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Sometimes Coffee is Not the Right Thing

A good way to get yourself to run on Sunday is to don’t run Saturday, so you will be obligated to run or to take two or more likely three days in a row off (because it is VERY difficult for me to run on a Monday). My alarm woke me up at 6, which is unusual for me (I didn’t have to work, but Steven did). At first I said, “I can’t run right away, I’d better have coffee first.” I immediately thought better of that plan and ran pre-coffee.

I congratulated myself on my perspicacity as I started running down the sidewalk (yes, I use words like “perspicacity” before having coffee). After all, coffee would make me more clever about thinking of excuses not to run. I wished I had run Saturday. Not because it would have been a good idea to take Sunday off, but because it felt like I had taken a lot longer than one day off. I carefully reviewed my week in my head as I ran. Yes, ran Friday, took Saturday off. Damn.

I had it in my head to run up the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC). I have run it in recent memory (I probably did a blog post about it), but I have not run it as many times as I would like to before the DARE 5K in August.

When I had run on Friday, I had looked up the hill, but it was still quite dark out. The streetlights beckoned, but my nerves failed me. In my defense, it is disconcerting to run prior to four in the morning. Also, the path up to HCCC has woods on either side. I know there are deer that come out and cross the road. Who knows what nocturnal critters I might encounter?

These considerations were not valid on a July Sunday after 6 a.m., so up I went. My body was not happy with me, but I persevered. This hill wasn’t so bad, I told myself. After a while, I believed myself (why would I lie?). Still, I want to run that hill a bunch more times before the DARE 5K.

As I ran, I heard a rumble. Was that thunder? Thunder, we are told, is grounds for immediately returning home. Once I get out on a run, I do NOT look for excuses for immediately returning home. I wanted to run at least 40 minutes, maybe even 44, so I could increase my time by the recommended ten percent. That probably wasn’t thunder, I thought. It was probably some big old truck doing some big old truck thing. I kept running.

I ran towards the road that goes the back way down the hill. I saw a “Do Not Enter” sign, so I entered. It was just a little turn-off kind of street, didn’t even take me that long out of my way. I briefly considered continuing the other way and running by the reservoir but thought that would be better when I was up to running 50 or more minutes.

I passed two No Left Turn signs as I ran down the hill but had made up my mind to go straight for a while. I even turned and ran up another hill. Not a big, bad hill, but big enough so I could say to myself, “Yeah, I’m bad.” Was that another rumble? Probably another truck, I told myself. Anyways, there was Valley Health. I could turn towards it and be on my way home. Didn’t I once say something like safety first for Mohawk Valley Girl?

Surely it would be OK to run by the school instead of straight home (and I’ll call you Shirley if I feel like it). I really really wanted to run at least 40 minutes. I heard a train. Was that a rumble as well? No, no, just the train making that noise. I could keep running.

After running by the school I went kind of sort of straight home. The rumbles increased to where I could no longer pretend they were not thunder. I made my 44 minutes by running around the two vehicles in my driveway several times.

Tabby declined to go on my cool-down walk, with me. That was quite all right with me. I walked around my backyard for a shortened cool-down. The storm began in earnest while I was stretching out. Oh was I right not to have coffee first!

So Many Posts, So Little Time

I am writing my Saturday post earlier in the day than I did last Saturday. Last Saturday I became so absorbed in my to-do list that I did not get to my blog post (which WAS on the to-do list) till I was much too tired to make a real success of it. Still, one does one’s humble best.

Today I have no to-do list, although I had and have several things to in fact do. Some are blogworthy, but I want to take some time and do good posts on them, not fly by the seat of my pants posts (which makes for an awkward mental image in addition to being a cliche, but it amused me to mention the seat of my pants). Therefore, I will offer a brief summary of today’s activities, which may also serve as a preview of coming attractions.

I ran yesterday so did not plan to run today. I could still write a Running Commentary about that run, although it is fast fading from memory. I did manage to write a few postcards and walk with my dog Tabby to the post office with them, rendering a Pedestrian Post eligible.

Next I attended Coffee and Conversation with a Cop. What a great program! I want to do a good blog post on that! I left there in time to shop at the Herkimer County Humane Society’s Garage Sale, another event which deserves a real post.

After a couple more errands, I came back home for some cleaning chores to be followed by cooking chores. I have not done a cooking post in a while, and I am often threatening to do a cleaning post. I tell you, the possibilities are endless!

But before I write any more, I must return to my cooking and cleaning. And I MIGHT also watch a cheesy movie such as I love to write about. And work on my novel, which if anybody who read yesterday’s post will know is going well once again.

I do hope everybody’s Saturday is progressing as pleasantly and productively as mine is.

Novel Thoughts

Dammit, I can WRITE. I am an awesome writer! You would not BELIEVE the fiction that comes from these same fingers that are currently typing this Friday Lame Post. Wait a minute, I mean you WOULD believe it, because my characters are wonderful, and the story would carry you along.

