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I Triumph

Endorphins still elude me. In fact, I almost titled this post “Still No Endorphins.” However, I wanted to strike a more positive note, because my run was not without its rewards. Still, it took a while to get there. So this may be a lengthy post. We’ll see.

Today was a delightfully warm day, even warmer than one expects in early April, with highs of 60. I knew I would run. I knew I would wear shorts and a t-shirt to run. I hoped it would be a good run. By the time I got home and ready to run, I had my doubts. I must not get enough vitamins or something. Nevertheless, I set out.

I had started a little later than usual, because I had made a stop on the way home from work. I wondered if the delay could be why I was able to immediately cross German Street. This boded well for either of my plans. My first plan had been to run up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. This is less steep but longer than the front way. Less overtly daunting but I believe equally challenging. As I felt tired and not motivated I thought I would do the hill by Valley Health and then on into the suburbs.

As I went out German, I was not enjoying the upgrade. I couldn’t run up to HCCC. I wasn’t even sure I could do the hill by Valley Health, but since I had crossed German I supposed I would. I went by the entrance to Brookfield Park. Oh, too steep too soon. I turned up — oh crap, I can’t remember the street’s name, but it is a residential street that leads to the back way up to HCCC. And it begins with an upslope. Ugh. This wasn’t fun. When was running going to get fun again?

As I pondered the unfunness of my run and regretted that my Running Commentary might be a litany of complaint, I wondered if I had jinxed myself. We’ve been talking about running at work, because some of us plan to run the Boilermaker. One co-worker expressed himself as NOT a runner; he thinks running is dumb. “I LOVE to run,” I informed him, more than once. Dammit, why wasn’t I loving it?

I had a few choices of where to run next. The first left would take me DOWNHILL and eventually back the way I came. The first right, a little further up, would take me into the residential area I refer to as the suburbs. The second left (opposite the first right, incidentally) would take me the back way to HCCC. I did NOT want to go that way. However, as I ran I was as usual narrating in my head, planning my blog post. Suddenly I felt that I could not write in my blog that I had wussed out. If I was going to write about this run, I was going uphill. I made the second left.

However, first I bargained thusly with myself: my run time is up to 32 minutes. I would run up the hill for half of that time, 16 minutes (in case you didn’t feel like doing the math). I probably wouldn’t make it to the top, but I would be going uphill for a good portion of my run. Oh dear, just look at that hill. This was the less steep way? Oh well, I wanted to be running up to HCCC as soon as possible.

I continued uphill, looking at my watch often and counting how many minutes till 16. “Just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill,” I told myself, echoing a long followed piece of running advice. I looked ahead at how far I had to go. I can’t say looking down was that much easier. I saw the stream to my left, bubbling busily downhill. Ah, downhill. Where gravity is my friend.

I suppose my title was kind of a spoiler and astute readers have already guessed I made it to the top. It got to a point where I knew I would, but that last little bit, where it goes steep again, was a bit of a struggle. My breathing got a little dicey. And then I was making another left. I was NOT going to turn around and run back the way I came! I was going down the front way! This was GREAT! Running was still not fun, but it was SO SATISFYING! Oh, I was bad ass.

Some students were hanging out in the dorm parking lot as I ran by. They were listening to music and tossing a frisbee. I wanted to call over and ask where the beer was. A little further up I saw three kids standing on the path, talking. They looked more approachable, although I did not, in fact, approach them.

“Those guys over there didn’t invite me to their party,” I called.

“Us neither!” a guy answered, as mystified as I was by the omission.

The euphoria I had experienced at the top of the hill was short-lived. The rest of my run home seemed to take a long time, and my body was not loving it. I suppose this is the kind of run I have to live through. I know it is the kind of run that occurs occasionally even when I have been running regularly for a long time. For now I can only look forward to when I can write a blog post about a run where I feel it is FUN. Maybe I’ll finally get some of them there endorphins.

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