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Return to the Unknown Park

Wednesday I was determined to go running. We had no rehearsal, so I was not worried about getting too tired. In fact, it would be a good think if I tired myself out. I could definitely sleep when I went to bed early, as I intended to do.

My Sunday run was 44 minutes. I know I have previously avoided saying how long I run for fear of invoking scorn and laughter. Then again, how many people do I think read this blog? Specifically, how many marathon runners? Well, as I said earlier, point and laugh if you must. I’m sure people who see me actually running do.

Where was I? Ah yes, Wednesday. The temperature was not bad, but the wind was brisk. I could see it had rained earlier but hoped that was over. I got into my running gear and set out. I had a vague idea of running up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. Challenging but not too daunting. I didn’t know that I would go for 44 minutes. I thought even 20 or 30 minutes would suit my purposes. I would see how it went.

I managed to cross German Street without mishap, no mean feat in 4 p.m. Herkimer traffic. My body was not happy with me. For one thing, the brisk wind got colder. I put my headband over my ears, but there was nothing I could do for my hands. I was pretty sure already that I would not make it for forty minutes. I doubted my ability to make it up to the college. Perhaps the hill by Valley Health?

Then I remembered the Unknown Park. Some months ago I recall doing a post titled Run Through an Unknown Park. I still don’t know the name of the park, which is silly of me, because I read an article in the paper about it when HCCC students had a clean up day there (that’s not a run-on sentence; diagram it) (have you ever noticed that I us a lot of semi-colons? I love semi-colons. I think I’ll do a Friday Lame Post about semi-colons)(but I digress).

I knew the Unknown Park had some uphill stretches. It was someplace different to run. There might even be some sports games being played. It’s always nice to look at something active as you run by. I think other people’s energy travels through the air and helps me. A fanciful image, perhaps, but I’ll take anything that keeps me going. The entrance to the park is also on the same side of German Street that I was on. So I had my plan.

As I started across the entrance to be on the left side facing traffic, a car was approaching the gate to exit. I had not seen her due to the hill and curve and the fact that I don’t always pay enough attention when I’m running. I waved an “I’m sorry,” although I think I got across without obstructing her. She gave me the “That’s OK” wave, so that was OK.

I started up the hill. Not too steep but steep enough to bug me. Oh, I have not been getting enough sleep. It was fun to run on a gravelly dirt road for a change. No sports games were going on. There wasn’t even anyone letting their dog run in the big fields, as there sometimes is. I wondered if my dog would like to go there and run.

I saw a steep grassy bank on the other side of one field. Nothing I’d care to run up, even if I had gotten enough sleep. I saw some tire tracks dug into it. The tracks went partway up then stopped. I wondered what mishap had occurred and hoped that someone had been taping it for future inclusion in World’s Dumbest. World’s Dumbest Daredevils or Thrillseekers or even Motorheads. I watch them all.

As I continued running the wind picked up and got more bitter. The park is a lovely, woodsy setting, but it’s always cooler near the trees. I contemplated how welcome the coolness would be this summer but was not enjoying it on Wednesday. Was that a raindrop? Oh dear. As I headed toward home it did start raining but did not amount to much. It had stopped by the time Tabby and I took our cool down walk.

My run did have the desired effect of helping me sleep. I didn’t even make it through the evening’s episode of World’s Dumbest. It was World’s Dumbest Criminals 5, an episode I had already seen. I think it was a pretty good run or do I flatter myself? At least I don’t think I qualify for World’s Dumbest Runner. Maybe World’s Dumbest Blogger, but let’s not go there.

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