RSS Feed

Just a Note

This blog, you may have noticed, has hit a dry spell.  I can blame it on trying to train for the Boilermaker 15K or on Finish That Novel May or, today for example, on the headaches with which I am occasionally plagued.  But it may just be me.  Operator error, as it were.


I have completed four years of writing this silly blog, and I have not missed a day (except for once when the electricity went out and I posted late) (and occasionally when I have typed in my posts early and set WordPress to publish them at the proper time, although I don’t think that counts as missing a day).  Every writer hits a dry spell.  Oh well, I suppose some do not, or else they lie about it.  And I’m sure many non-writers feel that dry spells are just laziness or self-dramatization.


Where was I going with this?  Ah yes, my dry spell.  I’ve been eking things out with Pedestrian Posts, Running Commentary, and Posts About How I Can’t Write a Post Today.  Many bloggers simply take a little time off.  I’m afraid if I do that I will never start again.  No loss to the blogosphere, you say?  You could be right, although it is unkind to point that out.  It would be a loss to me.


I like posting something every day, even if it is just a note to my readers telling them I do not have much to say.  I will say thank you for reading.  Writing a blog has made me a better writer and a more consistent writer.  And it is very fun.  I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow, when I will try NOT to have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.


Not a Lame Run After All

I went for a long run this afternoon, so I thought I would do a Running Commentary instead of my usual Friday Lame Post.  However, it is Friday and I am feeling a little, well, lame.  I will begin typing and see what comes out.


It was cooler today than it has been but the sun was bright.   Good running weather, I told myself.  I had gone two days without running, instead of the three which I made a note to myself not to do again.  I feel I must make another note to don’t wait two days either.


As soon as I started running my body started complaining.  Oh come on, I thought.  It’s only been two days!  And we took a walk yesterday!  Maybe I would warm up as I went.  My plan was to do a long, challenging run.  Then I could do a lesser run tomorrow, when I have plans for later in the day.  Up the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) would be good, I thought.  Back way or front way would do.


Before I had gone two blocks I was thinking I would cut myself a break.  A short run, any run, just run.  Traffic was heavy enough that I thought I might not be able to cross German Street.  Then I would be off the hook.  I found a time to cross.


I decided to go up to HCCC the front way.  It’s steeper than the back way but shorter.  This run was really sucking.  I reminded myself that once I started up a hill there was no question that I would make it, the only question was how much it would suck.  Will going up this hill ever stop sucking?  I usually walk up the stairs at work.  That never seems to get easier either.


I tried to comfort myself by thinking how bad-ass I would be running the Boilermaker 15K.   If somebody asked me if I was running the 5K, I could say, “Huh.  I could run a 5K backwards.”  Then I wondered if that was true.  Maybe if I made that (admittedly obnoxious) boast, somebody would make a bet with me.  I’d say, “Fine, you run the 5K with me frontwards and make sure I don’t bang into anything.”  When I ran the DARE 5K last year,  which goes up the very hill I was on, a lady told me it was easier to go uphill backwards.  I tried it.


Then I remembered some running advice another soldier gave me.  When you feel you can’t run any more, run silly.  I swung one leg in front of the other, swinging my arms wildly to keep my balance.  Then I turned sideways and did the grapevine.  I would keep that trick in mind for future use.  Perhaps I could share it with other runners during the Boilermaker.


When I got to the top of the hill I did not continue up onto the campus but headed right to the back way to go down.  I was feeling better about the run, but this was cut myself a break day after all.  I hesitated again at Reservoir Road but downhill won.  I was about 20 minutes into the run.  Would I make it for 48 (the length of my longest run so far)?  I would see.


As  I headed toward the traffic light on German Street, I realized I had reached the coveted I Can Rock This stage of the run.  I don’t think I had endorphins, but  I was not feeling too bad.  My leg muscles were warm and supple.  I could run for 48 minutes.  This was going to be all right.


The feeling did not last.   I had headed away from my street.  Now I headed back toward the street.  I didn’t care if it was 48 minutes.  As I got closer to home, I felt a little better.  I was perhaps not rocking it as well as the first time I reached the I Can Rock This Stage, but I found that I could keep going after all.


By going past my house and around the block next to mine, I made it to 48 minutes.  My schnoodle, Tabby, graciously walked around our block with me to cool down.  I felt pretty happy that I ran.  I’ll run again tomorrow.  No more two days off!


Not Too Nefarious

Steven, Tabby and I took a lovely walk earlier.   Full disclosure:  we walked with a nefarious purpose.  I wanted a glass of wine, so we walked to Ramar’s Liquor Store on Caroline Street in Herkimer, NY.


The sun was bright, and the temperature was warm but not too warm.   I always notice how bright sunshine makes everything look better.  I asked Steven if it had the same effect on me.  Naturally he gave the right answer.


