Kind of an interesting week. I finished Andre Gide's, The Immoralist. I had never read any of his works, but had seen him referred to by other authors on a pretty regular basis. So, when I dropped into the Dusty Bookshelf and saw a cheapo Dover edition of his, I purchased it. My general impression of the work is that it is a lot like other Euro/N. Africa richie travel tomes of the era. The difference is that the main character isn't all that sympathetic because he is, well... immoral. He's not too immoral by today's standards, but he certainly is a bit of a sociopath with some narcissistic overtones. The main point of the work (or at least the main idea that I came away with) is that the true nature of people is manifested in the lowest act that they do. Very interesting. The work reminds me a bit of The Sheltering Sky (although again, it is a bit more immoral).
So I stopped into my favorite running store, Gary Gribble's, to get more BioFreeze for my legs. I had a chat with a sales person who is an acquaintance. I asked if she was going to run the Hospital Hill race next weekend. She told me that she has a slight injury, and is spending a little more time on the bike while it heals. I thought that it was too bad, because the HH run is one I've always wanted to do, and I was really looking forward to doing it.
The next day, Sunday, I took off on a medium distance run (8.5 mi). I figured that it would be the last run over 4 miles that I would do before the race. And, for the second week in a row, I experienced pain in my leg muscles. I also felt it a bit in my joints. I was able to finish the run in a bit better shape than the 11 miler the week before, but I felt a bit out of sorts. After I got inside an cooled off a bit, I went to pee. What came out looked a lot like squid ink. Well, as you can imagine, peeing squid ink kind of freaked me out. I immediately called my doctor's office. The physician on call and I went over everything. The best guess is that I was dehydrated, and the black stuff was a bit of the inner lining of my kidneys sloughing off. I had always heard of runners having a bit of blood in their urine after some runs, but I had never heard of that.
So, for the past couple of days I've made certain to remain hydrated. I've been to the doctor's office for blood and urine work, and I've given running a bit of a rest, opting to do a couple of shorter bike rides on my Specialized Sequoia (god, I love that bike). Until I know what really caused the 'ink' incident, I'm scaling back to shorter runs this week (mainly on trails to reduce the pounding), and am taking a pass of the HH run. It is hard to give up doing a race that I've always wanted to do when I feel as though I'm in great shape to do it. But I'd rather have long-term running ability than injure myself on a half-marathon. It'll be there next year. I may be opting for more marathons than halfs next year anyway...
Mainly, though, I just love to run. Races are sort of special targets on which to focus. But if I never ran another race, and could instead just go do my own longer runs, I'd be a very fortunate person. So that's that. I'll update on what caused the 'ink' spill when I have the results.