Hi all, Been lurking here for a while and getting some great advice. I'm doing VLM this year and have never taken part in a marathon before (or any other race for that matter). Training has been going well, started in oct/nov and started a 16 week plan in Jan. the plan has been great. I was scheduled to do a 20 mile race on 24th march but it was cancelled due to bad weather so I ran my own 20 miler finishing in 2hrs 58mins. Felt quite good afterwards and excited that sub 4hrs seemed like a possibility. Here is the problem. I went out for a 50 minute run Friday morning and when I got back my left knee was aching. It was tender on the outside of the knee and quite stiff. It was especially sore when going down stairs. I iced it and have been using a hot water bottle on it in bed. All seemed well this morning so I went out for my last LSR. 22 miles. After 15 miles my knee started playing up again and I seemed to have a complete lack of energy despite taking 3 gels at various points. I stopped for a couple of minutes to take on some water and restarting was difficult due to stiffness in my knee. I struggled through 20 miles (stupid I know). Came home completely disheartened and deflated. Complete opposite to last week. I suppose I am in a bit of a panic now. It feels like I have put an awful lot of hard work in and I can't face not racing to my full potential. I know I need to rest but my question is, given that I am not tapering how damaging will taking a week or so off be? All pearls of wisdom great fully recieved. Many thanks.