Here it is. I just have to make it to my taper. As much as I HATE tapering, I’m doing it and I’m going to do it the way my plan says I’m to do it.
After three rest days in a row and slightly reduced mileage last week, I tackled my long run on Sunday. I had 20 miles on my schedule but I went out with the attitude that I’d do what I could and stop when I needed. Not being injured was way more important than hitting the 20 mile mark.
I didn’t start until 2:30pm. I ran from my house to the gym which was about 2.35 miles or so. I felt great. I looked down and was surprised that I was easily running just about an 8:30 pace. Ok, it was just 2 miles. It was a hot two miles though, I believe about 95 degrees.
I got to the gym and started right up on the dreadmill. I put myself at an easy 9:40 pace hoping that if I slowed down a little bit my knee ache wouldn’t flare up. I also took this opportunity to try out new fuel since I’ve been having troubles with long run fuel. No better time to try something new than when you have a bathroom just 30 feet away. I gave the chocolate and peanut butter flavors of GU a shot. The verdict, the chocolate is amazing! It felt like someone packaged up chocolate frosting as a special treat for running for a long time. It also did not hurt my stomach and gave me the energy boost I needed. The peanut butter, not sold on. I’m switching from Shot Bloks to Chocolate GU. Done and done.
I had run about 6 miles total when I took my first gel. I walked while I ate it then paused the treadmill to stretch. I was a little tight but nothing major. I repeated this again at 12 miles. At 18 miles I stopped, stretched and decided that if I ran home I’d get in my 20 miles.
By the time I was off the treadmill and made a bathroom stop, my knees were TIGHT. It wasn’t quite painful to walk but it didn’t feel good. So instead of running the last two miles home, I walked. Technically still getting in all 20 miles, but not running them all.
I stretched and iced as soon as I got home. I also may have eaten half of a Newman’s Own pizza that Josh had sitting out when I got home. Not the most nutritious but I was ravenous. Monday is always a rest day for me, so I did just that. I rested, iced and foam rolled.
Tuesday morning I was still feeling a bit achey. I elevated my leg at work and then foam rolled when I got home. I successfully completed my 12×400 @ 7:30 speed workout for a total of 7.25 miles last night. It should have been about 7.75 with a one mile cool down, but I just did a 1/2 mile cool down with 5 minutes of walking at the end. Again, stretched and iced.
This morning I am happy to report the knee is feeling good. I’m going to continue to ice and foam roll. This week is my final taper week before my last long run. Only 15 miles to run this weekend. I can do it and I can do it well.
We’ll see how I feel once I hit the taper. If my knee is flaring I’ll likely replace my weekday runs with cross-training and extra strength training and just do a long run on the weekends. We’ll see how it all plays out. I’m just so relieved that I have not been completely sidelined (knock on wood).