It is now two weeks until Race Day. We have started our taper process.
Tapering, for athletes preparing for a goal or scheduled race, is the process of reducing exercise in a period leading up to the event. It can typically last a week or more and reduces some combination of volume, intensity and frequency of training. For us, we have started to decrease the distance of our long runs.
We had a 26 km run scheduled for today’s run. Most of it was on the race route, so it was a good chance to have one last look at the course before we actually run it. I was feeling a little tired, but wanted to get in one more solid run to build on the strength and confidence of last week’s long run. My legs were feeling achy, but we kept our pace a little faster than normal. Whether it was the conversation or knowing we were running a shorter run, it seemed like everyone was fine with a 10-15 sec/km faster pace. It certainly wasn’t unbearable and I was setting the pace.
I was fine until 20 km. We were running up a slight incline and my knee tweaked. It just hurt. It’s not like my knee went one way and I went another, or that I fell and hurt it; it just hurt. I stopped at the next red light and tried to stretch it every which way, but as soon as we started running again I knew it was not right. I stopped and walked/ran a few times, but realized this would not work. I would need to walk the rest of the route back. (And in my hobbled walk, I realized that my walking is SO much slower than running. How do those race walkers go so fast?)
I’m not sure if the pain has come from my feet and caused stress on my knee, or if my back/hip/IT band are out alignment and it has reciprocated down to my knee. Other things hurt as well, it’s just my knee hurts the most.
I have left a pleading, emergency voicemail on my chiropractor’s phone hoping that he can see me on short notice, i.e. tomorrow. I have iced it a few times and will get a lot of rest tonight.
All I can do now is wait, which isn’t so bad given we are waiting for race day. I’m a little nervous, but hopefully the next few days will give me a chance to get things set right with some medical treatment and more rest.