Friday, August 13, 2010

A wrench in the taper / Attica! Attica! Attica!

During the taper, you hope for no surprises. You just want everything to go smoothly--for the body to heal and feel stronger every day, for the focus to sharpen, for good health, and for the energy level to rise.

Not so with my Leadville 100 taper. Earlier today, I learned I have a throat infection that is not far from full-blown strep throat. My son, Noah, has full-blown strep and is now on an antibiotic. I too am now on an antibiotic for the next 10 days. Leadville is in 8 days.

Since I've never been in such a situation as this, I have sought the advice of two physicians who also happen to be ultrarunners. I asked them if it would be safe to run a 100-mile race with antibiotics in my system. They said it would be safe, but they also suggested careful attention to my hydration level and my salt intake. No non-steroidal anti-inflammatories during the race, they said. Tylenol would be fine. One of them also suggested increased consumption of yogurt and other sources of probiotics before the race to help prevent antibiotic-caused diarrhea during the event. Yogurt it is!

I just now realized that my own physician--the one who prescribed my antibiotic--also said I could run the race. So that means three doctors have advised that it's OK to run Leadville.

Honestly, I'm not that worried about running the Leadville 100 with antibiotics in my system. Is this ideal? No. The good news is that by race day the infection should be over and done with, or damn close to it. If doctors were advising against my running Leadville, I'd have something to think about. Right now, my thoughts are better off directed toward final preparations, and toward getting my left heel, which is stricken with plantar fasciitis, in good shape. My hope is that plenty of rest next week going into Leadville will do the trick. Right now, I wish I could say my heel is much better, but it isn't.

So, overall, this is not where I wanted to be with Leadville 8 days away--on antibiotics and with a sore heel. But no worries! I have toughed it out in many races and will do so at Leadville!


I'm now implementing a new feature with every blog post--a classic film scene. The Al Pacino of the 1970s happens to be among my favorite actors. From the first two "The Godfather" films to "Dog Day Afternoon" and other classics of the 1970s, Pacino was masterful. Unfortunately, in the eighties and nineties he really pressed his acting too much. You see a huge difference between his masterful performance as Michael Corleone in the first two "Godfathers" and his performance in, for example, "Scent of a Woman," a film rife with over-acting from Pacino. He has had his moments of greatness in recent years, though. He was brilliant in "The Insider" and was very good in "Heat," which stars another actor I adore--Robert Deniro. So, on that note, I leave you with a classic Pacino scene from "Dog Day Afternoon":

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