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Oh, Those Endorphins!

I’ve been trying all day to think of something profound to say about the 4th of July (don’t feel right calling it Independence Day after that dumb movie) (oh, it was entertaining enough,don’t hate on me if it’s your favorite piece of cinema; let’s not get distracted by what was only a  parenthetical comment after all).  And now I realize that because of the weird time setting on my WordPress page, it is now the fifth of July.  I can do up a quick Running Commentary on this morning’s jaunt  and hit Publish in time to get to the cookout at my sister’s house.

I hadn’t even meant to do a running commentary, although it would be appropriate for me to go All Boilermaker All The Time at this point.  After all, the race is one week from tomorrow.  I need to start hydrating and obsessing or I’ll never be ready.  That said, I kind of think I am ready.  I’m just afraid to say it too loudly and jinx myself (perhaps I should have put it in a parenthetical comment).

Be all that as it may, I missed my run yesterday due to a dreadful headache and bad reaction to the drugs that were supposed to help.  I got up at 3:30 this morning, because of my husband’s work. I figured  I could hydrate and perhaps have a little something to eat, then run at twenty after six, when he left for work.  I drank water.  I ate a piece of whole wheat toast with cottage cheese.  This was going to be great.

It was  actually 6:25 when I set out.  I had dithered when deciding which way to go.  I wanted hills, but which ones?  Main Street?  Steuben?  Up to the college?  When I had asked Steven  earlier, he didn’t know what to tell me so finally said, “Run in the suburbs.”  For those just tuning in, the suburbs is what I call a residential area beyond Valley Health Services.  They have some pretty good hills there.

So up the hill by Valley Health I went. Only I didn’t feel like running the same route I ran last time.  I wanted something different, so I took a different turn.  Hmm, that was no hill.  I kept running, looking for a hill I hadn’t run.  Soon I found myself near Lou Ambers Drive.  Oh, to heck with it.  I went to Lou Ambers and on up to Herkimer College.

I forgot to mention that I was running with a bottle of water in my hand.  I had debated whether or not to do this (so many decisions for one run!).  After all, I wasn’t sure how long I would run for.  I don’t need water for anything under 40 minutes.  Additionally, I was running in the general vicinity of the spring.  I could stop and catch a sip there.  Then again, after yesterday’s headache, I really wanted to stay hydrated.  A final factor was that it was cooler out than it had been.  Who wants to stick their hands in the cold spring water when it’s only 45 degrees out?

I don’t know that it was actually 45 degrees out, but it was cool enough that the hand holding the bottle was damn uncomfortable.  Well, one must put up with these things.  It was nice to take the occasional sip.  As I ran up and around the campus, I paid attention to the water level, planning to run to the spring for a re-fill.  Or should I skip the re-fill and just run home?  Did I really need more water?  If dithering burned calories, I would have no weight problems whatsoever.

This whole time I was debating how long to run for.  I had run an hour and twenty minutes at my last long run a week ago.  I was considering doing an hour an a half as my last long run before the Boilermaker.  Could I make that?  Of course I could, but did I want to?  How tired would I be as the day wore on?  Would my muscles be sore?  My knees?   I repeat my observation about dithering and calories.

I refilled the water and tried to talk myself into an hour and a half.  I could do it.  I would do it.  As I continued to run, I realized just one little problem with staying completely hydrated on a long run.  I had to pee.  Oh dear.  Maybe if I stopped drinking more water and kept running I could sweat it out.

Astute readers will may noticed that I have yet to mention my legs complaining or  my breathing being a problem.  Well, that was the truly delightful thing about the run.  I started out feeling a little grumpy, wondering what had possessed me to register for a 15K and promising myself I would never have to do it again.  I was soon pumping along with almost no problem.   Of course going uphill was still an effort.  I did not mind it being an effort.  At one point I met two women running in the opposite direction.

“Isn’t this GREAT?” I called to them.

One laughed and the other said, “Yes, it is!”

I don’t suppose I need to tell you that I did make it for an hour and a half.  My bladder even cooperated, although after a ten-minute cool-down walk I was JUST in time to the bathroom (sorry if that gave you an unfortunate mental image).

And now I see I have written quite a long blog post about it.  Sorry if I rambled on.  Now I must hurry and get ready for the cook-out.  After all, it’s still the 4th here.   Hope you’re enjoying yours.


Name Brand Lame

Is it Lame Post Friday or a Blogger’s Sick Day?  I feel really bad, too, because I had some good topics to write about.  Only I can’t seem to write today.  I can’t even read, if that gives you any indication (and it should).  Oh dear, now it is turning into Wrist to Forehead Friday.  Oh poor, pitiful me!

