I spent this whole past week resting my ankle and icing it every chance I got. My 18 miler had to be pushed back a week due to my ankle issue, and I was really nervous that it wouldn’t hold up for the whole 18 miles this weekend.
On Sunday, I really didn’t know what to think. My ankle would feel fine, and then out of nowhere, just walking around the house, I would start to get twinges. It was unpredictable.
I spent the afternoon icing, and debating what to do. Should I run and hope it would hold out? Should I scrap the 18 miler and just rest as much as possible until race day and hope for the best with a run-walk approach? Should I pull out of the race completely? I was at a loss.
By 6:30pm Sunday night, I had gotten so frustrated with the whole thing. I felt like a quitter. And I hate that feeling. So I put the ice pack away, got changed, and headed downstairs to the treadmill to see what my ankle would do.
3 miles in, things felt okay.
5 miles, still good.
Then 8, and 12. The pain wasn’t kicking in. This was great!
I rounded the proverbial corner somewhere around 12 miles, and I knew my ankle would be okay. So I finished the last couple miles strong, and was absolutely elated. I made it through the whole 18 miles with almost no pain! There were few moments of minor discomfort, but they were little things that went away in 30 seconds or so.
Once I was done, I went running up the stairs to tell my husband. Things look okay for Schroon! I’m so glad!
So now I’m in my taper. Because I pushed the 18 miler back a week, I ended up scrapping my 20 miler. I’m not too concerned about this. It’s my third marathon, so I don’t need the mental boost that a 20 miler would give me (it really helps with confidence), and I felt very strong at the end of my 18, so my conditioning is good and ready to go.
To give my ankle the best possible chance at being 100% on race day, I’m going to swap in biking or swimming for most of my short runs for the next two weeks. I’ll do a 12 miler or so this weekend, and then the following week is race day!
I can’t wait to get back up to Schroon and run that beautiful course again! It was really tough last year, but also a blast. The course is beautiful, the people are great, and it’s such a well-organized and supported race.
Of course, I always have goals for a race. I like to do them in levels:
Bare bones: Finish, have fun (just in case my ankle/knees decide not to cooperate)
Good day: Finish, have fun, run pain-free, beat my time from last year (5:11)
Great day: Finish, have fun, run pain-free, finish under 4:30:00
Awesome/Perfect day: All of the above, and finish under 4:15:00