So, this morning's long run was supposed to be a second 20 miler, but 7 miles in, my left knee's IT band was again giving me shooting pains and I had to walk for a bit in order to finish the first part of the group's loop. Worried about finishing 13 more miles with that kind of tightening and pain in my knee, I consulted the coach and she told me not to continue. She said it was better to quit the run and rest the knee than to push myself to finish the distance and really hurt myself.
As I drove home (and everyone else set out on the second leg of their loop), I was feeling pretty distraught: I am 3 weeks away from Chicago. 3 weeks! My taper begins after today's run, and I am in the home-stretch of this training. If this injury had cropped up 2 months ago? I would've said, "screw it" and I would've quit the training. But at this point? I can't quit the idea of the marathon! No way. I have worked too hard to quit now. So, my only options are the following: rest it for a few days, schedule a massage to try and loosen up the band (the group's coach gave me the name and number of a massage therapist who comes highly recommended by everyone in the group), ice it, stretch it, foam roller it, and do my best with the taper's runs (the longest of which is next Saturday's 12 miler).
On the plus side, I do have a 20 miler under my belt -- I just really wanted the extra confidence that one more would have given me -- and I have numerous other long distances between 12-20 miles that I have covered, so I know my training is in a much better place than it was going in to Disney last January. Yet, that's not enough to help assuage the anxiety of this knee and what it will do during the marathon. I suppose, I can just do my best with it, right? Unless anyone knows of some good, strong magic?