Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sunday Stroll


I dropped back and kept a sharp eye on my heart rate this Sunday. Mindful of Coach Jeff Galloways's last few e-mail notes about my overtraining, I kept it very light.

Average heart rate was a little under 60% for two and a half hours. And I am sleeping better as a result of backing off a bit and NOT trying to get rid of all my frustrations during my training runs for the Boston Marathon.

If you have a Polar Heart Rate Monitor, especialy one as good as the S625X, it sorts behooves ya to pay attention to it.

Now I see there is a new Polar HRM that monitors cadence and stride length!!!! Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday Ten K


To get the full scope of this run, you need to drop down to the proceeding Blog.

Even as I am about to run my twentieth Marathon, and thirtieth race of greater than 26.2 miles, I am still learning, endlessly learning how to pace myself in training.

You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can always try to keep him from getting run over by a truck... Posted by Picasa

Coach's Corner

I checked in with Jeff Galloway, and we reviewed my last two weeks worth of workouts. I mentioned my chest pain, and a realistic weight loss schedule that wouldn't cause me to get slower by not getting enough nutrition or through the loss of lean muscle mass.

Jeff's first concern was my chest pain:


You need to get the chest pains checked out immediately. This may not be related to cardiovascular problems but you need to find out.

Most men can lose about half a pound to a pound a week with no major problems. I suggest using a website such as www.fitday.com to help you.

Except for the mile repeats, you are on track. I will delay advice until I hear back from you concerning the medical check up. I suggest no hard running at all--just jog for short distances until you get the OK from the doctor.


I then updated Jeff on my ECG (EKG) Stress Test and the results.


Thanks for your note, and the blog. You did the right thing. The stress test misses about 15% of cardiac problems, I'm told,so you must still be vigilant.

You are definitely over trained right now. Try to run very easily on your weekday runs, and take rest days from exercise between runs. Don't do any drills or fast running on the Tues and Thurs runs. Before long runs and mile repeats, you need to rest as much as you can.

We want running to relieve stress--not produce it.


After a query from me about the "why and how" I could be overtrained, Jeff added the following.


Assuming that your chest pains are not cardiovascular in nature, your responsibilities of caregiver, being on your feet for long hours, long and stressful days--all of this leads to the inability of the body to recover between weekend workouts. If you take it easy on the weekday runs, and enjoy them, you can concentrate on the quality during the weekend sessions.

So I'm saying that you would not lose any conditioning by running easy on Tues and Thurs. By allowing for some recovery, you may get a stress release, and a rebound of the recovery systems.


Of course I got Jeff's e-mails AFTER going out for my 10K yesterday. Probably pushed it a little in the second half.

What was ironic of course was that on the Tuesday night lecture part of our most recent Marathon Clinic, the topic - on which yours truly spoke - was on the dangers of over-training! And of the benefits of using a heart rate monitor to KEEP from overtraining!

And Seymour handed out my rather infamous "Vince's Top Ten Running Mistakes", the top three of which are Pacing, Pacing and Pacing.

As I have always said; I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer...

So, I will follow Jeff's instructions to the "T" and take the next week much easier.

And I can't express in words how fortunate and appreciative I am to have Jeff Galloway in my corner as an E-Coach at this particular time in my life.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stress is the Best

I went for my stress test yesterday.

I was still stiff from Sunday's mile repeats, so I skipped the Tuesday night tempo run. I was clearly not recovered enough and my resting heart rate was up significantly.

I went for a stress test because of the sudden arrival of chest pains and a family history of heart disease that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Plus, my resting heart rate and blood pressure have suddenly shot up in the past few months.

Family doctor and cardiologist and ECG technician and Stress Test Technician all couldn't imagine that my chest pains were cardiac in origin given my base fitness level from running.

But given my abysmal family history the safest mediacl course was to rule it out. Hence the stress test. I showed the cardiologist some of my recent Polar Heart Rate Monitor charts and he said I had been giving myself "stress tests on a regular basis".

Everyone was incredibly kind and understanding and when I recited the family history of ailments they just whistled. And said I wasn't wasting anyone's time - which was sort of what I feared and dreaded the most - and they assured me that I was doing the right thing under the circumstances.

