It may be time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time. I went for my last long run before the big race. The big race, for anybody just tuning in, is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, the premier 15K race in the country (I say it with confidence, although I confess I have not researched 15K races), which takes place this Sunday, July 9, 2017. There is also a 5K on Sunday, a 3-mile walk on Saturday, an Expo Friday and Saturday, and many other events and attractions. I know I’m not mentioning everything; after all, this blog is mostly about ME (I say it with no apology for my egotism) (although I confess to having a good laugh at myself).
Where was I? Ah yes, about to do a Running Commentary post about my last long run till Sunday (hey, is that a good title for the post, or is it too obvious?).
It was excellent running weather: not too hot, not too humid, sunny and pretty. As I ran, I felt the sun was perhaps brighter and hotter than my own personal ideal, but running in the shade was fine. I decided to run in the residential area behind Valley Health, what I refer to as “the suburbs.” This took me up the hill by Valley Health as a kind of a warm-up hill, and I knew I would find a long, challenging hill as I went.
As I ran toward Valley Health, along German Street which gradually slopes upward, I realized I did not want to run any hills. My body felt like it could keep going perfecly well on level ground but would be utterly defeated by gravity if I tried to push it. Well, naturally on my Last Long Run Before The Boilermaker, I was inclined to push it. I remembered of what I thought on a recent run: running hills does not become easier for me; I merely learn to keep going longer while it sucks. I wondered if that was strictly true. Most probably it sucks less as I go. Today I tried a new tack: I told myself that going up hills was a psychological trick; I just had to stop NOTICING how much it sucked. This is an extension of a trick I heard about in the army: just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill.
I took a wrong turn and ran down a perfectly level street that turned at a right angle then ended in a cul-de-sac. Then I found the correct corner, when down a small hill then up, up, up. I passed a lady walking down and said good morning.
“Boilermaker!” I added, fists in the air. “Three days and a wake-up!”
“There you go!” she encouraged. “Good luck!”
A short while later, I saw a fellow runner, headed down the hill.
“Boilermaker!” I called to her. “We got this!” She laughed.
I passed a few other walkers, including a very nice couple who let me pet their dog. Yes, I stopped running long enough to pet the dog. I like to pet a dog.
I ran for an hour and one minute, which is how long I ran yesterday. In training for previous Boilermakers, I have been up to an hour and a half. However, I feel an hour is good. I tell myself, if you can run for an hour, you can run for two; just don’t stop. I plan shorter runs tomorrow and Friday, and a couple of long walks on Saturday. And in between, I hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Boilermaker, here I come!