Um, those last two lines were me making fun of me.  Nobody has to chime in with any unkind remarks, unless such behavior is essential to your own health and well-being.

I woke up with a headache today.  I did not think it was too bad at first, but it escalated.  Still not too worried, I took some Equate Migraine Relief (just a little gratuitous product placement) and a nap.  I have spent the rest of the day fairly headache-free but SO LIGHTHEADED!  It sucks to be me!

On the brighter side, that parenthetical comment gave me a topic to expound upon at least briefly.  Product placement is often derided on movies and television.  Some people believe the producers are merely sucking up extra bucks from the manufacturers of those products.  We, the poor hapless viewers, are tricked into watching high quality commercials which will no doubt hypnotize us into purchasing said products.

However,  it seems to me that to NOT have the products placed is to take away from the realism of the scene.  For example, when was the last time you walked into a bar and ordered “a beer”? Nobody does that!  They ask for a Labatt’s or a Heinekin.  They might possibly say, “What do you have on tap?”  but they expect to hear specific brands listed and to pick one.

The fact is we are a brand name society.    Some people drive the same make of car for decades.  Others are intensely loyal to a certain brand of sneakers.  And there is the tendency to mix up brand with product, as in calling tissues “Kleenex” and photocopies “xeroxes.”

Oh, I know, many people eschew brand names and are proud to do so.  My Equate pills are, of course, a store brand, which are cheaper than the Excedrin they imitate.  I purchase store brands in many of my favorite foods.

It raises an interesting question.  Which is better?  When are you paying for just the name?  I have long threatened to have a party where I serve two of every refreshment, one name brand, one store brand and solicit comment.  You know, one dip with Crowley Sour Cream and Lipton Onion Soup Mix, one with Hannaford versions of same, served with store and name chips, of course.  The advantage of this, of course, is I’ll have twice the chips and dip.  I do love chips and dip.

My running shoes have been name brand for years.  I wear different brands, but I haven’t worn a non-name since I started to enjoy running in the army.  My non-running shoes have been… whatever I happen to pick up at a good price.

How about you, dear readers?  Are you loyal to any brands or do you proudly purchase whatever is cheapest?  Do you perceive a difference in quality?  Do you feel a blogger like me should refrain from making lame posts when feeling light-headed from non-name over the counter drugs?  Are you having a nice Friday?

Mine has been intermittently enjoyable.


Running with a Full Deck?

Today I am going to do a real Running Commentary.  The Boilermaker is only a week and three days away (counting today which, since I already ran is kind of already past) (let’s say nine more chances to run before the Boilermaker.  Only nine?  Yikes!).

I took yesterday off from running.  There were thunderstorms, so running outside was not a good idea.  I thought maybe a bout on the mini-tramp, but, oh well, never got around to it.  This morning I was happy to see that it was not raining.  Steven had to be up at five.  I got up, into running clothes and set out.

I had it in my head to not run any hills.  A good fairly flat run at an early hour for me is to run to the Erie Canal Trail, follow the trail to the South Washington Bridge, then go home from there, directly or not as the spirit moves me.  Being July 2  (I started to type “June” silly me), the sun was up, although it was cloudy.  Very pleasant running conditions, I thought.

I  soon found it was also humid, but the occasional breeze relieved that.  I could rock this.  The other day on Facebook, I posted that my runs go like this: This sucks, what am I thinking?  This sucks marginally less.  This doesn’t suck.  This is all right.  I can rock this. Yes, I needed this.  This is AWESOME!  I LOVE to run!  I can run for DAYS!  The cycle repeats itself on longer runs.

Thinking about it now, I see that I sometimes skip steps.  For example, this morning I started out with “this is all right” and quickly moved to “I can rock this.”  I pretty much went back and forth between those stages. Note to self:  apparently one day off is OK, don’t make it more.  In fact, I may not take any more days off between now and the Boilermaker.  We’ll see.

As I ran down Mohawk Street towards the Canal Trail, I saw some artificial flowers in the road.   I supposed somebody had dropped them.  They looked pristine but would no doubt soon be run over and wrecked.   What a waste!  I could use those flowers!  A big old truck was  approaching on the opposite side of the street.  Oh, he wouldn’t hit me.  I sprinted out and grabbed the flowers.

It was a red, white and blue bunch from one of the dollar stores.  The price tag was still on it.  I wondered if I looked silly running along carrying a patriotic bouquet.  Perhaps I merely looked, you know, patriotic.  At least it didn’t weigh very much.