A stress test is really no different than a MAX VO2 test. Same tread mill, same grade. No mask like to MAX VO2 for the gas exchange, but what seemed like a dozen electrical leads.

You start out slow and increase both the incline and the speed of the treadmill. Plus they take your blood pressure every three minutes.

Cranked the machine up and up and up and faster and faster and faster and my heart rate up increased to just under 180 for almost twenty minutes. Sweat poured off of me and the tread inclined to the hilliest of hill work-outs. Finally I was just exhausted and tired and asked - mind you it was gaspingly asked - the lovely technician Karen if she had enough data for an analysis of my heart. She said yes and then it was over.

Long story short. A healthy heart. No signs of any problems. Every part of the machine fully oxygenated. The odd extra beat. Normal.

Then in a few minutes a dull pain in my chest. Karen sweetly asked me to wait for a consult with a cardiologist. He was young and professional and perceptive and clearly good at what he does. A brief discussion about the pain, where it was located, what did it feel like, and the sort. A look at my ECG.

The cardiologist said that the stress test on first glance was negative. Keep running. Keep training for Boston. Try to relax. The pain is real. The cause, still unknown. Try to relax.

So, next step is to see the results from all the bllod tests.

And to keep running.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mile Repeats, Or: Repeatedly Getting Getting My Ass Kicked

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Simply the hardest work out I have done since running the last ten K in Boston last April 16th.

It was wet day and I may have made a mistake by running an easy 8 K as a "warm-up". I also screwed the pooch by not following Jeff Galloway's coaching instructions well enough... I was supposed to to a 15 second walk break at 800 metres.

I was also supposed to do the first couple of miles repeats in 7:20 and then try to finish the last couple at 7:10...

Ha!!!!! Ha, Ha, Ha...

That was the sound of hysterical laughter.

The first three miles were in around 7:40. I gutted out two at 7:30 and then struggled and I mean struggled on a gargantuan scale to keep the last three under eight minutes.

Possibilities? Probablities? I don't want to make excuses.

I weigh 196 pounds.

I am 17% body fat, as measured.

Air temperature was two degrees above freezing.

It was raining.

The track was extrememly muddy and at the end it looked like I was running in rubber boots in stead of Asics Nimbus VIIIs.

The edge of the track was nearly circled with puddles, so I was a good three to six feet outside the edge of the track for significant periods.

Bottom line. Stop making excuses. Winners never whine.

The work out, the mile repeats, really hurt. I mean really hurt.

Far worse than any hill work out I have ever done. 1600 meters just seems to go on and on for forever and forever.

Patrick was a saint for being with me and sticking out my whining and sniveling in the cold drizzle that never let up and soaked us through our clothes and skin and to the bone.

I really have to lose fifteen pounds and seven percent body fat or I am never even going to get close to 3:30 in Boston, never mind 3:19...

Sunday was a real wake up call.

As of now, I am not fast enough or lean enough. But I have eleven weeks left to work some magic.

I only finished the work out because of Patrick's yeoman-like support and the fact that my Polar S625X Heart Rate Monitor never misses a beat...

Quite the wake-up call. Time to retrench and not get too discouraged. Maybe it was just a bad day...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good Lord, I Hate to Be Passed


I missed my run yesterday... and most of work, because what I thought would be a five hour slice of time set aside to help my father in the morning ballooned into ten hours and the evening.

Sometimes that's just the way it is. I got a nice lunch out of the deal.

But I was short a run, and seeing as how I have eight - count 'em, EIGHT! - mile repeats tomorrow morning, I thought I'd take today relatively easy.

So I covered just under nine miles in an hour and a half. It being Saturday and all, and even a day when the sun came out, the paths were jam-packed with runners. And that was nice to see.

Despite every effort to be disciplined and maintain an easy steady pace, just the sound of feet, the merest hint of a footfall, and I wanted to gear up, or down, as the case may be. My Lord, how I hate to be passed. And this was not even a hard practise, let alone a race! Without my Polar S625X Heart Rate Monitor I would have been lost. simply lost.

Sheeeeesh, when am I ever going to grow up... ???

My only solution was to focus on smiling at everyone I passed by. Worked like a charm. And was worth a giggle or two. And it took my mind off my feet and my pace. I was even able to laugh out loud when a couple of jogging strollers blew past me...

