Ah. Last week before the taper. I knew it had to be a good one. The trick was my knee, which, as you may recall, has been a little stiff. I think it’s my IT band, and I think this happens every time I train for a big race. I’m not super worried about it, but it does mean that I need to be extra careful with my miles. So careful is what I tried to be, with varying degrees of success.
I must have slept well or something on Sunday night because I felt great on my Monday 6-miler. Not so much Tuesday. In fact, I cut the run short at 3 miles because my knee was giving me grief. Not worth the risk! I told myself. It’s better to be able to run the race at all than to train my legs off . . . and then not have any legs to run on. I felt smart about that, and I told myself I was being smart by skipping my Wednesday speed workout, too. I probably was, but then I felt bad about being smart so I went out on Thursday and accidentally got into a race that ended up turning my easy run into a nice tempo run. This girl and I were going at a decent clip, she was a step or two ahead of me. When we got to the top of the hill she maybe sort of let me pass . . . ? but I had to go home, so I went a different way and I’ll never know who would have won. Darnit! The nice thing is that my knee felt fine. The other nice thing is that I got in a good speed workout in which boosts my confidence going into the race.
Finally, my long Saturday run. I wanted to get at least 20 miles in and I wanted itnot to kill me. I wanted good vibes going into the race. And I’m pretty sure I nailed it. I ran 21.25, and upped the pace for the last few miles just to prove to myself that I could turn up the heat at the end. I don’t know if I will actually be able to do such a thing on race day, but maybe it’s an option. Besides Saturday being a beautiful non-snowy day, I think I benefited from actually fueling myself during my run. I downed 3 GUs (one at mile 6.5, another at mile 13, the last at mile 18) and sipped water the whole time. Smart move, Lizzie. Turns out, it’s a lot easier to run if your tank isn’t empty.
So the run went well. But my knee did not love it. It was very stiff and painful the rest of the day. I could hardly bend it on Sunday (not so good when navigating staircase after staircase . . .). I seriously thought that my next run might be when I toe the line in Boston, and even then it would only be with some pain killer in my back pocket. But just before I went to bed on Sunday, my knee made a miraculous leap in its range of motion. And then it made another one yesterday. So I’m hopeful I’ll get at least a few miles in before race day, but I’m mostly just grateful to have gotten that last long run in. I needed it.