I had thought NOT to have a Friday Lame Post this week since I have been not exactly non-lame for most of the rest of the week. I guess nobody believed that was going to happen, although who knows, it may someday. To that end (as well as for my fitness and weight-loss goals), I ran this morning. I fully intended to write a Running Commentary while at work. Well, let me explain what happened, starting yesterday.

I have mentioned the problems I have been having with the novel I am writing. It’s been at kind of a standstill, progressing at irregular dribs and drabs. Well-written dribs and drabs, I hope, but still. But my determination is unwavering and I persevere. I spend a good portion of every day at least THINKING about my plot and my characters. I come to very few conclusions.

Until yesterday. There I was, at my machine, hard at work, when two lines came to me, rather dramatic lines spoken by two characters who have previously had no interaction. I pondered them and found them to be good. I surreptitiously pulled out the little notebook I carry in my BDU pants and jotted them down. I pondered them more, where they were said, who else was there, what else was happening.

Then the buzzer rang for the two o’clock break. I ran to my full-size notebook and started writing like mad! That has not happened to me in YEARS! A co-worker made a sarcastic remark about my leaving my machine turned on. I went and turned it off. He made another couple of sarcastic remarks. I ignored them.

“Kind of busy here,” I said, which was not particularly well-received, but I was buried in the fiction by now and was unaware of further sarcastic remarks. It was great.

I’ll be damned if a similar thing didn’t happen to me today, on breaks and on lunchs. Perhaps the writing was a little less intense, but I liked it. I admit it wasn’t all good. I would write a scene, then think about it later, realize there was a better thing to happen, get to the next break and write a new, better scene. Oh, it was fun. This is the way writing was meant to be!

And so I didn’t write a blog post. And I’m not apologizing about it. I’m going to go back and work on my novel some more. When I finish it and publish it, you can read it and tell me if I wasn’t right to do so.

Show Us How You Feel, Tabby

The Mohawk Valley adventure I had planned for last night got rained out. I didn’t care, because the rain cooled things off, as it had been predicted to do. I would have liked to go running after work and offered a Running Commentary. However, I had something sad I had to attend to. When I finally got home, I thought I would take my dog Tabby for a walk and attempt a Pedestrian Post.

I thought the cooler temperature would be nice to walk in, and I felt I owed Tabby one after I had arrived home only to leave again earlier. She started jumping and barking excitedly as soon as I started putting on my sneakers. I have to hide when I am putting on sneakers and do not intend to take her for a walk.

I was glad I had remembered my crazy old lady hat, because the sun was bright. We started down Bellinger, enjoying the breeze, then turned onto Church. We soon heard some determined barking. I could tell it was from inside a house, so I wasn’t too concerned. Then I saw this big dog poking his head up underneath the shade on a window. I had to laugh. Tabby reacted with dignity, offering nary a bark in return but squatting to poo on the dog’s lawn. I laughed even more but made sure I picked it up.

We walked by Tabby’s beloved Historic Four Corners and turned down Main Street. I providentially found a trash can to dispose of her poo. I had a spare bag, in case of the rare two-poop walk. Tabby stopped to sniff some bushes in front of a bank. I looked around, but nobody had carelessly dropped any money. Hey, it could happen.

Tabby got some more good sniffs in near Basloe Library, but we did not walk though the little park there as we often do. Instead we walked down to Park Avenue and went by the post office on our way to Meyers Park. Something was going on in the park, so we walked around.

The breeze had died down somewhat and the sun was quite warm. We found a good amount of shade to walk through. Tabby set a brisk pace towards home, going almost a whole two blocks without stopping to sniff. Other than the dog moving the shade to bark at us and Tabby pooping on his lawn, the walk was quite uneventful. However, we enjoyed it.

Full disclosure: I am feeling a bit depressed today and not up to my usual silliness. My sad task was to go to a friend’s calling hours and I have another calling hours to attend tomorrow. It seemed disrespectful to write about my tribulations of looking for my black dress and deciding which earrings to wear. Oh well, all I can do is carry on. Perhaps I could think of a good Non-Sequitur Thursday type headline at least. Hmmm… nothing’s coming.

Aren’t You Glad It’s Wuss-Out Wednesday?

I must admit that on the whole I have enjoyed the weather more this summer than last summer. Last summer we had a flood at the very end of June, then all I can recall is day after hot, sticky, icky day, with mud everywhere and no relief. This year, it seems that every so often we get the relief of a not so hot, not so humid day. I kind of wish today was one of those days.

I’m pretty sure my perceptions are not completely accurate. Then again, some would argue that the reality we perceive is in fact our only reality. Ooh, there’s some half-baked philosophy suitable for Lame Post Friday. I bet you’re all glad that today is Wuss-out Wednesday, so I shall not philosophize.

So my point is: Monday was a dreadfully warm day. I dealt with it with as little drama as I could manage, because I knew Tuesday was slated to be much worse. It was. But I lived with it. Thursday was supposed to be delightful. Naturally, I thought Wednesday (today) would be in between. And it wasn’t. It was the worst day yet!

