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A Pretty Good Hill for a Monday

I did not run on Wrist to Forehead Sunday (don’t judge). Then I failed to write a blog post as Monday (today) progressed. Finally I determined to go home, run, then write about the run.

My plan for Sunday had been to run up the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC), a ferocious hill, for those of you who are not familiar with it. I did not see how I could do such a thing today. Then I thought about how triumphant I would feel, posting on Facebook that I had done it. I thought about being at the top of the hill saying, “Yeah, I’m bad!” Still, I argued with myself, it is not easy to cross German Street at 4 p.m. on a weekday. Herkimer traffic can be heavy at that time. At last I decided that if I COULD cross the street, I would take that as a sign and run the damn hill.

The thing I mostly don’t like about running in the afternoon is that my dog, Tabby, is so happy to see me come home. She doesn’t want me to leave right away. She wants me to stay and pet her or take her for a walk. I reminded her that she does not like to run with me; she likes to stop and sniff and frequent intervals. She lay down underneath the coffee table. Ah, she understands, I thought. Then she jumped up with a hopeful look on her face as I opened the door. No, Tabby. I was in kind of a down mood to start with. A sad dog did not help.

Nonetheless, I set out. And right away the warm temperature and humidity did not feel good. No matter, I thought. A good sweat never hurt anybody. And I managed to cross German Street. Ah, my bold plan was working.

Only it wasn’t working very well, because as German Street sloped slightly upward as it does, I realized I was in no shape to run up a hill like the one to HCCC. The hill by Valley Health, perhaps I could manage. Then I got to the gate to the unknown park. I think it is called Brookfield Park, but as it is not clearly labeled, I persist in referring to it as the unknown park (not capitalized). The ground sloped up as I ran in. It was an effort. A good enough hill for a Monday

I have not run through this park in over a year. I wondered what effects of flooding remained. It is not a very extensive park. A road runs up into it and by a couple of large sports fields. I’ve seen soccer games going on as I’ve run by, and once I heard a bagpiper practicing up in some trees. Further down the road, across a footbridge there is a picnic pavilion and some grills. Beyond that is a path that leads to the back road to the college. In August the DARE 5K goes from the college down that path, in the opposite direction to what I was running today.

I had it in mind to run on that path, if it was still intact. Of course, I would not do anything stupid. If it was half collapsed, I would not run that way. Then I saw that the footbridge was blocked on both ends with some chain link fencing, a stern-looking CLOSED sign on the end near me. So much for that plan.

There are probably a lot of bugs near all those trees anyways, I thought. I ran to the end of the road I was on and turned around. My legs were not happy with me, but they did not collapse under me, which I found encouraging.

Back onto the village streets, a sprint across German as soon as I had a chance. How long was I going to run for? 29 minutes, the same as I had done Saturday? 32, to increase by 10 percent as I had planned to do Sunday? Neither seemed within the realm of possibility. I thought, it’s hot, it’s humid, I worked all day. I am out here running AT ALL. This is good.

It seemed to take a very long time to get back to my street. When I was almost there, I passed a neighbor sitting on her porch. Her dogs greeted me with barks.

“It’s too hot to jog!” she said.

“I know!” I answered. “But I gotta do it!”

My run ended up being 28 minutes, which I thought was pretty OK. Tabby walked around the block with me for my cool-down. A breeze finally started blowing as we were almost home. Nice. A shower felt even nicer. And it will also feel nice to hit “Publish,” and know I’ve made another post.

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