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Category Archives: DARE 5K

What? Me, Stop Running?

Now that I’m done running the Boilermaker 15K  (for this year, anyways),  my thoughts turn to my real favorite run: the Herkimer DARE 5K.  I bet you thought I was going  tosay my thoughts turn to the beer.  Well,  I thought about the beer pretty much all through the Boilermaker.  That’s the way it works sometimes:  When you’re running you think about other things; when you stop running, you think about your next run.

The DARE5K is a fundraiser for the DARE program, which of course aims to keep young people away from drugs.  So right away one has the frisson of virtue that comes from supporting a worthy cause.

The most distinctive feature of the HerkimerDARE5K is that we run up the hill to Herkimer College.  For the uninitiated, I assure you, it is some hill.  Once I’m in running shape, I like to run up it at least once a week, so I can feel like I’m bad ass.  Another reason to run up the hill is that you are rewarded with some beautiful views at the top.  I suppose you could still enjoy the view if you drove up to the top, but what fun is that?

What I really enjoy about the DARE 5K is that it is so much more relaxed than the Boilermaker. I suppose it is not a fair comparison.  After all,  the Boilermaker is a premier road race attracting world class runners and utilizing many resources.   It is Utica’s own local claim to fame.   However, I feel it lacks the small-town appeal of Herkimer’s little run.

When I register for the DARE, I walk down to the police station with the form and check. Last year I was able to ask a few questions about police work, for the novel I have been working on.  On the day of the race, things are very conveniently located for me.  I walk to Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street to pick up my race packet. The year my nephew ran with me (actually, quite a ways ahead of me), I was able to pick up his as well.

The race begins and ends at Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners, one of my favorite spots.  Before the 5K is the Jr. Fun Run for ages 12 and younger, which goes around the block. I’ve seen 5K runners do the Fun Run with their kids as a warm-up.  I keep trying to get my youngest niece to do the Fun Run, but no luck so far.  Perhaps when my great-nephew learns to walk he’ll be into it.

After the race there is an awards ceremony and post-race party with refreshments and a DJ.  I’ve never stayed to see the awards given, but I usually grab a quick bite to eat.  This year’s DARE 5Ktakes place on Saturday, August 15 with the Jr. Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m.  I’m trying to recruit an entourage to cheer me on,but even if I have no luck with that, I expect I will still enjoy the run.

I wrote the preceding on Monday (yesterday), the day after the Boilermaker, before beginning my shift at work.  When I got home, I found I had received my Official Entry Form in the mail.  How apropos! I shall register soon, so I will have an excuse to keep writing blog posts about running.

For more information about the DARE 5K and Jr. Fun Run, or about the Herkimer DARE program, you can e-mail dareherkimer@yahoo.com or visit Herkimer DARE on Facebook.   Come on!  Run up the hill with me!

 

Wise Cracks on the Race Track

I felt I had no reason to be nervous for the DARE 5K. It was a matter of some annoyance to me, therefore, when I woke up last Saturday (Aug. 16) with a fluttery feeling in my chest and stomach. No fair, I said. I felt I should be stern with myself: you are running this race because it is fun, I told me. Dammit, have fun!

I started to feel better about things shortly after seven when I put Tabby on the leash and walked down to pick up my number and goody bag. I chatted with the volunteers and checked out the map of the route. It was somewhat different from two years ago when I had last run it, due to flood damages in Brookfield Park.

I had a lot of fun during the Kids’ Fun run, cheering all the runners as they finished. “Finish strong!” I said, and “Good sprint!” The runners seemed to particularly like “Look at her (or him) go!”

The trouble was I wanted to begin running the 5K right away, and I had to wait. I found people to chat with while we waited. I stood towards the rear of the crowd of racers, so fewer people would have to pass me if I started slow, as I did two years ago (when a LOT of people passed me). It is disheartening when a whole bunch of runners breeze by you right away.

