just entered now - bugger that waiting up all night malarkey
entry fee's only £35 Manchester is £50 - although they do try their best to keep your entry fee (everytime therewas a mistake on the form the page wouldn't refresh until they flipped up a box saying somat like "we've noticed you haven't donated your fee, etc... umm you noticed did you. Nice try)
Personally I would run 8 miles as my long run the week before the HM
Tapering is important in marathon training, not so important for half marathon training. In a marathon there is a danger you can run out of muscle fuel (glucose) and hit the dreaded wall and tapering counter acts this 2-3 weeks before the race. In a HM the danger of hitting the wall is non-existent so tapering isn't necessary. Having said that having a lighter week before a HM race works for me, I feel fresh and ready.
Just don't fret over tapering as a beginner or experienced runner. If you get the mileage under your belt (which it looks like you have) then have a rest week doing lighter mileage the week before you'll be fine.
RicF I totally agree about what you said about elasticity and this is why distance runners and fast runners should think twice before dedicating time to static stretching.
Static stretching makes tendons and muscles more flexible and LESS elastic. The advantage to having stiffness in your legs is that they are more elastic - why is this a good thing?
As the muscles/tendons in your legs are stretched during a run the muscles and tendons snap back, releasing energy like a spring. The more flexible the muscles and tendons become through stretching the less they snap back and so the less energy released
- this is why coaches recognise dynamic stretching as a good thing and not static stretching - dynamic stretching is always done while you are moving and (in the case of running) mimics those running movements rather than stretching tendons and muscles in a static posture.
Another Steve Magness article here explains it far better than I can, but you get the idea. If you keep stretching a piece of elastic, the less it will spring back over time - and you should think of your muscle/tendon as a piece of elastic which releases energy - energy needed for running
Having said all that static stretching can be used for other things - when you get cramp in your calf during a marathon (usually about mile 20 for me) then a minute or two of gentley stretching the calf can be a race-saver (I usually find a curb and do calf raisers) - the thing about static stretching is that if you do it A LOT you are reducing the elasticity of your leg muscles and tendons which is counter-productive if you like to run fast or long distance when you need all the energy you can muster.
So I use static stretches for cramps and sometimes sore calfs etc. But nowadays I don't stretch routinely every day (almost never) and that is key with this issue - don't stretch, stretch stretch because it will do more harm than good!