This week I am resting, walking moderately at lunch, trying to stay rested and relaxed and to get a lot of sleep.
I got a bit of a curve ball last week. A couple days after my last 30 miler, a week ago last sunday, I developed what I thought was a bit of poison oak or poodle dog rash on my back. Hard to explain since I was running with a long sleeve dress shirt and a running pack. Adding to the mystery of the unexplained poison oak was an extremely inflamed set of lymph nodes in my groin....so tender as to wake me up if I rolled onto my stomach while sleeping. So I uncharacteristically made an appointment to see the doctor. She took one look and pronounced, "Its not poison oak: You have shingles". Argh! I started a prescription of valtrex immediately. I've been feeling a bit run down and sleepy for the last week; the shingles spread along an arc from spine to belly button but have scabbed over now. I must say the affected area hurts, its kept me awake some nights; there is an odd sensory confusion between cold and pain such that my right side gets goose bumps at the slightest breeze of an air conditioner say, but these goose bumps hurt. So this little bit of drama will just add to the overall character test that is the AC100. What I can say is that on my runs last week and up Baden Powell, it did not bother me despite my fears of shirt chafing creating pain in the affected, highly sensitive shingles area.
What brought this on? I dunno. Its said that it can be be brought on by stress but not necessarily so. Work has been very demanding lately, objectively stressful (I am an exec at a company that I co-founded, and its a tough globally competitive business we are in). Certainly the training has been a physical stress, but this occurred as I was one week into my taper and feeling pretty darned strong.
In any event I am taking Thursday off to relax and will drive up to Wrightwood Thursday afternoon so as to go through the med checks Friday morning with a minimum of fuss and bother. If you are reading this and are not a spamming robot, please send some positive vibes my way!
Its odd how deeply the AC00 has gotten into my psyche. In some sense I feel that I grew up on this course - when I ran in 1991 coached by Jim OBrien, it was a formative experience. I've run her trails many times over the years and know and love them; I know and love many of the people involved and the stories of the champions. I love this race but I also fear it. I believe that approaching her with anything but a humble respect is a recipe for a real thrashing. So tomorrow I will be off to my appointment with her, for love or for a thrashing: It may go well or I may blow up, and either way its all part of the fun.