At last we began. And I was dead last. How embarrassing! Oh well, these things happen. I could still have fun.

“Somebody’s got to be last!” I called to spectators. They applauded and yelled encouragement. Soon I passed a gentleman and two young girls. I heard the man tell the girls they would walk to the next stop sign.

“I’ll see you when you pass me again,” I called.

One lady was setting a steady pace a little ways in front of me. As we approached the big hill up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC), I said to her, “Our moment’s coming. We’ll pass all those people when they walk!”

I have been training for this. Regular readers will remember I ran up this very hill several times in recent memory. I felt extremely ill-used that I still found it so hard. I did not pass as many people as I had hoped, either. No matter, I made it to the top.

I approached a group of high school boys in this year’s blue DARE shirt. They were still walking.

“Pardon me, fellows, you’re blocking the road,” I said.

The really fast runners passed us going the other way on the opposite side of the median.

“You could cut through there,” I suggested to one of the guys. “And totally cheat.”

He did it. Teehee! I could hear his buddies behind me jeering at him. I turned around and yelled, “I told him to!”

I don’t think he really cheated that way, but I could see where it would be tempting. I was getting tired.

“Eating pasta the night before is a total myth,” I complained to some runners.

I was relieved that the turn around was not quite as far as I had pictured (I never could read a map properly). Finally I was on Reservoir Road headed downhill. I could still see the first runners I had passed, headed for the turn around.

“You guys still have to pass me,” I encouraged. I don’t know if they heard me. I passed a couple more runners.

As I came back around to the top of the hill I saw two young boys walking. They started to run again before I caught up with them.

“You go, boys!” I shouted. I don’t know if they heard me.

I was offered water at the top of the hill. This was the third or fourth water station, but I rarely take water during a 5K.

“Everything will be delightful,” I assured them. It is a favorite saying of mine.

“It’s all downhill from here,” a lady in a tie-dye shirt encouraged me.

“Just like my life,” I observed. I knew she was quite right, unlike on the Boilermaker when they keep telling you it’s all downhill when you know darn well there are several more uphill sections.

Normally I lean back and take it easy on a steep downhill slope, but this was a race. I let gravity help me speed up. Then I worried that I would start going too fast for my legs to keep up and I would land on my stupid face. When I got to the bottom of the steepest part, I yelled to some spectators, “It’s scary going downhill when you try to hurry!”

“Don’t try to hurry!” Good advice.

“But it’s a race!” I was gone before I could hear their reply, if any. Really, who did I think I was kidding with this hurrying business? In spite of passing some people, I was WAY back in the pack.

I soon caught up to one of the young boys, who was now walking again.

“Good job, you’re doing great,” I said. I only go all drill sergeant for high school age and up. As I was thinking about this one of the high school boys caught up with me. “See, if you never would have walked, you’d be all the way up there now,” I told him. He passed me, then walked, so I started to pass him again.

“Oh, don’t do the thing where I pass you three times,” I said.

I think he said something about having asthma but I didn’t quite catch it. In any case, he passed me and I never saw him again till after the finish line. The young boy started running again and passed me.

“That’s right, show me the way,” I said.

“Just go that way,” he said, taking me literally.

I felt I was on the home stretch when I got to German Street, but there was still further to go than my body felt like doing.

“I’m counting the streets,” I told a guy who looked about my age. “You know, my street’s coming up. I could just go home and say to hell with it.”

That did seem a little silly this close to the end.

When I passed a family group, I asked if I could borrow the kid’s bicycle and ride the rest of the way. Another spectator recognized the guy running near me and called a greeting.

“It’s the comic relief,” he said.

“I thought that was me,” I said, thinking he must have missed my bicycle line (oh, I know it wasn’t that funny. It amused me at the time).

The last joke I made was to two girls who looked to be in their 20s.

“I can taste that beer now! Oh, wait, that’s the Boilermaker.”

