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Looking for Endorphins

Having registered for the Boilermaker yesterday but not gone running, I knew I would be hitting the pavement today. I was a little discouraged when I got up to 23 degrees, according to my thermostat. I thought, coffee first. Always a good plan. Surely it would warm up.

As we sat sipping coffee and watching the news, I became even more discouraged. They were predicting temperatures in the teens and lower. What, it was going to get colder? Warmer later in the week, but I needed to run today. I thought I would eat a banana with peanut butter and run after I felt my stomach had settled.

It had dropped to 21 according to my thermostat by then. I resolutely ignored the temperatures reported on the television (I checked two channels), which were even lower. I had found my one real winter running shirt. I would be fine.

I put long johns on my legs. Not particularly warm long johns, but legs move the most when you are running. It would be OK. I put a hooded zip up sweatshirt over the shirt. For one reason, the shirt is quite formfitting. I felt self-conscious. I found my best winter running socks, added hat and gloves, and was on my way.

It was prior to 8 a.m. (twenty minutes prior, if you want to be exact), so there was very little traffic. The sky was grey, and the air was cold. My outfit helped, except for the long johns, which I discovered were rather ineffectual. My face was cold. It actually started to hurt. Never mind, just keep running.

At least the sidewalks were mostly bare. I shuffled over what ice there was. I crossed German Street and headed in the opposite direction from what I had run on Tuesday, toward Route 28 (I ran up the hill by Valley Health previously). I had no intention of running on Route 28; I’m just giving locals an idea of where I ran.

Where would I run? A dead end run, where I ran up and back all the dead end streets off German? Out German Street extension, which is residential and country-ish? How long? Probably 26 minutes, which is how long I ran the last two times I ran. I would up it by the recommended 10 percent on my next run.

I re-crossed German at the end of the street, where that old factory is. I ran around the factory parking lot. I saw a sign that said no bicycling, skateboarding or roller blades. It didn’t say anything about middle-aged ladies running, so I figured I was OK. I know, it probably would have said “no running” and not specified middle-aged ladies. I tend to take everything personally.

I wasn’t loving the run, but my legs were pretty OK with it. My breathing was even OK, despite the cold air. Still, it wasn’t the thrill I was hoping for. You see, I am not in the best of moods today (Wrist to Forehead Sunday, after all). I was hoping for a dose of those endorphins you hear so much about.

The temperature wasn’t so bad when the wind died down. I persevered. I even added my 10 percent, running a total of 29 minutes (I round up) (good God, you don’t expect me to run precisely 28 minutes 36 seconds, did you?) (I used paper and pencil to figure that out). Tabby walked my cool-down with me, although I was not particularly overheated.

I’m still in kind of a dull, down mood, but I’m happy I ran. No doubt I will soon be in fine shape, and by “fine shape” I mean “a shape other than round and puffy.” Maybe I’ll finally get some of them there endorphins.

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