Last weekend's foot pain faded over the course of the day Monday, and figured I'd give my Tuesday workout a try, knowing that if it began to hurt even a little bit, I'd stop immediately. But the foot felt fine, so I got it done.
And the same was true of my tempo run on Thursday. No pain, and no issues at all. So I was very hopeful about my podiatrist appointment that afternoon. And I was so thankful when I found out that I hadn't gotten my hopes up only to have them dashed.
The pain I've been having on and off - seemingly related to the orthotics, since it only hurt when I ran with them in my shoes - is actually related to a bunion, which is causing some wear and tear to the joint in my left big toe.
It's something that I may need to deal with at some point in the future, but for now, I can take a wait-and-see approach and be hopeful that it will not be an issue now that my marathon training is essentially done.
And most importantly, it is not something that is going to keep me from Boston! This news was like having a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. And it also allowed all the excitement - that I had temporarily put on hold - to come rushing back in, to the point that I could barely sleep last night, and if you had told me the race was yesterday at 4pm, I would gladly have put on my shoes and run it!
So now I'm back to being insanely excited and antsy and just generally in hyperdrive, waiting for the next 10 days to pass.
I'll run my final long run on Sunday, at a local 10-mile race. I won't be racing, though - my plan calls for 10 at marathon pace, and that's what I'll do. Maybe with a few faster miles at the end, but nothing crazy, because from this point on, it's all about giving my body a break and letting it absorb the benefits of the last week of taper.
No more 4:30am wakeups, no more intense cardio cross-training, and no weight lifting at all.
I know the lack of tough workouts is going to make me kind of crazy, but at the same time, I know it's what I need at this point, and I'm hoping I can embrace the change of pace and enjoy some down time.
I have so many thoughts bouncing around in my head, I can barely keep them all straight - making plans for going to the Expo, and for race day itself, and beginning to make lists of what I need to pack in my race bag, and what else I need to get done before next Monday.
But what keeps going through my head the most is how incredibly ready I feel for this race. I've never in my life felt so prepared to go out and get something done.
With a few small exceptions (due to blizzards and other minor inconveniences), I've followed my training plan faithfully, and have met or exceeded all of the target paces that were set for me.
I've found just the right combination of fueling and hydration, and practiced it over and over again, and I know that it works.
I've made sure to run all my long runs on a route that was mostly downhill at the beginning, and mostly uphill at the end - not a perfect Boston simulation by any means, but as close as I was able to get while still running locally.
And I've practiced repeatedly one of the most important skills I think I needed to learn this training cycle - starting conservatively and finishing strong. Every single one of my long runs has included several miles of negative splits at the end, despite the uphills.
I know how to pick up the pace with very tired legs, and that is a very valuable skill, and one that will serve me well after the hills of Newton.
And with 5 solo 20-milers under my belt, I know how to stay motivated and fight the mental battles that begin when the going gets tough.
I. Can. Do. This.
I have complete faith and trust in my training, and my confidence is sky-high that I can cross that finish line on Boylston Street in 3 hours and 30 minutes.
I just wish I didn't have to wait 10 more days to actually get out there and do it!!!