Is it as much of a triumph if, on the way to your goal, you inwardly grumbled and fussed and wished yourself elsewhere? Or does that make it more of a triumph, that you overcame your own resistance and fought the enemy that was you?
Another philosophical question: does it matter much if I do another post about running so soon?
The questions in the first paragraph occurred to me in the middle of this morning’s run. I made it up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly referred to as HCCC), the first time I have done so in a while. Even getting on the road was something of a triumph, because my first thought on getting out of bed was, “Thank God I ran yesterday when I didn’t want to, because now it won’t be so bad if I don’t run again till tomorrow.” A cup of coffee helped me change my mind.
It was 46 degrees, according to my thermostat, one degree over my limit for shorts and short sleeves. I had been going to rethink that rule, but I could not be bothered with thinking this morning. I found stuff to wear and got out the door. I soon lamented my cold hands but comforted myself with the thought that I would not try to write anything for a while after the run.
I had told Steven I might run up to HCCC, but I wouldn’t guarantee it. As a friend of mine said once, “I don’t make plans, promises or excuses.” I could have expounded for a while on that excellent rule, but I only would have been stalling my run, so I did not. Instead I ran toward German Street and turned myself in the direction of the college. I could not see any alternative to running up that hill. I had to do it sooner or later, I thought. The longer I put it off, the worse it would be. I realize that, logically speaking, that is not strictly true (do I really need both those adverbs in that sentence? I do tend to overdo it with the adverbs). If I kept increasing my run time, and kept running other hills (of which there are not that many in Herkimer), it would get easier not harder to run up one particular hill. But as I said earlier, I could not be bothered with a lot of thinking this morning.
Besides, I wanted to feel bad-ass.
Going up that hill was not fun. Looking ahead didn’t help. Looking down at my feet didn’t help. Looking back at how far I came helped a little bit, since I didn’t do that till I was more than half-way up. I tried to distract myself by looking at the green on the bushes and some of the trees to the left and right of me. I do like to see the green. I did not see any deer or other critters. A couple of cars went by, also headed up the hill, but I did not try to hitch a ride. They probably would not have stopped in any case.
At last, at last, I was at the top! I wanted to put my arms over my head and make fists, although there was nobody nearby to sing, “We Are the Champions” (regular readers may recall that at the end of a difficult run, I enjoy to walk around with my fists in the air while somebody sings, “We Are the Champions,” if I can get anybody to do so). I just kept running normally, though, looking forward to the downhill part of my run.
I upped my time by the recommended 10 percent, so I felt pretty pleased about that. Then I had a hot flash while I was stretching, so a cool shower felt really good. I used good-smelling soap and lotion (white gardenia, my favorite), so I could feel pretty. Even us bad-ass runners like to feel pretty sometimes. I meant to make my Running Commentary post soon after my run, and perhaps include more of my observations and philosophical thoughts. Then again, I’ve approaching 700 words. That is pretty long for me. And I have a murder mystery to get ready for. Happy Saturday, everyone.