Well that’s it for the long runs. I’m officially in taper mode for the next 11 days.
When I look at the training cycle as a whole, I think I have faired pretty well. In the last month or so I have noticed a surge of strength and yes even a wee bit of speed. I can now run comfortably for pretty much any distance (at least up to my longest run of 33km) without my cardio giving out and my legs make it to about 25km or so before they start to get tired. I’ve been virtually injury free with the exception of some aches and pains in my lower back and right hamstring that have been kept under control with some physiotherapy and a regular daily stretching and strengthening routine. In fact, my back is feeling better now that it has in months. Of course I’ve had some soreness after the long runs and my calves are in a constant state of achiness, but that’s to be expected.
Yes, everything seems to be under control and with 11 days left until the big day I was feeling pretty confident. Until last night.
About halfway through my regular 7km Tuesday night run, I started to feel some pain in my left shin. I figured I was just still warming up and carried on. By the end of the run, fully warm, it had worsened rather than getting better and had me a bit concerned. I decided right then that my body just needed a rest and I cancelled my run for today.
I had a physiotherapy appointment scheduled for this morning so I had her take a look and she told me that it’s probably the start of shin splints and with a little rest and the avoidance of walking or running on any-sized incline, I should be fine by the time the gun goes off on October 12th.
I may not be an experienced marathoner, but I’m experienced enough to know that missing a couple of runs at this point in the training cycle is not going to hinder my success in the marathon, but running on a sore leg unnecessarily could very possibly sideline me.
So, for the last 7 scheduled runs over the next 11 days, I will assess myself each day, cancel whatever runs I need to cancel, supplement with a stationary cycling workout if I feel I can, and run virtually flat when I feel that I’m up to it.
The starting line is in sight and getting to my corral is what’s most important now.