Drinks (beet juice and tart cherry juice) all around!
At last, I've hit my last workout and can now enjoy (enjoy?) the taper phase. I'm 3 weeks out from the race. It was a little worrisome w/ the right foot issue, but it made it through this last workout and seems worked, but okay. In any case, I think 3 weeks will be enough for whatever leftover kinks in it to get worked out, especially if I start the ankle-strengthening exercises.
Today was the farthest I've ever run - 20.7 miles. It would've been 20.1, but I had to tack on an extra section so that I could use the bathroom early on. Wouldn't want to be uncomfortable for 20 miles. I spent some time this morning planning my fuel, since it's my last significant LR and last chance to test things out. So I decided to mimic race-day wear and gear as much as possible:
Singet (b/c it was cold... I'll wear it if it's cold and go w/ the sportsbra otherwise)
Brooks Trance 8 (I was originally going to go w/ the tried and true NB 1224's, but they were aggrevating the right foot again, so I used the lower-to-the-ground Trances that seemed to work fine during the speed session 2 days ago)
Arm Warmers (it was "feels like" 33 degrees when I started... it was really chilly at first but got better a mile in, and even after that, I was grateful to have the arm warmers)
Gloves (same thing as the arm warmers... usually, I don't wear these if it's 50 or above)
Before the run, I drank Beet Juice. Why? http://peakperformance.runnersworld.com/2009/11/nov-20-why-blood-dope-when-drinking-blood-red-beet-juice-is-just-about-as-good.html I don't know if it helped, but it did make my pee red, hahaha...
Immediately before the run, I got hungry, so I went ahead and ate the WW Pita and Hummus I had brought for after the run.
During the run, I had Clif Roks, which are sugars + protein. Why? http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Fueling_for_peak_marathon_performance.htm
Along those lines, I also made a concentrated paste out of Sustained Energy (Hammer product), which has complex carbs and some protein. It's flavorless, too, so you don't have to worry about that sickeningly sweet cringe you get from normal gels. It was good. Without the excess sweetness of the Roks and the paste, you don't necessarily NEED water, although it is nice to have. I put it in a gel tube (like a toothpaste tube), which was okay... except it took quite a bit of sucking at times to get it out.
More on fuel later.. I'll probably do a review of all of the products I've tried, soon.
So my foot... it was fine in the morning... like normal. As I walked around the apt getting prepped, it started nagging a bit, but eh. The first two 30 min-ish laps, it was fine. But then it started cramping up. I considered stopping the run, but I just had to get through the rest of the run, and I would've hit my target, and I could go into the taper knowing that I had done all (almost all) of the training and could be confident about the race. Body parts seem to get worse or better on their own anyways. It was tricky for a lap or two, but it did get a little better for the last lap or two.
With the cold and the differet shoes (oh man, I had to adjust the laces sooo many times... going downhill or changing surfaces would create massive hotspots that would cause some mean pain until I adjusted... normally loosened... the laces... or somtimes tighten, if the firmness would help the right foot) and the foot itself, my legs didn't always have ideal mechanics or form. But no matter. They seem okay. I gave them a hot shower, and they've earned some good rest and TLC.
20.7 in 3:02:42, 8:50/mi. Considering the lack of taper, the hills, the grass, that's probably pretty good, even though it's 30s off target MP. The foot will get better, too. And I'll do some more speed sharpening.
Splits> 11:54 car to b + bathroom detour, 29:25, 30:19, 30:33, 29:32, 29:00, 13:13 minilap, 8:42 car. A little more variation than I expected, but I guess all that matters is that I finshed stronger than I started.
It was cold... immediately after the run, it was hard to move my mouth. I had to keep my hand on my mouth as I chewed, so that I could actually feel my mouth moving. It was tricky eating the banana. And turning on the radio button, I had to just jab my hand in the general direction and hope that my finger hit the button. Temps during the run: 37->34->31->28 degrees. Brr!