“It’s within reach!” one of them encouraged. She probably guessed that I have beer in my refrigerator at home.

I did not end up getting as good a time as I had gotten two years ago, but I had a lot of fun. One might argue that if I made fewer silly jokes I might have shaved a few seconds off my time. Maybe I could have finished 79th instead of 80th out of 121. It would have been a shorter blog post, too (I’m sure a selling point with some readers). But I think I like my way better.

I Don’t DARE Back Out Now

Sunday was the last day to register for the DARE 5K and pay $20. After Monday, Aug. 11, the fee goes up to $25. At least, perhaps I could have registered on the 11th for $20, but who likes to take a chance on these things? (Oh, you probably do.)

Of course the best way for me to register is to fill out the form the Herkimer Police Department nicely mailed me, write a check, put Tabby on the leash and walk over to the police station. That way Tabby gets a walk, I get some exercise, I can write a blog post about it, and it is altogether a pleasant experience.

I was afraid it would be a little too sunny and hot for our walk but it wasn’t too bad around 9 o’clock, which is when we went. I wore my crazy old lady hat and prescription sunglasses. I noticed once again how nice everything looks in the sunshine. It’s like nature’s cosmetic. Then again, a lot of houses in Herkimer look nice all on their own. I noted with approval well-kept lawns, flowers still in bloom and nicely decorated porches. I am particularly envious of comfy-lookng porch furniture. I have not done enough porch- and deck-sitting myself this year. I’d better start taking advantage of the opportunities left to me.

We walked down Church Street to our favorite Historic Four Corners. We did not pause to admire the buildings but crossed Main Street and continued down to Green and the municipal building. I told the officer at the window I wanted to register for the DARE 5K, and he called to Steve Elwood, the officer in charge of the event. When Officer Elwood opened the door to talk to me, Tabby started to walk right in. She’s so sociable. He petted Tabby and asked if she was running.

“She doesn’t like to run with me,” I told him. “But after I run I walk around the block for a cool-down, and she joins me on that.”

I also asked him a question pertaining to the police for my novel. He gave me some good information. We chatted a little more about the race, then Tabby and I took our leave. We walked back home a different way, which Tabby seemed to enjoy. We stuck to the shadier side of the street, because it was starting to heat up.

So now I’m registered for the DARE 5K, and it is less than a week away. Will I be able to write a blog post about anything else between now and then? Ah, a little suspense will add interest to my week.

DARE to be Different

I always compare the Herkimer, NY DARE 5K favorably to the Utica Boilermaker. It is, perhaps, an unfair comparison. Herkimer is a village, Utica is a city. The Boilermaker is an international event, the DARE 5K is a local fundraiser. Of course I love the Boilermaker. Just look at how many posts I’ve written about it — even last year when I didn’t run it.

But there is no denying the Boilermaker puts on the pressure, and not only because it is three times as long. To pick up my packet I had to drive to Utica two days before the event, threading my way through an intense amount of traffic on my way to a HUGE running expo. At least by driving I would be sure to have my driver’s license with me, because you must show ID and ONLY pick up your own packet (actually, I think this year there was some provision to have somebody else pick up your packet for you, but that didn’t concern me).

Showing up for race day itself is something of an ordeal. I was dropped off, so I had no parking worries. Others were not so fortunate (neither was I, two years ago). 14,000 runners is certainly a lot. We were herded through a field around to the end of the starting line (instead of easily walking there by the most direct route), where the enormous number of porta-potties was yet not enough. And the crowd at the end of the race. Yikes! I just managed to find my way to where I was meeting my ride.

Of course the Utica Boilermaker is a wonderful thing in which to participate. There is even a kind of a fascination in being part of a crowd that large. But crowds are not and will never be one of my favorite things.

Compare all this to the Herkimer DARE 5K, whose starting line is conveniently located about three blocks from my house. I realize they did not do this as a personal favor to me, but I certainly enjoy it.

