Denton, interesting thoughts. I've often found that a “taper” (or recovery week, which is often how I time things out) for a mid-season race doesn't do a whole lot for me. I often feel better in the middle or end of a hard week than I do in the middle or end of a recovery week. Maybe I'll have to play around with that idea.
Ed, I don't even think of it as a workout, just a bit of fast running thrown into a recovery day. Just a handful of strides or maybe a mile at 10K race pace or a half mile at 5K race pace, if even that much. Not intended to be a workout at all, just something to stretch the legs out.