Our schnoodle, Tabby, had different ideas of where we should walk to, but we convinced her to walk our way.  She had her own ideas about how often she should stop and sniff things as well.  We tried to accommodate her while not taking eight years to walk five blocks.


I admired many people’s flowers.  We have to get started on our own yard and deck.  We had both noticed that on Saturday there will be a Plant Sale at Mohawk Antiques Mall to benefit Herkimer County Humane Society.  We intend to go.  I’ll probably write a blog post about it (preview of coming attractions).


I’m afraid my blog has suffered during Finish That Novel May.  Just to update you on that, the body was still in the tarp as of this morning.  It was not in a tent nor yet being a busy body, as two comments suggested yesterday.  I’ll tell you what, it is way easier to start novels than to finish them.   No matter.  I’ve finished this blog post; I will finish my novel.  Hope to see you on Lame Post Friday.


Tarp Today, Gone Tomorrow

I had hoped not to have a Wuss-out Wednesday, but it was going to be either a Wuss-out Wednesday or another Running Commentary.  And I didn’t run.  Other bloggers do not stress over this kind of thing, they post whatever and drive on.  I shall do that today.


I have been working on my novel during breaks at work.  And, I’m afraid, talking about it.  Tuesday as we headed out for the 2 p.m. break, I mentioned that I had killed another character.  Of course I hadn’t killed him — or her; the murderer had.  My co-worker asked had I wrapped the victim in a tarp.  I had not, but what a good idea, especially for that murderer.  After all it wasn’t enough that he — or she — killed — that person.  He — or she — would want to rob  — that victim — of all dignity.


It is very difficult to talk about my novel and not give away any plot points.  Now you know that more than one character dies.  Is killed.  But to complete my story about me writing my story,  I told my co-worker I would have to change too many things to wrap the body in a tarp.  Then today, I reconsidered.


“This should make you happy,” I said to him after the 9 a.m. break today.  “I wrapped that body in a tarp.”


He was happy.


I don’t know if the body will stay in the tarp.  Perhaps I should know these things, especially since I have set myself the goal of typing “The End” by May 31.  However, I can’t worry about that now.  Right now my purpose is to write a Wuss-out Wednesday post.  And here it is.


See you on Non-Sequitur Thursday.


Just Stop the Stitch!

There was a moment in my run this afternoon when I thought to myself, “I don’t care if I don’t get any endorphins, as long as that stitch doesn’t come back!”


It was a long run.  Not as long as my longest run so far, but long enough.  I ran hills.  Not the hill up to Herkimer College, but a couple of very long hills in a residential area near the college (I usually refer to it as the suburbs, but I know that is not accurate).  I was running slowly but with determination.  I felt pleased with myself to be going uphill for such a long period of time.  This was great preparation for the Boilermaker!


And then the stitch started.  It was sharp. It was painful.  Oh dear.  I took deep breaths and stretched my arms over my head.  Stretch, breath, repeat.  It did not help.  Was that a rumble of thunder in the distance?  Was I about to get poured on?  I had a vision of a kind motorist stopping for a drenched runner to offer a ride home, because of the thunder and lightning.  There was very little traffic, so I knew that was a remote chance.  I did not hear the thunder again, if it was even thunder to begin with.  It did not rain.


Eventually I was running downhill.  This was not horrible.  Miraculously, the stitch went away.  Oh, the dear sweet sensation of NOT being in pain.  Who needed endorphins? I had lost the stitch.


I avoided hills for the rest of the run.  I never did get any endorphins, but I reached the coveted “I Can Rock This” stage.  It did not last, but no matter.  I ran.  I SHALL be prepared for the Boilermaker.


Note: in this blog, when I say “Boilermaker,” I mean the Boilermaker 15K.  I find it too cluttered to specify the 15K every time I mention it.


I realize that this is much shorter than my usual Running Commentary posts.  I was noticing stuff as I ran and as usual narrating in my head, but now I just can’t seem to type in any of the good stuff.  All I can say is, it’s Tired Tuesday.  I managed to run, I managed a post.  I’m done.  Thank you for reading.


Curse You, Noah Webster!

Whether I call it Monday Middle-aged Musings or Monday Mental Meanderings, today’s is going to be a foolish post.  I don’t know what it is with Mondays, but I am always so tired at the end of the day.  Perhaps it is the onset of middle age, which makes the former title more appropriate.  No matter.  My plan right now is to type in a few paragraphs then attempt to do at least one more useful thing before retiring to bed in self-pitying tears.


Just kidding.  I won’t cry and I am not feeling sorry for myself.  If anything, I feel bad for my blog readers, who may be looking for something a little more… shall we say, coherent.  However, if that is the case, the blogosphere is wide and varied.  Surely a blog reader can find something to please.


