I've been real good about my exercise regimen in recent weeks, with a string of uninterrupted daily workouts. My runs, for instance, have got to be at least a mile long for them to count. But I reluctantly took a day off in light of a very sore back, and it's made me itchy all day long. The effects of a positive addiction, I guess. I probably strained my back from a combination of swimming pool hijinks with a half-dozen kids under the age of ten the other day and the cumulative effect of banging out dozens of laps on the hard surface of the indoor track in the Johnson Athletic Center. My knees feel the pounding, too, so I concluded I had better take it easy today, especially with a 14-hour flight just two days away. Hopefully this day of rest will have me ready to resume my training tomorrow. My goal is to stay on softer surfaces as much as possible when running.