For about the final third of my run and my entire cool-down walk, I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and shout, “THIS is why I run!!!” I felt terrific! It was WONDERFUL! I had to remind myself how much it had sucked running up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly known as HCCC).
My running has been pretty sporadic lately. I ran three days on my long weekend then took four days off. I ran Friday but not Saturday. In my defense, oh, never mind a defense, I don’t care if anybody judges me. Today (Sunday) promised to be warmer. I thought an early run would be best, because I planned to go to church (I have a prayer shawl to deliver, as regular readers may recall). Before getting dressed, I came downstairs and checked the temperature on our thermostat. 50 degrees outside. That works. My cut-off temperature for running in shorts and short sleeves is 45.
I put on my Army t-shirt with the reflective decal on the back, but I thought my road guard vest would be a good idea, since it was still dark out and I intended to run up the hill to the college. I was happy to be able to find it. My sister, Cheryl gave me the vest for my 50th birthday. She also gave me a little LED light clip. The clip was on the vest. And it still lit up! Score! I would turn on the light when I was actually on the road and keep it off while running on the sidewalk.
It was not until I was running that I thought about how I call it a “road guard vest” in my head but it’s really merely a “reflective vest.” Road guard vests, to me, are an army thing. When you run in a formation, there are always a few road guards running in front and behind. When you get to a crossroad, the road guards run up and make the cars, if any, stop. Reminiscences about army running and road guard vests kept my mind occupied for the first part of my run, so I didn’t pay too much attention to how my body felt.
That changed when I started up the hill to the college. I had not run that hill in quite a while, but I ran a couple of pretty good hills in Vermont, so I thought I was up to it. As I ran, I began to feel not so much. What the hell, body? I tried the trick of looking down at my feet and just shuffling up that hill. I was momentarily distracted by my shadow. It looked tall and svelte. I pretended I really looked like that, but it didn’t make running up the hill any easier. That hill had not sucked that bad in a long time, I thought. Then I reminded myself that I can put up with almost any amount of suck for just about as long as I decide to.
At last, at last, I reached the top. Phew! I began to run down the back way. It was blocked with a few orange cones, but I thought that was just for vehicular traffic not pedestrians. It looked quite dark. Perhaps it was not the best way to go. As I got closer to the dark, I saw some light further up ahead. See, I told myself, it would be fine. Then I saw some men working. They wouldn’t mind me. As I got closer, it seemed they were taking up most of the road. Maybe they would mind me. I turned around. That gave me some more uphill to run, so that was good. At least, it was good for me.
It was on the way down the hill that I started to get the terrific feeling I mentioned in the first paragraph. As I approached the bottom of the hill, I noticed something I had forgotten about. The road seemed to go uphill again. What was that about? I didn’t remember going downhill before going up this hill! And there’s a metaphor for life, I thought. We don’t always realize when things are easier but we sure as hell notice when they suck! Anyways, once I got to the newly recognized uphill section, it wasn’t bad at all. I kept feeling terrific.
I don’t feel too awful bad about this blog post, either, although as usual, I’m remembering a few things I thought or noticed while running that I have not mentioned. It would make for a much longer blog post, I’m afraid. Maybe I’ll write a Big Book of Running Commentary someday and include everything. Or maybe I’ll just keep running and keep quiet. In any case, I see I have successfully avoided having a Wrist to Forehead Sunday post. Score!