You may or may not remember last April, when Judy was trying to decide whether or not she should ignore her doctor and run the Boston Marathon despite a serious onset of plantar fascitis.

Her training had been going really well, she was just entering her taper, and she really didn’t want to quit running a mere week before her marathon. I told her that they’ll make another marathon and that she was better off listening to her doctor in this instance. She had a specific problem that running was going to exacerbate and the best way to get rid of the problem was rest.

She decided to follow my advice and skipped not only the Boston Marathon but also the Vermont City Marathon, which she had considered trying to jump into a month later. In fact, she took 8 full weeks away from running. What was the result? Well, I’ll let her tell you herself (emphasis mine):


Just thought I’d give you an update, and thank you once again for all your advice this past spring. Instead of pushing it, I ended up taking 8 weeks off from running to allow the foot to start healing. I then set my sights on a fall marathon, and ran Philadelphia this past weekend. I ended up with a PR, 3:55 (first time I ever broke 4 hours) and qualified for Boston with 20 minutes to spare!

So thank you again for your advice about Boston, I’m glad I took it – even though I didn’t like it at the time! But it did pay off!

Thank you!

I have no problem with you doing a follow up or using my comments, especially if it can help someone else see that taking time off is not the end of the world, and in the long run can actually help. I read on RA all the time about people dealing with PF for months, and even years. My doctor had warned me it could be up to year especially if I kept trying to run thru the pain.

Instead, I dealt with the problem, then came back stronger then ever. After 2 months off, I was only able to get 5 months of training in before the marathon, but still PR’d by 7 minutes.

Great race, very well run. Little cold at the start, 26 degrees! This was my 13th marathon, and my favorite course. I was running with my training partner, and friend. She ran this course 2 years ago, so she knew where the historic sites were and pointed them out as we went along. It was flat enough to be a fast course, but with enough hills thrown in to give your legs a little break. I also enjoyed the out and back so that you could watch the front runners. Of course the crowds weren’t as large as in Boston, but they certainly were enthusiastic.

I did take the first mile a little fast, then settled down to a good pace, and never fluctuated more then 6 seconds each mile. Even though it was cold, I made sure to hydrate at each water stop, plus with all the ice on the road from the thrown cups, you really did have to slow down as you went thru each stop. I’ve never felt better during a marathon, I even picked it up for the last half mile passing quite a few runners.

I was surprised when I checked the results today and found out I placed 4th in my age group! The finisher pictures in front of an American flag at the end were a nice touch, and the hot chicken broth really hit the spot! It was a painful 1.2 mile walk back to the hotel, but 2 days later I feel fine and ready to run again!

– Jane

Congratulations on a great race in Philadelphia, Jane, and I’m glad that you were able to rest up from your over training and use that as a base to start a new (injury free) season.

Sometimes we push our bodies so hard and for so long that the best thing that we can do is to just step away for a little while and let some recovery happen, and then to allow ourselves enough time to build our base back up while we train for our next goal event.

I’m glad that it worked out well for Jane and that she ran such a great time in Philly, and I hope that if you ever get a serious injury that you can also have such great success.

If you have any stories about your own injuries and how you overcame them (or they overcame you) then I’d love to hear them, either in the comments below or in an email.

(Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon)