9.11.2008

Subtract 1 hour from sleep deficit

This morning I got up with my alarm (apparently my old PDA does still work...and I really did just sleep through the alarm earlier in the week), picked-out Dane's clothes, made his lunch, got him downstairs, made him breakfast...and crawled back into bed. I got an additional hour of sleep (avec 3 cats) before the phone rang.

The call was from my best friend, who is registered to run the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon with me. She had just returned from the doctor's office. She's been battling chronic back problems that have returned with a vengeance in recent weeks...just in time for the marathon.

I'm so frustrated for her...it never fails, when training is going well for her I am having issues. Now that my knee problems seem to be mostly a thing of the past her back issues have made an untimely return. The doc was happy to write a script for pain meds and provide a referral to a pain clinic, but she wants a cure for the problem, not merely treatment for pain symptoms.

The last time she had issues it was with her legs and the cure was a heavy duty motion control running shoe. She's topped-out on the aid a shoe can give her, so I hope that maybe something like custom orthotics in addition to the control from the shoes might be the key.

It's just such a huge frustration for her. Training for the race has been enough of a challenge to fit in with work (she and another friend opened a restaurant back in May and it's far more than a full-time job) and family obligations. Her weekly mileage wasn't nearly as high as she had planned upon at the outset of training, but her long runs were going well and she felt strong. Then seemingly out of nowhere her back blew all out of whack. She's BTDT with the back thing, before--being thrown from the backs of a few horses over the years has not helped matters.

So the two of us will probably be quite a sight WHEN we make it to the starting line. Hopefully we will both be more rested by then, and hopefully her back issues are literally straightened-out in the next 3 weeks.

The only thing that I find reassuring about all of this is the knowledge that there are a couple thousand other runners in much the same boat. I'm seeing a whole lotta people training for Fall marathons who are about at wit's end. Many of us have marathons within the next month, so many have just started their tapers and are dealing with "taper madness," the rest of us are in the last week or two of hard training before taper and are stretched to the limit of what our bodies and, more importantly, our psyches can handle. At this point we're trying to optimistically look ahead to race day without getting bogged-down in the pile of training runs still to be completed.

18 weeks is a LONG time to train for anything. 26.2...respect the distance. It's no joke, that's for certain.

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