't been training], but you can go for it." To say I was elated was an understatement. 😊

Blurry, bathroom, no-boot selfies!

Even though my foot still hurt, I took the boot off that day and packed for Disney with a new hope- maybe I'd be able to run my race after all. I still had no idea if I'd be able to run the full distance of the marathon but knew I could at least try without damaging my foot- even if it hurt like hell.

Spoiler alert- I did run and finish the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon. It wasn't the race I'd planned nor was it the race I'd hoped for. I had dreamt that this marathon would be a PR, even so much to think that I could finish it in under five hours and 45 minutes, beating my current PR by 10 minutes. But that didn't happen and I think I'm ok with it.

I came across a Joseph Campbell quote in early December that played on repeat in my brain when I was feeling especially sorry for myself:

What I had planned didn't work out, but what was waiting for me during the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was pretty damn awesome. Sometimes you have to let go of what "should be" and just enjoy what "is." ❤


  1. I love that you could come to me with this. We are broken warriors together and knowing you got to run this race made my heart so happy. I can't wait to see you (and Matthew) soon!!

    1. Ditto! I knew you'd understand- that's why I texted :-)