It seems that I have abandoned my blog again. My desire to write wains when things aren't going well.
A day or two after the 2nd 20 miler, I started having pain in my left Achilles tendon. I think running 20 miles two weeks in a row wasn't the best idea. I probably should have cut back to 16 or 18 instead. I responded to the injury in typical fashion; I pretended it didn't happen. So two days after running 20 I ran 6 and it hurt. So the next day I ran 10 and that hurt too. Finally, I decided to acknowledge that I was injured and take a few days off. Well sort of took a few days off. I rode my bike for about 30 minutes on Thursday and got a one day pass at the gym and used the elliptical machine for 5 "miles" on Friday. Then I rested Saturday and ran 9.5 miles on Sunday. My Achilles has gotten a little better, but not from any lack of trying to screw it up on my part.
Then I finally remember eccentric heel drops. Doing these three times a day has made a world of difference. I'm still having some pain but it is much, much better.
I started my taper last week, so all my runs were much shorter than in the weeks prior. A lot of runners complain about feeling anxious about tapering but that hasn't been my experience. I enjoy being lazy and taking the short runs is OK by me.
I ran my last "long" run at the Canal on Saturday. I decided not to make plans with anyone and run this one alone as a way to mentally prepare for the race. I ran 10 miles, starting at Noland's Ferry and headed downstream. This is my favorite part of the trail and I enjoyed this run very, very much. The weather was perfect with lots of sun but cool temps in the upper 40's. My pacing was exactly where I wanted it to be and I averaged a 10:00 mile exactly. If every run was like that, I would want to go every day.
This week temps have been at or near record high. I enjoy the nice weather but this is a little too nice. I like 40's and 50's for running, 60's are OK, 70's and above are too hot if the humidity is up. Still, it's been hard to resist getting out there and I've run a few miles more than my plan calls for but everything has been at a real easy pace so I'm not worried about "over doing it".
This will probably be my last update before the race on Sunday. After a lot of thought (too much probably) I have decided to go for a 4:30:00 time. There is a pace group for this time that I might run with depending on the pacer's race strategy for the water stops. If he or she isn't planning to walk through the water stops then I'm going to go it alone. Otherwise I'll run with the group.