Compressed training? I decided to run a half-marathon with only 34 days of training after struggling to run a 5K at a 9:45/mi pace. It is doable, but most serious runners have told me that ideally, I’d have two months to train for a half marathon.

Norovirus? Now, less than 2 weeks away from the race I’m overcoming missing a week of training thanks to a work trip where I caught Norovirus. Yep, so not only did I not run for 6 days, I’m also fighting dehydration and weakness that comes with throwing up and running a fever for two days.

How did we get here?

Since December 2017, I’ve been focused mostly on lifting weights because two of my left-foot toes were constantly in pain. After a few months of no improvement, I dragged myself to the foot doctor. I was diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma in February 2018 toward the end of my 380 straight days of exercise. Morton’s Neuroma is a nerve issue that causes a couple of my middle toes to feel pain, burning or numbness. Before the symptoms started in November 2017, I’d ran my fastest 5k time ever [26:04] and had been looking to start to increase my race mileage to 10k’s.

My foot doctor put me on prednisone and added special padding to my shoes. The pain and numbness in the toes subsided but I feared that running regularly would cause the pain to come back.  The couple of times a week I’d do cardio would be on the elliptical.

The 5K Gave Me The 13.1 Mile Itch

Thanks to several reminders from my boss / good friend / 2x #Overcome38 finisher Joe Recomendes to register, we were all set to fun the FreeMoreWest 5k on April 13th, 2018. It started at 6 PM on a beautiful Spring evening in Charlotte, NC.

April 2018 5K: Work Running Crew

As I lined up with friends at the starting line, I was quickly reminded how much I’d started to enjoy 5K races. After 1 mile, I was reminded how much I missed running outdoors. At the 3 mile point, I was dragging.  Without running in months, I was mentally pushing myself the last half mile keeping a 9:45/mi pace. Not close to my best, but I was happy with it.

Rich Tucker Running 5k April 2018

Homestretch of 5K in April 2018

Then as I passed the 3.2 mark on my tracker, it became evident that the course was longer than a 5K. After 3.5 miles, I had enough in me to sprint to the finish passing another runner from behind right at the finish line who did not realize that he and I were actually racing.

It felt awesome. All of it.

I decide walking to my car from the finish line, that I finished this 5k at a decent pace 100% by will and that I could run a half-marathon. Wait, a half-marathon? Prior to this, I’d never ran more than 6 miles and had never had any desire to run a half-marathon.

Running the Sunset Beach Half-Marathon May 19th, 2018

When I got home that evening, I immediately took advantage of my sudden mind-shift to search online for a half-marathon to run.  With our busy weekend schedules, the only one that I could find that was doable was only 34 days away.  I just ran a 5k with almost no training. I told myself with a month of training, I could run a half-marathon.

Without a second thought, I signed myself up for the Sunset Beach half marathon and signed my 16-year-old son up for his first 5K so I’d have someone join me. I Rented a beach condo on VRBO.

Training for the Half Marathon in 34 Days Interrupted by Norovirus

As I write this post, Race Day is 12 days away.

I will share my entire 34-day training program on a future post.  Due to not want to re-aggravate my toe injury, most of my training has been on the Octane Fitness Lateral-X Elliptical Machine.  I was progressively increasing the difficulty and the time spent on Elliptical each workout.

On Sunday, April 29th, I ran 8 Miles on a treadmill which is the furthest I’ve ever run. So, the Octane Fitness Elliptical was getting the job done without hurting my toes or knees.

The next day, Monday, April 30th, I flew down to New Orleans for Collision Conference.  While in New Orleans, I was scheduled to run Thursday, but on that morning I awoke to the need to throw up.  I have not thrown up in 10 years.

After throwing up, I had all the other symptoms that come with Norovirus.  I managed to make up back to Charlotte and stayed in bed for 2 days.  While sick in bed, I focused on staying hydrated. On Saturday morning, I forced myself to get in a 30 minute fast paced walk.

Sunday, May 6th was supposed to be my longest training run of 9 miles before the half marathon.  I ended up running a slow 38 minutes.  Today, I ran 2.5 miles outdoors at a 9:45/mi pace and felt really good.

On Wednesday (10 days from race day), I plan on running the 9 miles on the treadmill.  I cannot confidently show up at the half-marathon without getting in the 9-mile run I missed on Saturday.

That catches us up.  Even with the missed week of already compressed training, I’m excited about the prospects of finishing my first half marathon in 12 days. This 9 mile run on Wednesday will give me a better indication of how race day may go.

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