My schnoodle, Tabby, and I walked down to pick up my number and goody bag the morning of the race, leaving early enough to be one of the lucky first 200 who received a t-shirt. I knew it would be all right for Tabby to walk into the social hall of Christ Episcopal Church, because she has been there before. Last year I picked up my nephew’s stuff, too. It was most convenient.

I brought Tabby back home, because this year I did not have a cheering section to take charge of her while I ran. I walked back down shortly before 8:30, when the Junior Fun Run began. I wandered around, taking in the scene.

Lots of runners were stretching, chatting, drinking water. They all looked more athletic than me. Well, now how could that be, I reasoned with myself. I ran the Boilermaker, for heavens’ sake! Of course, I have slacked off on my training since then. And, let’s be honest, I did not exactly run the Boilermaker. It was more of a middle-aged shuffle.

I don’t know why I have to freak myself out this way before these runs. I know perfectly well that I am going to run slower than most yet faster than a few, and that I will handily run the distance without walking yet give myself a VCD attack by sprinting it out at the end. These things are not unpredictable. Just run your run, I tell myself.

That is also what other runners tell me. I got into a nice conversation with two young ladies before the race. I told them I was going to mention them in my blog, but I don’t imagine they will actively seek it out, which is just as well, because I’m not being nearly as descriptive as I had imagined I would be.

A lady from the Herkimer Telegram was looking for somebody to say something she could use in the paper. I told her we were there because it was fun.

It was fun. And, dare I say, relaxing. The run was on familiar streets, and afterwards I walked myself home with a minimum of fuss. What’s not to like?

I DAREd Myself

I mentioned yesterday how I ran up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the front way, because it is part of the DARE 5K to be held next week. Of course, regular readers (Hi, Aunt Mary!) know that is a run I try to do regularly, just to be tough. Well, I think we all know I’m not as tough as I think I am.

This morning (Saturday) I set out to run the infamous hill again. This time I ran around the block and down Church Street instead of German Street to get to HCCC. The way blocks are set up in Herkimer, this made a slightly longer run before the hill, and a little closer to what I will experience next weekend on the actual run.

It was a lovely morning for a run, cool, breezy, not too humid. I was in fine fettle. As I reached the bottom of the hill I exchanged greetings with a lady who seemed to be waiting for a ride at the end of a driveway. I like these little moments of sociability.

Yesterday at work, when I was still dithering about the run, I had said to a co-worker, “It’s no shame to run a 5K slowly.” He agreed, having previously pointed out that I was not racing, was I? (I am not.) I hope it is no shame to run a practice run slowly either. Oh, I was shuffling. I wanted to stare at my feet, a runner’s trick so you don’t notice the steep, long hill so much. Then I remembered some deer I had seen on that route two weeks ago so looked up and over into the woods. No forest creatures to take my mind off my ills.

I ran this hill regularly when I was training for the Boilermaker so I could laugh at the hills on that run. I didn’t really laugh at the hills that day, although I got a bit of a chuckle out of the silly jokes other runners and I were making. Today I did not feel the least bit inclined to laughter. Just make it around the corner, I told myself. So what, I answered, it just keeps going up after that! Oh, shut up and run.

Of course I reached the top eventually. I’ve never yet given up on that or any other hill, so I’ve got that going for me. Yesterday I had a terrible stitch in my side at that point. When this happens I usually put my arms over my head, stretch and breath deeply as best as I can while still maintaining somewhat of a run. This is not the same thing as putting fists in the air while somebody sings the chorus of “We Are the Champions,” but it is a reminiscent move and I try to take comfort in that. Today it was not necessary. I don’t think the college students are back, so nobody was likely to look our their window and see a crazy old lady running by. I hope.

