I am training for my first Marathon (Mayor's Midnight Sun in Anchorage). I am now less than 5-weeks away from race day. Yesterday I ran an 18-miler. Today my joints are in PAIN. It is difficult to walk down stairs. I do a lot of cross-training and run 3-4 times a week, following Hal Higdon's novice training pretty closely. I also iced and am icing every few hours. My question is, it seems I will take a while to recover from my run yesterday, I am supposed to run a 20-miler in two weeks, what is the benefit to damage ratio at this point. I just want to finish the marathon, and I want to try to run the whole thing. My average pace is 9:30 per mile. Would it be better to run the 20-miler taking the time I need to recover, or run 3 times a week at 9-13 miles for the next three weeks and taper from there?
p.s. I put this post in the training tips, but I think it is better here.