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No Sweat! (Wanna Bet?)

Since I did not run Monday I thought it would be a good idea to run Tuesday. Then when I heard that thunderstorms were predicted for Wednesday and Thursday, I knew it would be a good idea. (Please note, and I believe I’ve noted before, I did not say “I ought to” or “I should.” I almost never do what I ought to.)

It had been a sticky, stinky day. That is, the weather was sticky and I was stinky. I wanted to wash my work pants (I only have one pair; don’t judge me). I could multi-task by putting in the wash before I ran. My washing machine takes about 40 minutes: a 30 minute run with 10 minute cooldown would be just right. Did I feel like a woman with her act together or what?

Oh, it was muggy (I was originally going to call this post “Muggy Run” but I think I’ve used that title before). I thought at first to run neighborhood streets; no hills. Cut myself a little break. Then I saw that I could immediately cross German Street. I had to go for it.

Now I was headed toward Herkimer County Community College (HCCC). Could I manage the hill to HCCC, front or back? Then I remembered the unknown park. All those trees, all that shade. Would it be cooler or merely more muggy? I would find out. It was soon clear that this was going to be a perseverance run. Well, you’ll have those (that is my stock reply to myself when I don’t like something).

As I turned into the park and started up the small hill, I noticed two signs that said, “No Dumping.” I pictured people coming by later and saying, “Will you look at that? Right next to a sign that says No Dumping somebody has dumped a middle-aged lady wearing running clothes!”

Up ahead of me I saw three college-age boys walking. One of them appeared to be texting (aren’t the young folks always texting?). I thought he could text for a taxi for me. Or an ambulance. They were really strolling at their leisure, because it did not take me long to pass them. It can be discouraging sometimes, how long it takes me to pass a pedestrian.

Past the athletic fields (no sports games going on), into the picnic area, and soon I was on the path through the woods. An occasional breeze off the stream offered a little relief, but for the most part the air was hot and heavy. I noticed a number of large rocks I would like to put in my garden. The little devil on one shoulder said, “Go ahead! They won’t miss one or two rocks!” The angel on my other shoulder said, “If everybody just took rocks out of the park, there wouldn’t be any left for the park.” While they continued to argue, I thought about how much harder it would be to run carrying a large rock, and that settled that.

A couple more upslopes and I was on the back road to HCCC. I turned away from the college and ran downhill. Ah! I considered running to the spring. I not only wanted to drink some, I wanted to splash it all over my face. The sweat was running down it. I had on a sweatband, but that only caught some of the overflow from the top of my head. Every other sweat gland in my body was pumping industriously.

I thought of the bottle of ice water waiting for me on my (scrubbed, unstained) deck. I thought of the Gator Ade in my refrigerator. I thought of a long, cool shower. I stopped thinking about those things before they made me cry. I paused briefly to pet a nice dog. Her owner told me she was a year old puggle. Sweet puppy. I noted several rhododendrons with as many blooms as mine. I must get more flowers planted.

By virtue of running past my house twice I managed to keep running for thirty minutes. The sweat continued to drip as Tabby walked my cooldown with me. I tried to encourage her to stop and sniff only in shady spots. When we were almost all the way around the block, the most wonderful cool breeze blew over us. Heavenly!

I looked at the weeds on my front lawn and decided they could wait another day. These runs do take it out of me. But the Boilermaker is coming! I must persevere!

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