Now THAT'S discipline!

And I can't forget the one year old fiercely clutching a little Curious George stuffed monkey the same size as himself (or herself) as they went by in the stroller, both Mom and Dad at the wheel, wafting in their wake a strange aroma of babies, baby powder, chewing gum and bananas...

What a wonderful life. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hills, Hills, Hills - Bridges and Broadway...


Ran 7.4 miles in 56:50 tonight. Legs and lungs felt good. Over the Burrard Street Bridge and up to Broadway made the run seem a little like a hill work-out. Not a bad way to prepare for the Boston Marathon all things considered.

My weight has crept back up to 195 as work and dealing with my father out of the hopital has made me somewhat less able to control my diet.

Come February I think I am going to cut alcohol out of my diet until after Boston. That alone should be worth a pound a week. And the mounting miles will take care of the rest...

I went for a half-price pasta dinner and actually brought home a doggie bag! As always for me, portion control is the key to losing weight.

All the information that my father has been getting about his diabetes and controlling it with a proper diet hasn't hurt me either.

I was a little taken aback by the flood of e-mails and phone calls I received after writing about getting chest pains while hanging around my old man. Thank you for your concern.

Prior to posting I had already contacted my doctor, who although he thinks there is a negligble risk that the pain I am experiencing is actually cardiac in origin, thinks that given my abysmal family history of heart disease it is not a bad idea for me to have a stress test and some other "thing" (a test whose name escapes me at the moment...). Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Tempo

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My Polar S625X foot pod crapped out, so for the tempo run tonight, all I have for data is my heart rate and time. Good enough. Six kilometers in 29 minutes flat...

Average heart rate, 171. Maximum heart rate, 182.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday in the Snow

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As I crossed the Burrard Bridge this morning, the temperature on the side of Molson Brewery read -7. When I ran back across in the opposite direction nearly four hours later, the temperature was a few degrees above freezing, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud to be seen. Cold but beautiful.

I layered up and was never too cold, although it is the first time in Vancouver that I've worn a baseball cap OVER a toque wile on a run. "Toque" is a uniquely Canadian word for a wool hat, only this one was made from technical fibres - probably recycled pop bottles...

I ran the first 10 or 11K with friends and the last leg of the thirty-odd kilometres I ran this morning by myself. Too much to think about lately.

There are two charts because of the brain cramp that caused me to turn off my Polar half an hour into the run...

My noodle must have been frozen.

Early in the run I just wanted it to be over with - 32K on January 14! - and I found it hard to keep my pace at 65%. And had to remind myself to hydrate despite the cold.

Despite all the ice and snow on the ground, the footing was surprisingly good. And the miles rolled away underfoot. Was a great way to be reminded of the joys to be found alongside the edge of the road.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How Long~!?


Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Father's Heart

My father is getting discharged from the hospital tomorrow - did I mention he was re-admitted on Christmas Day? - and my first response on hearing this news was to experience excruciating pain in my chest. I kid you not. It almost brought me to my knees. I walked back to my car gasping for breath, and in agony, until I washed down a couple of aspirin.

Families. Ya gotta luv 'em...

I have been suffering severe chest pain for several months, specific to my left pectoral, and it feels internal and it radiates into my left arm. Of course, I am not the slightest bit ignorant of the fact that it happens to have coincided almost exactly with my father having been admitted to the hospital in Washington State with a heart attack on November 7, also about the exact same time I began to suffer from insomnia.

The chest pain, imagined or otherwise, is a dull ache that I feel almost every day, sometimes for several hours, and sometimes the pain is absolutely excruciating. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with chest pain. I know it sounds crazy, and I feel crazy for even thinking it, but I have to wonder, is it possible I have arterial blockages even with all my running? Am I just being a psychosomatic hypochondriac? A sympathetic heart attack?

I mean, even I am the first one to admit what a fucking drama queen I am. When the pain is really bad I take a couple of aspirin and I feel better. Imagination? I'm a FUCKING writer!!!

I mean, I did weigh fifty pounds more than I do right now when I was 39 and 40. I know I've run almost twenty marathons in the past six years but so did Jim Fixx and he dropped dead in his mid-fifties. Of course he also smoked but he was a skinny little bastard when he dropped dead.... And my Father, my Uncle and my Aunt have ALL had multiple heart attacks, bypass surgery and gotten diabetes BEFORE the age of sixty.

