Soon this blog may become All Boilermaker All The Time. It is one month away as I write this (in a spiral-bound notebook while on break at work, just to give you a mental image if desired).
Sunday, July 12, I will run 15K with 13,999 other runners. Then we’ll drink beer. At least, beer will be available. That’s not important right now. What is important is that I ran three days in a row this week.
The last time I ran three days in a row, I declared that three times was the charm, because it was a great run. I suppose that is the difference between running three days in a row on a three-day weekend and running three days in a row while working 8 or 9 hour days in heat.
Don’t worry; I’m not gearing up to whine and cry about my lousy run, nor even about my job or the heat. I like my job, I can live with the heat, and it wasn’t all that lousy of a run, once I got into it. Getting into it, however, was a little lousy.
My only plan when I started out was to run up the Herkimer College the back way and to run longer than I ran on Wednesday. Wednesday was a purposely short run, because I had dinner plans with my spouse (ooh, I could have written a blog post about that. Maybe tomorrow). Additionally, I don’t know if, when and for how long I’ll be able to run today (Friday) and Saturday, so a long run would be a good idea. However, I am not one to push myself mercilessly. That is one way to get injured and have to stop running entirely.
A breeze was blowing when I left work, but it was sunny and warm. I put on sunscreen and hoped I would not sweat it into my eyes as I sometimes do. It was a little after four when I set out. I had some difficulty crossing German Street but not enough to let me off the hook, so I was soon headed uphill.
And my body was not the least bit pleased with me. Oh, it SUCKED! I had to ask myself, “Is this really going to make the Boilermaker suck less or am I just learning how to keep going when it sucks?” I don’t suppose it matters; either way will get me to the beer at the end of the race.
Soon I realized that my legs were not complaining at all. It was my breathing that was the problem. Pant, pant. I don’t smoke! I don’t have asthma! Could my weight gain be to blame? I concentrated on taking deep, slow breaths. Gasping for air will only make things worse.
It pretty much sucked the whole time I ran uphill, which was a while, because I continued up across the campus. Once I was on level ground, my breathing evened out. Then my back started to hurt. No way! Well, I know weight can be a factor for that, so I could only regret all the ice cream. I concentrated on running smoothly with as little bouncing as possible. That helped.
I kept running for 52 minutes. I thought that meant I was playing with a full deck, but perhaps I was being silly (what, me silly? Say it ain’t so!). After the run I was exhausted. And a little worried. Fifty-two minutes is less than half of how long it took me to run the Boilermaker three years ago (good God, was it three years ago? I was only in my 40s for heavens’ sake!).
However, this morning I didn’t feel too bad. At odd times during the day I noticed my legs felt pretty spry. Almost as if they were developing — dare I say it? — muscles. So maybe running the Boilermaker won’t suck too bad. And like I said, either way I get beer.