After my run, I decided I would indeed run the DARE 5K. It will probably be fun and make a decent blog post. Plus, I’ve been telling many people I intend to do it. Why should I give them another reason to laugh and point? Registration fee goes up as of Monday, so I thought I would walk to the police station and drop it off. First I had some things I wanted to get done around the house. Tabby and I set out shortly after eleven.

What a stupid time of day for me to pick! It was hot and sunny. I even went back to the house to get my sunglasses. I should have gone back to the house and gotten my air conditioned truck, but Tabby had seemed to excited for the walk, plus I’ve been putting on a few pounds. Surely if I stuck to the shade it would be OK.

It pretty much was, although there was not nearly enough shade for my liking. I was a little worried the cop on duty might not know much about the DARE run, but it was no problem. By the time we were headed back, though, I felt drenched. I was certain I had sweated off all the sunscreen on my face and hoped my crazy old lady hat would offer sufficient protection. Of course, it also made my head sweat. I kept wanting to take it off when the breeze blew, to try to dry off my hair (I really have too much hair). Tabby kept picking the sunniest spots to stop and sniff, and I kept telling her to come on. At last we made it back home, where we both drank some water and I turned on all the fans.

So now I have proven to myself I will be able to run the DARE, and I have registered to run the DARE. And I’ve written a blog post about both. Can I take the rest of the day off?

I DARE to Do Another Post About Running

I may be segueing from All Boilermaker All The Time to All DARE 5K All The Time. In any case, I like to use Saturday morning’s run for Saturday’s post. I don’t know why I feel I must explain that every week, with perhaps a hint of an apology. I could probably write a full blog post on writers’ lack of confidence. Maybe next Lame Post Friday.

Be that as it may, I made up my mind to get up and run today. Of course I like to hang with my husband before he goes to work, but, I told myself, I have to run while the running’s good. In the fall and winter I can hang with Steven, then get on the road at 9 a.m. or later.

As I started out, I knew I was doing the right thing. It was cool! It felt great! Maybe I hadn’t lost all the running prowess I had developed training for the Boilermaker! Maybe I would run up the hill out Main Street. Yeah!

I decided against that. I have things to do today. I can’t do a hardcore run and spend the rest of the day flat on my back drinking Gator Ade and reading romance novels (although I did renew the biography of William Randolph Hearst I got at Basloe Library; I could read that). I thought, the hill by Valley Health Services will do me fine. I have three weeks before the DARE 5K to get hard core. I can spend this weekend being medium core.

It really wasn’t the least bit of a problem getting up the hill, so perhaps I should have been a little harder core. Oh well, too late now. Then as my run continued, I realized the cool temperature had been deceiving. Humidity was still high, and my run became increasingly less comfortable. Nevertheless, I hung in there.

At one point I crossed the street to run in some shade. A crow on a wire made an inquisitive noise that seemed to contain a veiled threat. Crows are scary anyways. They are big and mean. They are practically ravens, and you know the trouble Edgar Allen Poe had with a raven. Perhaps some bird lover will tell me that I am quite wrong about crows. They are really very nice, sweet birds, and are in fact nothing like ravens, which Poe was wrong about anyways. Well, if any bird lover wants to so inform me, I am open to new information.

When I ran through Meyers Park, I saw portions of some big stick sticking out of two trash cans. I wondered if it was the big stick the rough boys were hitting each other with the other day when Steven, Tabby and I walked through the park (see previous blog post entitled, “In my Defense, It Was a Big Stick”). I was pleased to see nobody was hitting anybody with the stick (well, I guess it was sticks now), but there was no need to throw it in the trash. Wood is biodegradable. At the very least, it should be put with yard waste for the village to pick up. I left it where it was though. I don’t go digging through the trash.

My run was a little longer than Thursday’s and I felt pretty good afterwards. I feel I can run the 5K; I’m just not sure how I’ll feel afterwards. So that is my goal now: to not feel like crap after the DARE 5K. Oh, and to have some more Mohawk Valley adventures so I don’t do posts about running every day.