I even enrolled in a medical study because I get a blood test every month for nine months and a whole series of EKGs (or ECGs). How bizarre is that? Of course having erratic readings and having the nurse tell me I seemed "under stress" hasn't helped at all. Fact is, both my resting heart rate and my blood pressure have shot up in the past few months...

I keep wondering if there is any way I can see for myself that my heart arterial arteries/veins whatever, are clear... I am seriously losing sleep over this and it is affecting my training for the Boston Marathon. I am thinking of dropping a thousand bucks in a private clinic in the United States just to get a CT scan of my heart...

Honestly, I feel like an idiot every time I think this, but the bottom line is that this pain is for real. And visiting my father in the hospital every day is the ultimate rebuttal to a life spent living in denial. Of course, once I again, I can not help but notice the strange correlation between my chest pain and seeing my father every day in the hospital for the past ten weeks...

Families, ya gotta luv 'em...

If I Google "arterial blockage symptoms" any more times I am going to scream. It's all medical mush and fuzzy generalities. Nothing specific.

You'd think they - the medical community, of course - would have devised a sound, logical, and rational way to figure this out by now...

Of course, you feel stupid for thinking this, and you know in your heart of hearts you're probably wasting everyone's time even mentioning it, but if I suffer a heart attack, and given my family history and all, I would feel pretty stupid having felt the way I have and not said anything.

God, bottom line, why isn't there a window into my heart arteries?

Families, ya gotta luv 'em...

I'd rather be suffering a sympathetic pregnancy...

Snowy, Snowy Night


For an hour the snow drifted down. After the hard 10K (actually 6.3 miles) last Thursday in 46 minutes and the 6K yesterday in 31 minutes and changes, I was leg tirned. Flat. Didn't seem to matter HOW easy the Sunday run was...

My accelerometer battery went dead and it was all heart rate data and nothing but. I backed off and ran a long 10K in 59 minutes - but after real leg weariness and flatness at the halfway point, I felt rejuvenated over the last few kilometeres and pulled back some runners. Also could have been the chicken burritto with double re-fried beans at lunch... Had to drop back several times out of simple courtesy...

As for the runners I reeled in...

Pacing, Gentlemen, pacing, pacing, pacing... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday Night 6K


The Tuesday night Marathon Clinic was running late and so was I. As the minutes ran past seven o'clock, I still had to squeeze in a tempo run and squeak into the hospital before eight to visit my father - because after eight o'clock it is all locked doors and security gurads and an intercom to be admitted and a name check and... a huge pain in the... well, you get the picture. The difference between a minute before eight and a minute after is night and day and huge amounts of waiting around and I still had fathers to see, dogs to walk and some kind of healthy Boston diet plan to follow.

I was hoping to do 8K, but a cold rain turned into slush which turned into snow and I was in shorts and just about left my pecker in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, which meant the run turned into 6K.

Heart rate is higher than I wanted. After the hard 10K less than a week ago. But it's the Boston Marathon, baby. Will back off on the ten K tomorrow as I ease into my eagerly anticipated 32K this weekend. Was that I hint of sarcasm I detected?

Hopefully my old man will be out of the joint soon. Watching him try to fix me up with his nurses and his doctors and his physios in a style that could best be described as ham-fisted blundering with a blunt wit is almost as painful to watch as is to endure as the focal point of his machinations. It is, as you can imagine if you know my father even if only in passing, carried out as might be the bludgeoning of baby seals by fascists suffering severe astigmatism and excessively bad hand-eye co-ordinations. Quite possibly halitosis as well. Morons, in other words...

In the end, my father was extremely pleased with his new Hip-Hop track suit wardrobe I purchased for him for his crazy Christmas in the Emergency Room of St. Paul's... Black, Navy, Red and all interchangeable. It's "sweet" to quote one of the twelve year olds in the marathon clinic. A French fashion model agrees...

Speaking of folks in the clinic. Some fast bunnies. Will be interesting to see how they do over the course of the next few months..

A French Model even said so.