It may have been because I was working at a different machine. WHO CARES WHY??? I was a heat injury. I couldn’t write crap at work, and I can’t write crap now. Oh, wait, it seems I am writing crap. Sorry about that.

Full disclosure: I really continued to read my Ann Rule book at work. It is quite compelling. But even without this distraction, I fear my brain has melted into a little puddle somewhere between my medulla oblongata and my abdomen. Do you suppose tomorrow will be as delightful as promised?

Probably Not Disco Lights

When I found out Steven had to get up early this morning, I knew it would be a good opportunity to run. For one reason, the temperature was supposed to be over 90 later. I know, it is a good idea to train in all sorts of weather. Sometimes I have to give myself every advantage. As it turned out, conditions were not ideal in the pre-dawn hours, so I don’t have to feel like I’m too spoiled.

I got right from my bed into my running clothes and out the door before I well knew what I was about. I’ve found that is often the best method, especially when you are as good at thinking up excuses as I am. I hit the pavement at 3:36, two minutes earlier than I usually do for these early morning runs.

I congratulated myself on getting out while the temperature was still reasonable and reminded myself to watch for skunks. It was Garbage Day in Herkimer. I didn’t even see any cats and for the longest time only saw one car. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (that was the title of a movie I saw once) (I didn’t like it).

Since I had not run any hills recently (don’t judge), I thought I would do the one by Valley Health. As I approached it, I thought it really was not that bad of a hill. I could try something more challenging next time. I was only slightly out of breath at the top of the hill. Must control my breathing. I know from experience that if I have a VCD episode while running I feel just awful for the rest of the day (that’s Vocal Chord Dysfunction, a breathing problem I suffer from). Around Valley Health and down the hill.

Ah, downhill. All you have to do is move your feet a little and let gravity do the rest. Just enjoy the view, I always tell myself. Only there wasn’t much of a view, because it was still dark. I decided I would not run down by the high school as I often do. Too dark. Safety first for Mohawk Valley Girl, I thought, composing my blog post in my head.

I soon realized that although the temperature was reasonable it was quite humid. Once again I had forgotten my head band. If only my glasses wouldn’t fog. They fogged. I may try running in contact lenses.

It occurred to me that I had not seen any lights on in any houses. I started looking for some. It always makes me feel better to see lights on in houses. I feel that way when I’m traveling too, especially all by myself on a Greyhound bus (although I have not been there in a number of years, thank God). Good grief, not even a bathroom nightlight to lighten my load.

As ran down Prospect Street I thought I heard a vehicle driving through a parking lot. I was immediately suspicious. Why would a car be going through a parking lot at this hour? It was coming up behind me. And slowing down! It was my paper deliverers. They have a wide territory. I believe I’ve mentioned how much I love my efficient paper deliverers.

The lady waved to me as she walked up to a house with the paper. I waved back. I was close enough to exchange Good Mornings before she got back in the vehicle. I tried to think of something clever to say, but nothing came to mind. When I caught up to them at the next house I said, “I’m stalking you.”

“I don’t mind,” she said.

Then I turned a corner and went on alone. I saw a few lights on, which made me feel happy. Then I saw some flashing blue lights. Probably television, I thought, but I also thought it might be a secret after-hours club with some unusual disco lights. I speculated on what the password would be if I knocked on the door for admittance. Yes, these are the silly thoughts that amuse me as I run.

As usual, I debated with myself how long I should run. I ended up doing 30 minutes ending on not really a sprint but an accelerated pace, followed by my usual cool-down walk with Tabby. I confess that when I got out of bed and for at least the first third of the run I was NOT in the mood for it. That changed about the time I realized that the complaints were all from my grumpy brain. My legs were just quietly pumping along as if they could run for days. I felt pretty pleased about that, and happy that I could spend the rest of the day telling myself, “At least I ran.”

It’s A Crime

I did not write a blog post while at work today. I spent my time before my shift and on each break reading a true crime book by Ann Rule. She is the BEST! I love true crime. I guess the best I can do for this week’s Middle-aged Musings Monday is a couple of paragraphs about my crime obsession.

It seems to me that many people love murder. Murder mystery novels crowd library shelves. Many movies feature murder, mysterious or otherwise. And on television… it’s everywhere! Truth, fiction, police, amateurs, hit men and even the undead, although many would argue that they don’t count. I am not alone in my obsession.

I do enjoy a good fictional mystery, on the page or on the screen, but lately I am really addicted to the true stuff. I have written about this before, how I watch many shows of varying degrees of cheesiness. I only wish I had seen a good one lately, so I could write about that.

The novel I am having so much trouble writing (and I KNOW I have written about that here) is a murder mystery. Perhaps one of the reasons I am having so much trouble with it is that I am not spending enough thought on the actual crime. Silly me, I keep thinking about the characters. Well, I will have to work that out for myself.

Well, that is over 200 words. I am having a plethora of not very good posts lately and for that I apologize. Tomorrow I plan to go running early in the morning. I hope and trust that will offer enough interest for a decent Running Commentary. If not, I believe there is a library book sale I can attend. Ooh, maybe I’ll find another Ann Rule book.

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