The taper is always the worst thing about this training.
Ignore everything, commit to doing the race and that's that.
My very first marathon, 3 weeks before race day after my last long run my knee suddenly locked up and I was in intense pain and couldn't even walk. Went to the physio a few days later and he diagnosed a slight cartridge tear or little bit of debris that was in the joint and to rest/ice/elevate for 6 weeks. (Old football injury)
I came so close to deferring, but I could run again and it was worse when I sat down with it bent for a long time. I think I only did it because I had a club place and didn't think it right to defer when someone else could have done it.
Ended up doing 3:12 and have never looked back.
And just to join in - that same knee played up tonight on my 4 mile run and I am now absolutely sure it is going to be a disaster this time!
Get to mile 9 where Julie will be watching at least looking like I am going for it.
At 9 miles - "how on earth am I going to keep this pace up for 26" - so instead of thinking about that I concentrate on getting to 13 for an unofficial half pb (1:26:xx)
Nailed that so having just run my fastest ever half marathon gives me motivation for the next 3.
Now locked into breaking the race down into 3 mile blocks.
16 to 19 - I know this is always the worst 3 miles so just grit your teeth and hope that it won't be as bad as you remember.
Yes, it was as bad as I remember but now it is done and helps me through the next 3 where the pain is now really kicking in.
Last drink at 22 now nothing else between me and the finish. Got a couple of minutes to spare but resist the urge to back off a bit and just keep pushing through the pain.
25 to finish - just a mile and a bit of pain to go. Julie will be on the corner of Big Ben.
Still a couple of minutes to spare but don't ease back even a fraction. Run smoothly no sudden changes in direction that could bring on cramp but just keep applying the pressure. Pain in my legs now so bad that I have to grunt loudly with every stride.
Somehow, this might not just be a back-to-back sub 3 but also a pb.
How much farther to that last corner at Buck Pal!? Take the corner wide and careful onto the final straight.
Keep driving on to the line. (2:57:xx).
Back-to-back sub 3s, a pb and UKA top10 ranking in the bag.
Back to hotel for quick shower, then straight out for a pizza and glass of red wine - job done!!!