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I Didn’t HAVE To

With the DARE 5K bearing down on me, I thought it would be a good idea to run today. I had proven to myself on Saturday that I could so run with a bad cold, so that fact that I was feeling only marginally better would not be a sufficient excuse. It was warm, but that was good, I told myself. The DARE 5K begins at 9 a.m. The sun will be high in the sky. What finally convinced me was that I told myself I didn’t HAVE to run up the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) and I didn’t HAVE to run 45 minutes. If I ran AT ALL, that would be enough. I set out.

It was warm. The sun was hot. I didn’t like it. But I persevered, trying to take comfort in the fact that it seemed less humid than it had earlier. There was a bit of a breeze, and I could look for shade.

I crossed German Street in the middle of a block, because I found a good opportunity. This is what you have to do with 4 p.m. Herkimer traffic. This put me on the right side of the street to run up to HCCC. But I didn’t HAVE to run there. Maybe I could run up the back way to HCCC. Not as steep, a little longer. A good run. I went by that street.

Oh, but it was not fun to run in the heat. Never mind, just keep going. Here was the street up to HCCC. I didn’t have to run up that hill. I could turn off before the steep part. I didn’t have to run 45 minutes, or even 40 minutes. I could run up the hill till I had run 10 minutes then run back down. But I ought to run more than 20 minutes. 30 minutes would be an OK run. I could run up the hill for 15 minutes then turn around, I bargained with myself. I didn’t fall for it. I knew that by the 15 minute mark I would be too far along to turn back.

The sun was bothering me more than the upslope. There was the steep part. In the sun. Wait a minute, no it wasn’t. There were two distinct patches of shade. There you go, I told myself. Run till you’re out of shade, then turn around. What a deal!

As I reached the second patch of shade I realized the shade continued, with varying degrees of patchiness, at least till the road curves. Once you get to the curve, you are just too close to the top to turn around. As I continued to shuffle up the hill I wondered if I had really had any thought of turning around. Of course not, I thought. For one thing, I knew I was going to write a blog post about it. Write a blog post about NOT making it up the hill to HCCC? That’s crazy talk!

I am sorry to report that the run did not for one minute become fun. I never once felt that I could rock this. I told myself that I was rocking it, pointing out to myself that no complaints were coming from my legs, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

That hardly mattered. What mattered was I did it. I can look forward to the DARE 5K with less trepidation. And it got me a blog post for Monday. I say OK.

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