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Oh My Aching Run

I didn’t think I could do a Middle-aged Musings Monday after a Stupid Post Sunday, so I sought alternatives. First we watched a cheesy movie on Sunday. I fell asleep. I may yet write about what I saw before dozing, but wasn’t up to it today. At last I thought, here is my motivation to run: I’ll run, then I’ll write about it.

My back was bothering me all day at work. I didn’t think too much of it. I’m middle-aged; I have back pain. It does not come as a surprise (ooh, snuck in a middle-aged musing after all). I usually feel better after work when I’m more relaxed and when I’ve moved my body around some more.

When I got home, my back felt worse. I still wasn’t too worried. Driving can exacerbate back pain. True, my ride home is only about ten minutes. So I got quick results. I walked stiffly into the house. Steven expressed some concern at my running plan. I sat down on the landing to take my work shoes off and just sat there for a few minutes. Steven expressed more concern.

“Oh, I was just listening to Judge Judy,” I said. Then I dithered (I always say go with your strengths). How much pain should I or would I be putting myself in? What were the consequences of not running? I probably would not be able to run Tuesday due to an appointment. That would be three days of no running. Wednesday was free, but what if it rained? That decided me. I was actually a little proud of myself for deciding it. I have several times learned the lesson: when you can run, do it, because the next day it will probably rain. Now I was finally utilizing what I had learned.

I stood up and climbed the stairs. Walking around looking for my running clothes seemed to help the back a little. This was going to be OK. I had noticed earlier that it was a fine afternoon for running. Nice and cloudy, not too hot and no sun in my eyes. Why would I not take advantage? Maybe I could even do my Sunday run of the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC).

I told Steven, who was still a little concerned, that if my back continued to pain me I would only run to the corner and back. I really thought that as I got limbered up, things would improve.

Well, I have been wrong before. I got to the corner and my back told me to turn around. I told my back to give it a few more minutes. Maybe we just hadn’t run long enough. I ran down German Street. I hadn’t gone a block before deciding that the hill to HCCC would remain unrun by me today. I had my doubts I could make it around the block. But I persevered.

I thought I could manage a 20 minute run. Then I thought I should at least do 15, because I read somewhere that 15 minutes of vigorous exercise… something. The complete thought escaped me, but I know I read somewhere something about 15 minutes of exercise. I would aim for 15.

I have written before about perseverance runs and how the main thing they taught me was how to persevere. I must say, this was not a perseverance run. It was more a grit your teeth and try not to cry run. Only I didn’t grit my teeth, because I have to breathe through my mouth because my nose is usually congested. I didn’t cry either, so that was good. I could still see where I was going.

Three college or high school looking kids were on the sidewalk ahead of me. They were walking slowly and taking up the whole sidewalk. Well, there is no reason they shouldn’t take up the whole sidewalk, I hadn’t caught up to them yet. Then they were going over this bridge and there was absolutely no room for me to go around them if I did catch up to them. Luckily I didn’t. At last they turned off to walk across the grass, cutting the the corner of German and Church streets. I ran all the way to the corner on the sidewalk. I felt pretty high speed when I realized I was going to be way ahead of them in spite of taking the long way. I usually don’t run that much faster than pedestrians.

I ran down Church Street, which was the quickest way back to my house. The back would seem as if it was starting to feel better then start hurting again. I heard a rather menacing growl. It was a large dog. There was a screen between him and me, but he looked big enough to burst through. Luckily he did no such thing.

When I got to the corner of my street, I decided to go around the next block. Then I got daring and went another block. My back was intermittently feeling not too bad, and I really did want to go at least 15 minutes, for whatever reason you’re supposed to. Past the historic four corners. Don’t tell Tabby I went by her favorite place without her! I saw a historical looking building for sale further up Main Street. I bet I could go to the Historical Society and look up if it’s any place important. These thoughts kept my mind off my back for another block.

A nice man let me pet his dog. He said he hadn’t wanted to disturb me when I was jogging, but I told him I liked to stop and pet the dogs. The pugnacious pug was on his porch — really an upstairs landing — barking at me. I think of him as the pugnacious pug, because I’ve only seen him barking through the slats. He is not to be confused with my friend Pudge, who is also a pug.

I ended up running 17 minutes. Tabby and I walked nine for my cool down. My back still hurts and I see I’ve written almost a thousand words on this. There may be a lesson here, but I don’t know what it is.

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