Soon I was on the canal trail.  Nice.  I liked looking at the canal.  It was still.  In California I sometimes ran on a path near the ocean.  I could see water crashing against the rocks.  I had the fanciful thought that the water was releasing energy that would magically travel through the air and energize me.  Do I hear unkind laughter?  Perhaps I should not share my fanciful thoughts, although this one did help me run in California.  Now I looked at the calm canal and realized no energy would be forthcoming.  I thought perhaps the peacefulness could sooth my mind.  A calm mind can help you run.

My run lasted for 52 minutes.  I like that number, because it means I am  playing with a full deck (cue jokes about other indications that I am not).  My legs felt pretty good, my lungs were fine, my feet weren’t too bad.  My knees were twinging a little and had been for a good portion of the run.  I must, I positively must lose weight. Perhaps I should write a blog post about that.  If only typing burned more calories.


One Day, Two Libraries, What’s Not to Like?

Oh dear, does that headline read like I’m soliciting “Likes” for this post?  Naturally, I hope people like my blog, but I try not to be too needy.   Not to look too needy anyways.  Never mind, let’s get on with the post.

All I really want to do on my vacation is sit on my butt, perhaps in front of the TV and knit, perhaps on the deck with a notebook and write, perhaps just about anywhere with a glass of wine.  Wait a minute, that is how I feel most of the time.  I do enjoy to sit on my fat butt.  Nonetheless, I also like to get out sometimes.

I had a few errands to run today but no real plan as to what order to do them in or even if I would get to them all.  However, I set out this morning with a notebook and high hopes.  I made it to the bank for deposit and withdrawal. I even used the automated kiosk, which is quite the accomplishment for technologically challenged me.

I went to two different places looking for a poster board.  I volunteered to make the price list for a fund-raising concession Team Uncle Leo is doing three different times.  This is for Sitrin Stars and Strips Run and Walk, which benefits veteran rehabilitation programs.  Just thought I’d give them another plug.  In this I was unsuccessful, but I have time.

Ho hum, now what?  Basloe Library in Herkimer, always a good choice.  I wanted to find a book on paper flower making.  My character in Roxy, the play I’m in, made paper flowers while she was in jail.  This is not actually shown on stage, but I thought it  might be a good character thing to do backstage, in addition to giving me a new crafting skill to use while I’m sitting on my butt watching television.  Instead I found three other books that looked interesting.  Then I sat down (yes, on my fat butt) and worked on a letter to a friend.

Then I went home and took care of a few other things, including working on my lines for that play I mentioned.  I have a rehearsal on Thursday.  For anyone just tuning in, Roxy tells the story of Roxalana Druse, the last woman hanged in Herkimer County.  It was written by a local author and is being presented by Herkimer County Historical  Society and Ilion Little Theatre.

This afternoon I went to Frankfort, NY, to follow up on some fundraising for Team Uncle Leo.  I had to return to Big Willy’s Pizzeria.  I wished I had not already planned supper, because things smelled really good at  Big Willy’s.  Maybe I could hold the pork chops and macaroni salad for tomorrow.

After Big Willy’s, I realized I did not have any more plans.  Now what?  Providentially, a FedEx truck was blocking the way in front of Melrose Market, so I turned right on the street that leads to Frankfort Free Library.  Naturally I had my notebook with me.  I finished my letter to my friend.

As I wrote, I thought, stopping at two different libraries in one day is not a usual thing for a person to do.  How fortunate for me that I live in an area with several libraries so handily located.  I sadly refrained from looking for more books at the second library.  I only have so much time to read, after all.

So this is my Wuss-out Wednesday post.  I accomplished a few things, at any rate.  Do you suppose I’m justified in sitting on my butt now?


Don’t Tell the Cookbook Conglomerate!

So there I was, planning to do a Tired Tuesday post when I remembered I had a minor snack to put together in the kitchen.  I can’t say “cooking post,” because it is not cooked. Call it a recipe post and this can be Tasty Tuesday.  How does that sound?

I’ve had an unopened package of cream cheese in the refrigerator since my last party (didn’t make all the refreshments I had envisioned).   Rest assured, I have kept checking the “use by” date.  Then again, why should you care, unless you meant to stop by and have some.  Of course I should be delighted to have company.  Stop on by.

The recipe I wanted to use I stole from my sister Diane.   I don’t know where she got it, so I may very well be getting myself in big trouble from some cookbook conglomerate, but, hey, I need a blog post.

The recipe says to mix an envelope of Italian salad dressing mix with the cream cheese.  Come to think of it, they may even specify Good Seasons, and Diane got the recipe from the package of Good Seasons.  So there’s a little gratuitous product placement for you.  Full disclosure:  I usually buy store brand.

Only I hadn’t bought any store brand this time.  Here’s something funny:  I said to myself, “If I was really high speed, I wouldn’t use the envelope, I’d use fresh garlic and chives from the garden and make something up.  That would be a better blog post, too.  Nah, I’ll just be lazy.”  Imagine my chagrin.  On the other hand, you see how I err on the side of honesty for your entertainment (I do hope somebody is entertained by my silliness).

