Less than a week to go before running my next marathon, and again I have runner's "issues". A couple of times I've come down with colds and other times its been a nagging hamstring issue. Oh, I'm sure part of my past issues were partly mental. But this latest issue might actually be a real issue. New to the list this go-around is one that's purely physical. The dreaded IT band issue, a common ailment among many runners, has made it's first appearance in my life. It first popped up two weeks ago around mile 13 of a 20-miler. It came out of nowhere, and I had to stop twice between miles 13 and 20. I felt the same pain again last Friday night on my last "long" run, just an easy 9-miler, but the IT pain was there again. My marathon finishing times have been slowed by heat, slowed by lack of training, but never have been forced to a "DNF" (Did Not Finish). I guess I'll find out next Sunday if this latest running "issue" is the real deal.