Back when I started running cross country in high school - 10 years ago (makes me feel ancient!) - my friend's dad, who ran a lot, told me that it was important to get a good night sleep the night before the race; however, getting even better sleep the night before the night before the race was even more important. At that time, I believed "Mr. C." and didn't question it. I tried to get a lot of sleep the 2 nights prior to racing. I don't really know if it is true or not, nor do I care a whole lot because I know sleep every night is critical to how well I run. Maybe you don't need much sleep, but I do.
Tonight is my "night before the night before" night. I am running the Quad Cities half marathon on Sunday. As I sit here and type, I am getting more and more excited. Tomorrow morning I'll get my things packed up, leave the Chicago suburbs, and drive two hours west to the Quad Cities. I am staying with my aunt and uncle, who is also running the half.
Everything for this half is so different than what I am accustomed to. Normally, I taper totally different than I did for this race. Last weekend, I did 7.5 miles on Saturday and then 11 on Sunday. However, when I hit mile 10 on Sunday my knee started to hurt. It was a weird feeling, and I couldn't stride right. Monday was okay and so was Tuesday, but Wednesday I only ran 3.6 miles before stopping because my knee was killing me. I took Thursday, today (Friday) and tomorrow off. I don't know the last time I took off 3 days in a row. My knee feels better now, so I'm hoping for a wonderful race.
Have you ever experienced something hurting during a training run so close to your race? If so, what did you do? Do you have a long taper or short taper?