Yesterday morning found me in Claudio's treatment room; it also found Claudio frowning perplexedly at my left ankle, which had reverted over the previous two weeks to its normal inflexible state. For the next 45 minutes, my ankle and the bones in my foot were manipulated, my achilles tendons and calves were stretched and stretched and stretched some more, the vertebrae in my lower back were popped one after the other, and my hips were stretched and popped. I left feeling like I was walking on air, which was just as well as I had a 13 mile run to do when I got home.
I was in a bit of a rush leaving the house for the run and forgot my running watch. I quickly gave up on trying to do set run/walk intervals and decided to walk only when I felt like I needed it. I was pleased that I felt fairly strong and certainly pain-free until almost 9 miles. I really started to feel it in my legs at that point - not my usual pains, but major lactic acid build up. At 11 miles, I felt like I had no strength left at all and blamed it on not having had time for lunch and on the strongish headwind. However, a bit of My Chemical Romance perked me up and I ended up completing 14 miles, rather than the 13 that I had set out to do.
(I have a vague plan regarding mileage. The longest run on the Hal Higdon programme that I am following will be 20 miles but some of the things that I am reading suggest that even longer runs will give you more experience of what to expect on marathon day. So I thought that, if my legs were up to it, I might try to increase each long run by a mile so that my longest run would end up being maybe 22 or 23 miles. Or maybe not. I'll let myself be guided by what feels doable.)
Anyway, my legs and feet were certainly sore by the end, but it felt more like the kind of soreness that you would expect after running 14 miles rather than an impending injury. I wore my compression socks all evening (actually, they're just some Boots' in-flight socks, but my calves feel so much better after using them that I've ordered some proper compression recovery socks) and, today, it doesn't feel like I ran yesterday at all. My calves are relaxed, my achilles tendon doesn't hurt, and my hip is fine.
A good end to a rough week.