And despite what the French say about most dross and piffle - how can you argue with them about food, wine, women, several rather sexually deviant but ultimately incrediably erotic positions of which you, not being French, will die never having know the nirvanva that accompanies such hedonistic contortions; clothes, cheese and bread? - they say it so very delightfully. Posted by Picasa

Happiness 101 - New York Times

Happiness 101 - New York Times


How happy are you?

Find out here...


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Same Old Same Old

Wussied out on Friday. Snow and rain never stopped. Ran a measely 6 K and then my feet were just too damn wet and too damn cold. So I turned around and went home.

Walked at least 10K on Saturday out of some sense of guilt... What's that all about!

Got back on Coach Galloway's schedule today. 10K and a TT. Next Sunday, 32 K!

Looking forward to some speed on Tuesday.

Bastards at breakfast were commenting on my girth vis a vis Boston and my time goal. I ate an extra sausage just to spite them. Bastards.

194 this morning. I know what they're talking about...

Thank God! the holiday season is over.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Poked my head out this morning and did a turtle. Snow!

Snow on the ground and rain mixed with sleet. And did I mention the cold wind...

Given that I'm a little stiff from yesterday's effort, I'll potpone my run until this afternoon.

In the meantime, here is something to amuse you...

Most runners will admit - usually after a few of their favorite beverage of choice - that they sometimes imagine themselves in a race as a sportscar.

Well, here is a test that suggests just what kind of sportscar you might be based on a few personality traits...

Me - I was the Italian Sledgehammer - also known as the Lamborghini Murcielago. Frankly, I'm not even sure I can pronounce it...


So what kind of sportscar are you?


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Morning 10K

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I felt I owed myself and Jeff Galloway a hardish 10K this morning. Last night I was just too exhausted, more emotionally than physically in all honesty, to make the Wednesday Night Run Club. Sometimes you just don't want to talk about all the obvious things in your life - despite how well-meaning the intentions are of the people who ask after you.

So I went out this morning intending to run at lactate threshold and, maybe because of the rain in my face and the wind and the ache in my heart, I just ran.

And ran.

And ran.

And let my heart rate get away from me because I could.

I haven't seen 185 in a long while let me tell you...

It felt good.

Another good reason to run.

Just Run

Today, is, of course January 4, 2007. In ten days it will be the second anniversary of this Blog. This is my 430th post. This Blog has lasted longer than most of my relationships and almost as long as my marriage...

The stated purpose of Boston or Bust was for me to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I have done so twice - both times by the skin of my teeth.

If I can do it - just about anybody can do it.

I lowered my previous best marathon time from 3:52:08 (I think...) to 3:29:39, which sent me on my merry way to the Boston Marathon. In Boston, through what amounts to a small miracle, I re-qualified in a time of 3:30:38.

In the intervening two years I have run nearly a dozen marathons and made many wonderful friends. Some of whom I can even tolerate still... And a few of whom can even tolerate me. No small feat.

I have picked up a few things along the way. I hesitate to call it wisdom.

The only reason to run is if you are having fun.

Granted, some days are more enjoyable than others, but if you do not have a great big sloppy grin on your face while running through the woods, do yourself a favour and find a healthy activity that gives you joy and profound sense of being alive.

A healthy lifestyle depends on a healthy diet. You can not eat too many leafy green things. Love them and they will love your body.

I started this journey north of two hundred pounds. I am hovering around one hundred and ninety as I type. And I will head further south as my mileage and training intensity increases over the next few months.

Your percentage of body fat is far more important than what you weigh.

If you are determined to get faster, the easiest way is to get leaner. Talk to a nutritionist.

I could not have qualified for the Boston Marathon without my Polar Heart Rate Monitor. No if, ands or buts about it. If you are not training at least some of the time with a heart rate monitor, you are simply not serious about your training. That is okay if you are just running for fun. But if you have goals, you need a measuring stick.

To quote a dear friend, "Vince, the data does not lie!"

You are not a serious runner if you do not keep a training log.

You are not serious about your diet if you do not keep a food diary.

The marathon is a race that rewards planning and preparation.

If you don't have a marathon plan for success, you have a plan for failure.

The marathon race itself is about the careful management of scarce physical resources. You will pass a lot of stupid people in the last few miles of a race. Don't be one of them.

You will never have enough pairs of shoes. Don't cheap out.

Always carry spare running gear in your vehicle. When you need something the most, you will always leave it on the kitchen counter at home.

Always bring an extra gel for the long run. If you don't eat it, someone else will. They will owe you big time... This is good for your karma account.

There is no such thing as too much personal lubrication on runs more than twenty kilometres.

Stretching to prevent injury is the greatest running myth of all time. Remember, myths die hard.

Always listen to your body. Training is nothing more than stressing the body, recovering, and then stressing the body again. Each time you recover from the stress you impose, you should be faster and stronger. Everyone is different. Every body is different. Sometimes you may need extra recovery days. You are still training when you are recovering. It took me five years and ten marathons to grasp this principle...

See, I told you that marathoning rewards intelligence.

Eighty percent of your training volume is done at low intensity. Most people do it too hard. They are the injured ones...

Without an aerobic base you are not really a marathoner. You are a half-marathoner who has gone too far... And a pretender.

The marathon does not start until twenty miles (32K).

The only way to survive the last ten kilometres of a marathon is to pay your dues.

Never miss a long slow Sunday run.

Never back off on your tempo runs.

Never quit on the hills.

When you think you can't go any further, or harder or faster - you can.

During the last ten K of a marathon, the hills are your friends. If you take care of your hills, your hills will take care of you.

The last ten K of a marathon will reveal more about your character, your heart and your integrity than you may want to know.

The only person you have anything to prove to in a marathon is yourself.

Every marathon finished is a victory.

Have fun when you run.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Desperately Seeking Snoozing

Shortly after my father had a heart attack back on November 7th, I began suffering from insomnia. I mean, walking the halls at night, insomnia. The real shit. For the past six weeks, to be more or less exact, I have not had a truly good - meaning refreshing - night's sleep. I go to bed at a sensible hour - make an often hopeless attempt to restrict my liquor consumption just before going to lie down - and try to make a sleep routine. Invariably my eyes are wide open at some time between two and three in the morning. I lay there, hopeless in the knowledge that there is no other alternative for me that to get up... I will lay awake for hours at a time.

I have tried hot showers, warm-milk and self-gratification and sometimes a strange combination of all three, which really does leave an odd mess on occasion to clean up in the morning...

My friends query me about strange notes sent at all hours of the night. Exhausted, I crawl back to bed after creeping down the hallway from my office around five. Then I am up again at eight...

Total sleep, maybe five hours in total. None of it very restful. My eyes are smoky, red-rimmed pits. You could carry luggage in the pits underneath my baby browns.

Insomnia. It sounds harmless. After a while, your eyes and your thoughts and your senses and your memory all just hurt. After a while you walk around as if in a room full of murky water, like a slightly neglected aquarium. You can't really see or hear anything with your usual degree of clarity or understanding. You spend a lot of time saying 'pardon' because you don't quite get things the first time around. You are the slightly thick one in the crowd. Which is terrible debilitating if you are accustomed to be the wit or the quick one with the ready quip.

Words, vocabulary and whole senteneces are formed in my brain but never get uttered. I think it's the sheer fatigue. Last night, and granted I was drinking a little, but I was no where near my occasional Olympian standards, and I have NO memeory of nearly fours of conversation.

Sometimes when I drive, I find myself at home and not remembering how I got there. That is a deeply disturbing experience. Frightening even...

I find myself wandering my apartment, knowing I was looking for something important but not being able to remember what I am supposedly looking for. Funny. But not too funny...

My work has piled up to the point where I have had to work from early in the morning to well past midnight sometimes for days in a row.

Not too hard to figure out which activity in my life gets sacrificed while I also scramble to find time to visit my father in the hospital. Run, what run... ???

My father was discharged from the hospital in mid-December and as his sole and primary caregiver, did all his shopping, grocery store runs, pharmacy stops, meal preparation, house-cleaning, and etc, for the ten days the experiment lasted. The experiment failed. My father can not take care of himself without huge amounts of help.

On Christmas Day as my father's health condition worsened, I had to take him into the Emergency Room, where after six hours, he was admitted. And there he resides, once again in the hospital.

And my family physician took one look at me after a consult about my father's medical situation and prescribed a sleeping pill. God, I hope it works.

And as for my training for the Boston Marathon. Maybe this just isn't my year...