The End of the Run

When I crossed the finish line of the DARE 5K on Saturday, I neither felt or looked particularly triumphant. I was having a full blown VCD attack.

I suffer from Vocal Chord Dysfunction or VCD. When I overexert the muscles in my throat tighten to the point that air cannot get through. It looks and sounds a lot like asthma, but the cause and the cure are different. I rarely have attacks, because I sensibly slow down when I need to slow down. But I obviously can’t finish a 5K slowing down. Not with all those nice people clapping and cheering for me, as this crowd did for every finisher.

As I walked rather unsteadily into the Court House parking lot, trying to get a grip on myself, a very nice young man followed me in some concern. He got me a cup of cold water and offered me a chair.

“I’m better off walking around,” I managed to tell him. After a few deep breaths and a sip of water, I tried to explain to him briefly about VCD. I think he was mostly relieved at the fact that I was standing and talking coherently, and not passing out or dropping dead of a heart attack. It was really very helpful of him, because in getting my breath to explain to him why I was all right, I actually got my breath and was all right. And the water was very welcome. I didn’t get his name, but I noticed his number was 22, because 22 is my lucky number. So if anybody reading this blog knows who was number 22, tell him thanks again. I appreciate it.

After I drank more water, and got Tabby some water, I watched more runners come in. You see, I was not dead last. At one point I saw a whole group of young people running together. Turns out only one of them was finishing. The others had finished earlier and went back to run their friend in and encourage him. I thought that was really cool. As I said, the crowd cheered and clapped for everyone.

We walked over to where they had one of those bouncy houses, which Camille (my 6 year old niece) expressed an interest in. They were serving food, so I got a hamburger and a couple of cookies. Steven ate a cookie, but declined the meat. After a while the DJ started a limbo contest with the junior runners. I thought maybe I’d better leave before he invited the 5K participants to limbo, too. As I walked down the sidewalk, a young man was waiting to high five me. It was my friend number 22.

“You see, I’m doing much better,” I told him.

“I was a little worried about you,” he said.

“It was very nice of you,” I told him. So that was my DARE run. A challenge, a lot of fun, good hamburger, nice crowd, and a good Samaritan. I look forward to next year.

I Finally Ran the DARE!

Saturday I finally ran the DARE 5K.

The night before the race, my sister Diane, niece Camille, nephew Tommy, husband Steve and of course dog Tabby walked to the bottom of College Hill so Tommy could see what was in store for him Saturday morning. Tommy lives in Liverpool and recklessly agreed to run the 5K with me having never seen the hill up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC). He would have liked to walk all the way up it, but was overruled. We went for a long walk anyways, walking by the finish line and through Meyers Park, because Camille likes parks.

Saturday morning I walked over to the corner of Main and Church streets to pick up our numbers. Registration was in Christ Episcopal Church, which is the church I go to. They were just setting up. A lady told me pre-registrations were at 190, and they were expecting more registrations that day. Along with our numbers we got t-shirts, re-usable bags, and a few other goodies. Very nice for a $20 registration fee. Tabby, who had accompanied me, made a few new friends before we walked back to our house.

I love these smaller community runs. Of course the Boilermaker is exciting and overwhelming, but a smaller run is so relaxed and friendly. And an event walking distance from my house is awesome. No worries where to park the car!

The Youth Fun Run took place at 8:30 am. This was limited to children under 12, but parents were allowed to accompany them. I saw a few 5K numbers running along with the young participants. I thought that would be a great warm-up and made up my mind to do that next year, if possible, with my niece Camille. Everybody cheered the young runners as they came in. Some were very young. The littlest couldn’t have been more than two. Her father was carrying her. I yelled, “Good assist!” She ran the last few steps. What a cutie! Finally it was time for my event.

The start line was further down Main Street, almost at German. I was feeling plenty nervous by now. I don’t know why. I kept saying, “After all, somebody has to finish last. It might as well be me. People can laugh and point.” Several people assured me that even if I was last, people would cheer not laugh, and Tommy was of the opinion that I would not be last.