Trapped into being high speed,  I contemplated the chives.  It was pouring rain out, and I was wearing little canvas sneakers.  Surely fresh garlic and spices would be sufficient.  Why should I get my feet wet for the sake of a blog post?  I crushed up some garlic and set the timer for 15 minutes, so it could reach its full antioxidant effect.   Oh, what the hell.  I went out and got the chives.

It really wasn’t so bad.  For one reason, there is a patch of chives very close to the house.  I avoided stepping in the big puddle right next to them (a puddle in the yard?  Really?  Who else has one of those?) and also avoided picking too many.   Back in the house I chopped them up and put them in a bowl with the cream cheese.

I forgot to mention that the cream cheese had been sitting out for a couple of hours to soften up.  And it is actually Neufchatel, which is a third less fat and fun to say (try it).  I added horseradish and dill, then mushed it together with the potato masher.  After some consideration I added lemon pepper, oregano and basil.  Mushed some more.  When the timer buzzed, I put in the garlic, mushed some more, then used a fork to make sure the stuff was thoroughly mixed.

My mixture is now sitting so the flavors can blend.  When I get ready to, I will spread it on flat bread which I will use to make small sandwiches with sliced cucumber.  Yum!  You know, now that I think about it, it is possible that the original recipe for this calls for the sandwiches to be open-faced.  It may even have been like a cold cucumber pizza.  It was some years ago my sister first made the stuff.

So was this post better or worse than a typical Tired Tuesday?  It matters not.  This is my story and I’m sticking to it.  Hope to see you all on Wuss-out Wednesday (good God, I’ll be half-way through the week by tomorrow!  I should have known:  vacation weeks are always shorter).


My Muddled Monday

Well, I’ve been posting lame since Thursday and I’m sorry about that, but the trend continues.   Today is a new feature called Muddled Monday.  It’s a little like Scattered Saturday.

Today is the first day of a two week break for me (my employer’s idea, not mine).  Steven had to work at 8:30, so we were up betimes (doesn’t that sound fancier than “early”?).  After I let him out of the driveway I ran to the store for a couple of things we needed.   As I drove home, I decided to go for a run.

It was a really good run.  I wanted to write a blog post about it.  Unfortunately, I was meeting my friend, Sherry, to do some fundraising stuff for the Sitrin Run/Walk to benefit veteran rehabilitation programs. We’re on Team Uncle Leo.

What a day!  We went all over the place, stopping at many local businesses. The highlight was The Locavore in Frankfort, NY, a place I had never been.  I got a sample of hot garlic-horseradish pickles. Yum!  I bought some. I mean to do a whole post on The Locavore.   Perhaps I’ll go shop there again first.  You know, to really get a feel for the place.  And maybe to buy more pickles.

I must say, this charity work is not easy, even when you do cravenly let your friend do most of the talking, which I’m afraid I did.  After all our running around I’m tired.  Or maybe because of the running around I did before we left (up to Herkimer College once again; it’s quite a hill).

I’ll write more about the Sitrin Run/Walk soon, and about the fundraising efforts of  Team Uncle Leo.  But right now I have to drink some more Gator Ade in preparation for the Boilermaker 15K.  It’s in less than two weeks!


And I’m Missing the Cheesiest Movie!

Yeah, it’s Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I was afraid it would be.  You see, I started early and had really the best day.  We went to a winery for an art show with music.  It was awesome.  I hope to write a real blog post about it in the coming days, but I just can’t seem to do it right now.

Still, I must write something.  I like to post every day, whether it’s any good or not.  I guess I go through spurts where it’s not very good for several days in a row.  The problem is, it seems one can either be a writer or have a life.  But what a Catch 22 that is!  If you have  life, you don’t have any time to write. If you don’t have a life, you don’t have anything to write about.

Oh, well, I guess that last sentence is not really true.  Apart from this blog, I write fiction.  You can write fiction without having a life, unless it is thinly disguised autobiographical fiction.  I do not write thinly disguised autobiographical stuff; I make things up.  So I could indeed sit home with no friends and no life and write that sort of fiction.

Perhaps I’ll try that one day. Only not tomorrow, because I am meeting a friend to do some fundraising stuff for Team Uncle Leo for the Sitrin Run/Walk to benefit veteran programs.  And I must get ready for the Boilermaker 15K in two weeks.  Oh, and I’m in a play at Ilion Little Theatre.

Stay tuned, when this blog will begin to offer tips on how one can have a life and find time to write.  As soon as I figure it out.



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