TITLE: Itching to Get on The Road Again AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 29, 2004 8:05 AM DESC: a brief layoff from running ----- BODY: And I mean that literally. I haven't been able to run since last Friday. This is my longest break from my running routine in over a year, and I'm really ready to lace up my New Balances and hit the road again. However, I am recovering from the worst case of poison ivy I've had since I was in grade school. In some ways it is my worst ever. On Saturday, I was unable to move about comfortably. Lying in bed was nearly as uncomfortable. How did you get that, you ask? Let's just say that if I'm ever on Jeopardy!, and Alex Trebek asks me about my most embarrassing situation, I now have a really good something to say. Of course, the answer may disqualify me from appearing on Jeopardy!, so I may not let Alex know. If I have to take a week off from running, now is as good a time as any. I'm currently training for the Des Moines Marathon, which takes place on October 17. Any later, and a layoff would seriously affect my preparation. As it is, I can use this layoff as a rest for my body before seriously ramping up my miles in August and September. At I can rationalize it as such. Mostly, I just want to run. This will be my second marathon, by the way. Last October, I ran the Chicago Marathon for my first. That was great fun and a great teacher about running the distance. I'm approaching Des Moines with a bit more confidence but also with even more respect for the marathon. It's funny how learning about tough challenges can affect us in those seemingly opposite ways. Hubris and humility often go hand in hand. -----