From Pool Running to Chicago Marathon?

The verdict is in with unwelcoming news.  I have a stress fracture on my right 5th metatarsal.  After waiting for a couple of months to wish away foot pain, I finally decided to see a doctor for a podiatrist referral. My primary physician ordered an X-ray that revealed the fracture.  I was advised to stop running and schedule an appointment with the podiatrist. What does a runner do when faced with an injury and a major marathon in 16 weeks?  Time to hit the POOL!

Doctor’s Visit

My foot felt much better that I truly wasn’t expecting a stress fracture.  In fact, I intended to run 45 min the day I found out about it.  Luckily I secured an appointment last Tuesday.  I explained to the podiatrist how I started to feel the pain two months ago but chose to ignore it.  I can only imagine what was going through his head – “Another stubborn runner who thinks she can wish away pain”.  As for my pain level that day, it was maybe a one.  Even as he put pressure on the bone, the level didn’t increase by much.  He even placed a vibrating tuning fork on the affected area but again hardly any pain. The lack of pain was an encouraging sign.
He ordered another set of x-rays for me as the initial ones weren’t very good. The Point Loma Naval Clinic wasn’t busy so the wait for an x-ray didn’t take too long.  Minutes later, the doctor showed me the results.  A slight indication of a fracture but already healing. He also said if I had a serious fracture I would have pulled away my foot immediately when he applied the tuning fork.  This was good news to me as it could have been much worse.

The way ahead

His prescription for recovery is to avoid any impact activities. Zero running for 4 weeks!!!  The 4th week falls on the 4th of July!  I’ll be celebrating with at least a 30-min run.  By this time, Chicago Marathon will be 14 weeks out.  My only goal is to run enough miles for my body to be conditioned enough to run 26.2mi.
In the meantime, here is a rough draft of my training plan for the next four weeks.
Pool Run 3x/week, 1 interval-type workout, 1 “longish” workout – build up to 1:30 to 1:45 by the 4th week.
Indoor cycling/spin class 1-2x/week
Row 1x/week
Strength Train – Full body with emphasis on hip/glute/core strength 2-3x/week

I will be at the start line! Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

14-week Marathon Training Plan

A 14-week marathon training plan – is it possible?  This will be the least amount of training I’ve done for a marathon.  In the past I’ve dedicated 20 to 24 weeks.  I’m a little worried.  Yet I remain hopeful it will all work out by race day.  Like I’ve mentioned my sole goal will be to cross the finish line.
If any of you have advice for me, I would appreciate it!
My plan for long runs is to start at 8mi and build up to 20mi with a 2-mi increase every week.
Recovery weeks remain at every 4th week. (Or should I do it every 3rd week?)
Total mileage starts at 25mi  to a maximum of 40mi with a two week taper.


I would love to hear your best advice on how to tackle a marathon with the least ideal time to train!  Have you been in the same situation? 

I am linking with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs.