I am a little more than 3 weeks out from THE marathon and have taken a half day off from work tomorrow to get in my 20 mile run. Following Higdon's Novice plan my subsequent long runs are to be 12, 8 and then the big 26.2.
I don't know if I've been in denial the past couple of weeks or so but I am worried about my achilles and don't know what to do about my 20-miler tomorrow. (Looking for advice) No doubt, my right achilles is sore and it's trying to tell me something. I don't have pain when I run and it's not too obvious when I walk. But rest assured my achilles does NOT like going down stairs. AT. ALL. I hobble down them and I even had to ask my boss if we could take the elevator DOWN yesterday (he knows I'm training and has dealt with his own knee injury recently due to a karate mishap...and we all got the daily updates on injury/rehab/etc...so he was certainly understanding) which was humbling.
I'm 99% sure I know the cause and it's a combination of things:
1. I work in a conservative and professional environment and am a dedicated high heel wearer. 3 or 4 inch heels are no big thing in my book and I often do a lot of walking at work (multiple miles per day). I have some cute flats but they often don't see too much action during the work week, but they do on occasion.
2. I then hop into my running shoes and run hilly routes by default. Believe me, I LIKE flat courses and often go out of my way to choose the flattest route possible. But, as a local running coach likes to remind: We live in the foothills of the Appalachains...there are going to be hills. And hills there are. Rollers and monsters. The Vulcan Run that I ran last weekend is known for a particular "hill" that lasts for a couple of miles in the middle of the course. I was mentally prepared b/c I've heard so much about it but I had ZERO trouble with it (and this was after having knocked out the 1st half of my long run prior to the race). Suffice to say, I am very used to runnng in hilly conditions which only serves to screw with my achilles even further
All this to say: what do I do about this 20 miler? Do I run it tomorrow? Take this weekend off for total rest? Do the bike at the gym on no resistance for cardio purposes (the thought of being sedentary makes me want to yak this close to the end/when I am supposed to be at peak training) Try my 20 miler next weekend? It would leave me with 2 weeks of taper which is still OK. I am not "racing" anything but I don't want to bonk out there on the course. I have felt so good and confident in my long runs this training cycle. Were all of them AWESOME? Of course not. Long runs are HARD. But I generally ended most of them feeling tired but still strong and accomplished, mentally preparing myself for marathon day strategy.
I want to be smart about this. Any words or advice is appreciated.