After suffering from what was called 'Achilles Insertion Tendonopathy' since around August/September 2010, having two rounds of 8 weeks completely off running ( none, zilch zero ) and trying to return to full training mode, it appears I may well be back now.
I have been running only 2 days a week for a few months, doing long runs with Christine ( she is preparing for her first Marathon at Gold Coast 2011 this year), as well as running her speed and interval sessions with her. I have pretty much been assisting her in finding her paces. Christines' progress is nothing short of amazing, we did a 3km TT some months ago, and she could not do any better than 6min/km pace. Now she is knocking off 5min30/5min40's for the last 4km of a 24km run !!
Anyway, I have been running really slow compared to my usual paces, getting plenty of recovery and taking care of my feet. Christine has in fact 'taught' me how to run slow. It was something I have not felt at all comfortable doing. I always feel better running at 5min30 or better pace, but I have 'learned' to run at 6min20 pace or slower...
I have increased training a little, adding a third day and occasionally running a mid week long run. The sign that I feel my heels are getting better is that after a 34km and a 24km long run I was walking with no pain the next day. I am not completely pain free during the runs, but am feeling significantly better. The best I have felt in nearly a year in fact.
So, I have finally committed to doing the Gold Coast Marathon with Christine, will do about 4hr30 or so. I am personally hoping for a faster time as I don' like the thought of running for 4 hours 30 minutes, especially considering the amount of training I have managed :)
I am expecting that I will survive that effort ok, it will be hard but the pace I expect should mean I will do it ok - Again the pace is going to be quite slow compared to what I expect of myself. I will use the GC Marathon as a long run in the lead up to my Melbourne Marathon on 9 October.
I have a rather complex training plan based on the FIRST methodology. Something I find interesting is that the intensity of many of the runs I did last year in training is the _same_ as what the FIRST training paces recommend. I will be reviewing an finalising the training calendar soon. And will record all my training runs from now on !!