THE ODDS (Debbie Does ALS)


Such a lovely morning

A little more than two years ago I was recovering from the hell that was the Chicago Marathon. Lynne, Adam, Jeff, and I had trained through the heat of summer and were eagerly anticipating the blustery cold of October in Chicago. I don't remember exactly when I started keeping track of the weather but, knowing how obsessive I am about these things, I wouldn't be surprised if it was four weeks in advance of the race. Things weren't looking good; long-range forecasts predicted warm temperatures. There may have been one day which gave a glimmer of hope -- I believe I read it was going to be in the 50s on race day. I must have been on drugs that day, because I never read another forecast like it again.

It was warm on the Friday we flew from Washington into O'Hare, it was warm on the Saturday we busied ourselves around the city of Chicago. We were all fairly resigned to our fate and decided to make the best of it the next day. Sunday morning we awoke to temperatures in the 70s, ungodly weather in which to start a 26.2 mile race. In defiance of my own rule never to run a marathon if the temperature was more than 50°, I took my place among the thousands of other stupid people.

I don't remember all the specifics but I do remember it was painful. At mile 10 I thought I was going to die; at the half I got sick and made the decision to quit. Having been instructed by Adam to carry my cell phone, I called him and discovered that both he and Jeff had called it quits as well. We made our way back to the hotel and waited for Lynne and Adam's sister, Anne. Those two fools had decided to stay in the race, despite the now 92° temperature AND despite the fact that the race had been canceled due to the intense heat. I am still amazed and impressed that these two pulled it off.

That was my last race pre-diagnosis. I ran in Richmond in mid-November and did a great time. For me.

What got me thinking about this? Today is cold and rainy, almost perfect marathon weather. As I poured my coffee I started to think about what sort of running gear I would wear on a day like this: shorts (naturally), a long-sleeved technical shirt (over a tank, as the long sleeves would come off around mile 3), a ball cap, mittens, and my leopard print ear bags. Instead, I am wearing my jammies, drinking coffee, writing this, waiting for Cecilia (who is taking her PSAT). Being out in the rain isn't much fun if you aren't running, especially in these temps. Anyway, as I was thinking about what I would be wearing today, I remembered what I was doing this time last year, and I started thinking about what I was doing two years ago. Chicago was a race I had hoped to run a second time in cooler weather. Oh well. Maybe I will go back to Chicago one day just for the hell of it.

Today I start taking baclofen. Any of my fellow ALS-ers have any personal insights into this drug?

I pick up C Claire in an hour. I may just have time for a quick nap.

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