Tapering: Trials, tribulations, and triumphs - October 22nd-31st

Tapering ain't easy. At least, that's what my Team Chances teammates have been telling me. They, at least, are experiencing a normal taper: reduced training load, slight increase in carb intake with slight decrease in caloric intake, lots of new emotions, and all that jazz. What about my taper? Well, I've been stuck in bed. Today, Halloween Day, is only the 4th day in the past two weeks, and the 1st day this week, that I have felt like myself. Thanks to an aggressive treatment plan from my PCP, including two classes of antibiotics and an elaborate regimen of steroids, nasal sprays, and inhalers, I am finally back on my feet. Which is a good thing, since November 4th is right around the corner!

Lest you be concerned that I will not be ready to race, rest assured that I will be as ready as NYC is ready to host me. Or readier. My PCP has cleared me to run on Sunday, and, thanks to Coach Loken, I have a series of race goals in ascending order of likely realization, at least one of which I'll be able to realize. I did have a good conversation with my PCP, and let her know that if she told me not to race, I would cancel the trip to NYC. But we know each other well, and she has confidence in this treatment plan (which, incidentally, is already working like a dream), so we're good to go!

Of course, dear reader, you are surely aware of the devastation that has befallen New York City and, indeed, almost the entire Eastern US seabord and a large swathe inland. In what follows, I will focus only on NYC, though my heart is heavy for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. In NYC alone, 22 deaths have been reported. Storm damage is severe, both from gusting winds and also rampant flooding. (Flooding was especially bad in Lower Manhattan, which is not one of the locales for the NYC Marathon.) Public transportation ground to a halt. Parts of NYC were effectively abandoned in the hours after Sandy struck. Some hospitals lost power, and NPR reported on a woman who was in active labor (6cm dilated) and who had to be evacuated to Mount Sinai Hospital to give birth to her son. Mayhem in Gotham. 

Only a small percentage of the storm coverage has focused on the NYC Marathon which, as some of you know, is one of the largest sporting events in the world. (This, presumably, is why it was in the news at all.) Some of the news stories indicated - and understandably so - that fire and police officials had more important things to do than respond to the race organizers' inquiries about the race-readiness of the official marathon course. But given municipal, state, and federal response to the emergency in NYC, it does indeed look as if the race will go on. This is a source of pride for New Yorkers - they're tough to the core, as one of my friends put it. 

Now, time for some more triumphs:

1. One of our Team Chances teammates, Tim, suffered a massive heart attack while training last month. Because he is a runner, because he is fit, he survived with no complications. Tim joined us for our team breakfast last Saturday, where he and the rest of the team were surprised with orange TIMStrong bracelets that we will wear as we run through the streets of burroughs of a resurgent NYC. 



2. One of my prospective students, a longtime marathoner, sent this lovely photo to wish me well in NYC. While I am sure it will be hard to hear anything above the crowds, I know I will be listening inward to enjoy my greatest physical accomplishment to date.Thanks, everyone, for your support! Once the final checks are tallied, I'm only $500 away from my fundraising goal, so please consider chipping in - maybe half to Chances for Children and half to the American Red Cross for their disaster efforts post-Sandy. Every penny counts.

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