There was a moment on this morning’s run when I did not feel that I was rocking it, yet I suspected I was. Later on, when I had finished my run and was about to begin my cool-down walk, I felt an impulse to yell, “Yes! I am Bad! Ass!” Of course I did not. It would be the wrong thing to do in a residential neighborhood prior to eight o’clock on a Sunday morning.
I had not run for two days and when I got out of bed this morning, I felt the desire to make it three. After a cup of coffee I felt a little better about things. The temperature was 45 degrees, my cut-off temperature for shorts and short sleeves which, as regular readers may recall, I have been thinking about re-thinking but I never feel like doing that much thinking. So I dithered a little before getting dressed, but eventually got into shorts and short sleeves. After all, it was supposed to be a long run. I would have plenty of time to get warmed up.
My run was further delayed by a plumbing problem. While the toilet was filling it began to make a hideous, loud pounding noise. Steven turned off the water and got on the phone with our plumber. I did not know how long the water would remain off so thought it best not to get all sweaty and stinky right away. I got myself a half slice of the pizza we had sent out for last night and awaited events.
Our plumber, it turned out, is visiting family in New Jersey and won’t return till Tuesday. However, when Steven described the problem, he said as long as the noise stopped when the bowl was filled, nothing terrible would happen and he would take a look at it on Tuesday. That’s in a nutshell. I would probably get it wrong if I tried to repeat the whole thing and, anyways, this is Sunday Running Commentary, not a Plumbing Post.
So I decided to run without waiting for the pizza to digest. I’m always pretty good about waiting an hour or two after eating, but now that I think about it, that’s what they always told us about swimming, not running. I didn’t know what would happen for running but decided to find out.
I had it in my head to run up to Herkimer College, but as soon as I started running I knew I didn’t feel like doing that. I was cold, especially my hands. I was tired. I was afraid this would not be an especially fun run. However, I did not feel as utterly incapable of continuing as I had felt on Thursday, so I counted my blessings and headed towards the college. Before I got to Lou Ambers Drive, I thought of running up the back road to the college. Not as steep but longer. That would work.
As I ran through a residential area, I saw my neighbors delivering papers and said good morning. The wife told me to run a couple of miles for her.
“I will!” I had no idea how many miles, if any, I would actually run that day, but I wanted to be obliging.
It wasn’t much fun running up the hill, but I tried to appreciate the woods on either side of me. The little stream to my left laughed at me as usual.”Look at me, going downhill,” it seemed to say. “Look how easy this is and how much fun I’m having! This is the way to go!” But it was a weird image in my head. Was the stream talking to me or was it all the little molecules of water talking in unison? That’s the trouble with anthropomorphizing some things. Anyways, I thought, who wants to go in only one direction? Wouldn’t you like to decide where to go? And I thought there might be a profound point to make about how people often want to go in the more difficult direction and have to figure out ways to do it. Man vs. nature, and all that sort of thing. I was having too much trouble running to come any good conclusions on these thoughts, but these are the things that go through my head sometimes.
At one point I looked ahead and saw how pretty the road looked, curving around to an unknown destination. I will have to go back with my tablet and get a picture to share with you. I thought how one might not know where the road went after the curve, so it would make an evocative picture. However, I knew that once I got around that curve I would be almost at the top of the hill, so I was encouraged.
At last I was there. Puff, puff. Running is certainly an effort at times. I wondered if it was the pizza weighing me down. However, I did not feel sick to my stomach, so I counted my blessings and kept going. When the road began to slope down, I felt very happy. Now all I had to do was move my feet and let gravity take me along. Then the downgrade got too steep to be really enjoyable. I leaned back and tried not to jounce myself too much. I thought of a story my husband Steve tells about how he was running down a hill as a boy and got out of control fast. That did not happen to me today.
As usual, I calculated in my head a few times if I ran X today, then increased it by 10 percent each week, where would I be at the end of June? I figure in pretty good shape for the Boilermaker 15K in July. It was towards the bottom of the hill that I experienced the thought that I was rocking the run while not feeling that I was. I was soon extremely tired but managed to keep going.
Eventually an odd thing happened. I still did not feel I was rocking it, but my legs felt pretty good. They felt supple, warmed up and, well, like legs that were capable of running for a damn long time. My breathing was a bit labored, but my legs were all, “We cool.”
Now I see I have gone on for over 1,000 words. I haven’t done a Running Commentary that long in a while! And how appropriate, since this was my longest run in 2017. Boilermaker, here I come!