Saucony 26 Strong: Plan B

Malou Fletcher from Fayetteville, N.Y., had planned to run the Mohawk Hudson Marathon on Oct. 13, (as we wrote about here) with her veteran partner, Mandy Howard of Clay, N.Y. Both Malou and Mandy are part of the Saucony 26 Strong project, a collaboration between Competitor and Saucony that pairs experienced marathon vets with first-timers (“cadets”) as they both train to achieve their marathon goals.

But an injury has meant that Malou has had to come up with a “Plan B” for her fall marathon plans. She explains the situation:

“Back in August I vacationed as we do every year in South Jersey. Running there was going to be great (or so I thought)—no hills!! Well that wasn’t the case. I think that the change to all pavement from a combination of trail/pavement and the increase in miles put a strain in my soleus muscle. I took a week off, came back home to central New York and began running again.

“I completed my first 20 mile run without too much pain until the next day. I had trouble even bearing weight, but in a couple if days it was feeling better. I sought a medical opinion and was told its muscular and safe to run through it. So I did and ran a half marathon. The race didn’t feel good from start to finish not only my leg but in every way physically and mentally. Next day same couldn’t bear weight and it didn’t get better in a couple of days.

“This led me to the decision of taking more time off from running and seeking advice of physical therapist. On my first visit she was able to feel a large knot in the muscle and began the painful process of breaking it up. I was cleared to cross train but advised not to run until pain free. I have been biking, rowing, using elliptical, and tried swimming but that too strained the soleus. With my marathon date quickly approaching, I began to think I need a Plan B and Mandy suggested the Philly Marathon in mid November. So that is now my plan.  Hoping I can start getting some miles in soon but don’t want to push before I’m ready. All of this training is a learning process and this injury just another piece. Hoping things start to look up for me.”

So now the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 17 is the new goal race. Best of luck to Malou, and hopefully the extra month will give her plenty of time to be ready to race.

To read more about Malou, Mandy and the rest of the Saucony 26 Strong team, visit 26strong.com.

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