For my second week of tapering, the big story was the pain I experienced in the pad of my left foot.
I noticed the pain early in the week. When I would step out of bed in the morning, I would feel a dull soreness when toeing off. Throughout the day it would feel better and by the time I would run in the evening, I wouldn’t feel anything.
I started a new pair of shoes on Monday, but I really don’t feel like they were the cause, as they are the exact same model I was in before. Sure they were brand new, but I have run in brand new Cliftons many times before and never experienced foot pain when breaking them in. Given my history with this shoe, I really cannot attribute the pain to them. The only possibility is that, perhaps, they were laced too tightly.
I got through my workouts Monday through Thursday with no pain, but Friday morning, on my first planned day off, I really started to feel it. At this time, I knew I had to rest.
Normally a small pain like this would not be concerning, but with the race less than one week away it was cause for alarm.
Monday, May 9
I ran 6 miles at my starting race pace goal, around 7:00 per mile. My goal is to run the first half of the race slower than the second half (negative split). I did the exact opposite for my two marathons last year. In my personal experience, I have always had a good race when I start out at a conservative pace. For me, 1:31 or 1:32 is right where I want to be at the half marathon mark. That will put me in a great position, with plenty left in the tank for the second half of the race, to run a personal best.
Tuesday, May 10
I ran 3 miles at a very easy pace. I focused a lot on deep gut breathing. I also lifted weights.
Wednesday, May 11
I ran 3 mile repeats at 9.5 mph (6:18 pace) with 0.3 miles active recovery between hard efforts. I felt really strong and the pace did not even feel fast. I have done a great job on speed work throughout this training process. I know I am faster than I was going into my last marathon.
Thursday, May 12
I ran 3 miles recovery after yesterday’s speed workout. I also lifted weights, which will be my last weight training session before the race. I’ll do some bodyweight strength training between now at the race, but that’s it.
Friday, May 13
Today was a planned off day and it’s a good thing because I have had pain in the pad of my left foot on-and-off this week. I stayed off it as much as possible today.
Saturday, May 14
I planned on running a very slow 10 miler today, but I ended up nixing the run to give my foot more rest.
Sunday, May 15
Today was a planned off day. I thought about getting on the elliptical machine since I missed my workout yesterday. Ultimately, I decided that it would benefit me more to take a recovery day and give my foot an extra day off. The pain seems to have gone away, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure. Running or working out more at this point will not help me get faster. I’m as fit as I will be. At this point, the only purpose running serves is to keep my legs fresh and my mind sane.
Next week I will do a couple short runs. Only three more before the race on Saturday!