PHIL IN THE BLANK: 26.2 for 50

I’ve managed to keep kicking long enough for this planet to spin itself around a star 50 times, and for that I decided I wanted to do something special.
When I noticed the Charlevoix Marathon was on my birthday, June 22, I figured that would do.
Training was going fine for awhile. I was up over 14 miles when my plantar fascia in my right foot acted up.
I’m well acquainted with this part of my foot, having injured it years ago while overdoing it for another running event – the inaugural Brooksie Way Half Marathon in 2008.
The risk factors for the foot affliction listed by the Mayo Clinic describe me clearly, especially now:
• Most common between the ages of 40 and 60? Yes.
• Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue, such as long-distance running, ballistic jumping activities, ballet dancing and aerobic dance. Running, check.
• Being flat-footed, having a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can affect the way weight is distributed when you’re standing and put added stress on the plantar fascia. Yeah, I walk weird.
• Occupations that keep you on your feet, factory workers, teachers and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can damage their plantar fascia. Not really but sometimes.
• Obesity, excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia. Whoops, yeah. More back in 2008 but still too much, and I’ve been gaining.
So I’ve not trained as I should have, which is like I was at the first Brooksie.
Things in my favor, though, include a scenic course along the lake, which is supposed to be mostly flat and fast. It’s 13.1 miles out, turn around, and come right back. So as long as I make it to the turn-around, all I have to do is run or walk back to the car. Hopefully someone will still be handing out finishing medals.
The Clarkston Wolfpack Running Group also has my back. I told Kathy Noble about it and she got the group, with whom I occasionally run, to sign a card, offer advice, and put together a basket of energy chews, bars, and snacks. And a couple Heinekens, the beer of champions. Thanks, Wolfpack!

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