I've been playing with my running form on my last two treadmill runs. I definitely strike with my heel when I run, and it has caused a myriad of problems. I have plantar fasciitis in my left arch, and a heel spur as well. I've endured cortisone shots in my heel , and I've done other things to get over the PF. I wore that big boot every night to bed for 6 weeks, had custom arches made for my dress shoes, I use Spenco inserts in my running shoes, and wear an arch support when I run. Phew, such high maintenance, but I've kept it at bay for over five years. Surprisingly, I think that now that I'm home with the kids, and wear casual shoes instead of heels, that too has helped quite a bit.
I had an "A HA!" moment one day playing Wii Fit, they have a segment where you can do a 10 minute run, so I did it with Eliza. If you aren't familiar with the Fit game, you need to be barefoot to use it. After I started running, I realized I was landing on my forefoot, and it wasn't causing any pain, which I thought it would since there is no padding there compared to my heel. I started running circles around the house and it clicked, I knew what all these barefoot runners were talking about! On my next treadmill run, I kept my shoes on, but made a conscious effort to land my feet correctly. I was leaning forward, and felt like I was going to topple over, but it made sense. Today I tried it again, and kept it up for a full three miles. Very cool!!
On the "choosing a marathon" front, my friend Jen (who also entered the NYC lottery for this fall) told me that NY State residents have a one in three chance of making it into the race! I still don't have high hopes to get in, but those aren't bad odds at all.