Here’s something interesting:  my computer seems to think blogosphere is not a word.  Perhaps I have it misspelled.  My Random House Webster’s College Dictionary is within reach, but I fear it was published before “blog” was a word, let along “blogosphere.”  I used to have a friend who enjoyed looking in older dictionaries and laughing about words that were missing.  “Computer” is the only example I can think of, unfortunately.


I just checked; “blog” is not in my dictionary.  “Computer” is, of course.  Now that I think of it, I don’t see why “computer” would not be in any dictionary.  According to this one, the word “compute” dates from 1630 to 1640, as does “computer,” which means “one that computes.”  Perhaps my memory is at fault and my friend was laughing at the outdated definitions.


And that brings up one thing that really annoys me.  Remember in school, when you had to write definitions of words and  you could NOT use a form of that word in your definition?  For example, if the word was “computer” and you put “one that computes,” you would get marked wrong and the teacher would probably say something rude and belittling (my teachers were not big on building self-esteem).  AND WHAT DID THE DICTIONARY JUST DO???  Curse you, Noah Webster!


I believe I have now been sufficiently foolish, and I am over 350 words.  I call that a respectable blog post.  I hope to see you lovely people again on Tuesday.


Spoiler Alert: I Get Endorphins!

I thought I would avoid Wrist to Forehead Sunday with a Running Commentary.  For one reason, I had a GOOD run this morning!  After all those whiny posts about how much my legs hurt and I wanted to stop (but kept going), I thought it might be nice to write about a run I enjoyed.


I was not sure I would even be able to run this morning.  We were out much later than usual last night, having a marvelous time.  Then I could not sleep when I finally closed my book (hey, the Earl of Essex was about to get into BIG trouble with Queen Elizabeth, these things are hard to put down).  However, I knew I would be glad I did it, so I got myself dressed and out the door before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.


Wanting to run uphill but tired of going up to the college, I headed for Steuben Road.  That road goes up for quite a ways, then another road takes you back down, making kind of a V.  I could not remember how long it was before you get to the V but seemed to think it was a ways.  No matter.  If I felt I was going too long, I could always turn around and run back down the way I came.  It’s not my favorite way to run, but it’ll do in a pinch.


Up, up I went.  Almost no traffic prior to 7 a.m. on a Sunday.  I like that, especially since the shoulder on that road is not as wide as the one on Lou Ambers drive.  One stretch was all woods on either side of me. I’ve seen deer there, so I kept looking.  Of course, I’ve also seen deer in front yards right down in the village proper, so seeing wildlife is always a possibility on my runs.  None greeted me today, though, so I enjoyed the sights of trees, a little stream, and houses when I saw them.


The run was not going badly.  I didn’t feel awful.  I didn’t even mind going uphill.  Of course I wasn’t going very fast.  I never go very fast.  And time was not passing too slowly.  I kept calculating in my head how long I should run uphill for, so as not to make my total run time too long.  I want to improve, but doing too much too soon is a mistake.


I reached the turn pretty easily.  Perhaps I am more along in my training than I had thought. I even ran by the first turn, the one that really makes a V and on to the next left, which I knew would also take me where I wanted to go.


Some of these houses are very nice.  I saw some porches that just cried out to be sat on.  Of course I did not stop and sit.  I may do that on my own front porch or back deck later, glass of wine or beer optional.  I noticed a classic sports car that needed work.  I could not tell what it was (I don’t really know from cars), but I placed it in the ’60s by the lines.  Maybe ’70s.  My dad restores old cars.  He’s worked on some real beauties.


Soon I was back down on German Street.  Instead of heading for home, I crossed the street and ran down Lansing.  I would run around some neighborhood streets, to make it a nice, long run.  My last longest run so far this year had been 46 minutes.  I thought I ought to at least equal that.  Since that had increased my run time for more than the recommended 10 percent, I did not feel that I needed to go 10 percent more than 46 minutes, but a little more than 46 would be OK.  I guess my training schedule is not scientifically planned.  What do you want from me anyways?


I was seven or eight minutes away from my house when it happened.  I started to feel terrific!  This was awesome!  I LOVE running!  I wanted to put my hands up in the air and shout.  I realized that at long last I had gotten some of those endorphins.  This was GREAT!  Would I get endorphins every time I ran this long?  How cool would that be?  Would I get endorphins while I was running the Boilermaker?  If I did, I would probably go ahead and put my hands up in the air and shout.  After all, why not provide a little more entertainment for my fellow runners?


My run ended up lasting for 48 minutes.  My euphoria lasted all during my cool-down walk with Tabby.  Ooh, I was so happy with myself.  I even felt optimistic about working on my novel. In fact, I have worked on my novel.


Sorry to inject a slightly down note, but I’d just like to mention:  I stated in a comment once that writing is SO much easier than running.  It turns out I meant blog posts, not novels.  It is much easier to run than to write novels.  However, it is easier to write blog posts than to run.  Just saying.  I intend to keep doing all three.  Happy Sunday, everyone.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 633 other followers