“Just don’t walk,” he advised me. “However slow you run, just don’t walk.” Good advice. In fact, that is my usual method.

Once we started the run was a lot of fun. Tommy took off strong, and I soon lost sight of him. I daresay I could have gotten a better time if I didn’t wave to the people on the sidelines cheering us on. Of course the cheering sections were not as big as at the Boilermaker (why do I feel I must compare every run to that?), but I was impressed with the number of people along the way shouting encouragement. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I also like to call out remarks as I run. I didn’t feel much like doing that as I ran up College Hill (although I felt proud of the fact that I did not walk, as others did), but on the way down I shouted, “Gravity is my friend!”

“I think it’s everybody’s friend about now,” another runner said.

When we reached the off-road portion, I yelled, “I always wanted to know where this path went! I’m all excited!” I guess I was feeling a little high after the uphill exertion. A small group was cheering for us at the turn to the path. “Thank you for your support!” I told them.

There were a couple of uphill portions on the path, which I took exception to. At the top of College Hill, somebody had posted a sign saying it was all downhill from there. I believed it, but it was a lie! Other runners did not seem to feel these little upslopes were a problem, so I suppose I was just being that way.

After a while, a runner way ahead of me turned around and said, “Don’t stop, Aunt Cindy, you’re almost there!” I immediately suspected Tommy had walked, or I would never have gotten that close. Then again, he was definitely still ahead of me.

“Good job, Tommy!” I yelled.

Later on German Street I did catch up with him. We passed Bellinger. “Just Prospect, then Main,” I told him, giving him benefit of my familiarity with the geography. We almost caught up with another runner who turned around when he heard our feet. “Don’t look back, just keep going, you’re almost there,” I encouraged. He did, and I did not come close to him again.

Once we got on Main Street, Tommy took off and left me in the dust. I sprinted at the end too. And I see now my word count is over 800. This is the longest post ever! This is about a 5K, not a marathon! Is anybody still reading? I’ll finish up about the DARE 5K tomorrow. Remember, we left me approaching the finish line!

I Prepare for the DARE

As I write on Friday the DARE 5K is bearing down on me! And since I’ve had an extra hour’s sleep and three cups of coffee this morning, I feel pretty terrific about it.

I ran up the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The Tuesday and Thursday runs were quite an effort, because I did them in the hot 4 p.m. sun after working a 10 hour day. On Tuesday’s run as I started the downhill portion I felt like Wesley in The Princess Bride after being introduced to Count Ruger’s torture device. If you’ve never seen the movie (and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you do), he cries like a baby. That’s what I felt like doing, but was sure my body lacked sufficient hydration for such an action.

See, normally I hit the spring during that run and at least get a sip or two. I know there are water stations on the 5K (for one thing I can see “H2O,” a water drop and an arrow spray painted on the hill), but I didn’t take any water on the only other 5K I’ve run. I can run at least a half hour without water. Will a 5K take me more than a half hour? We shall see.

Tuesday I saw a girl sitting on a porch. She smiled and waved.

“You look so comfortable!” I said. “That’s what I’d rather be doing!”

Thursday I felt a little better. I looked for the girl on the porch, but she wasn’t there. Then I saw a lady across the street.

“That’s what I need to do!” I called. “Find myself some shade and sit down!” I like to call out remarks when I run.

I ran just a little bit further on Thursday, by virtue of seeking out the shadiest sidewalks to run down. The nice thing about running is that even if you don’t feel particularly good after a run, you usually feel good that you ran, if you know what I mean.

The DARE 5K, once again, is Saturday, August 20, beginning and ending in front of the 1834 Jail in Herkimer. For more information, check the Herkimer DARE Facebook page or call the police department, 866-4330.

Can You Bear a Little More About DARE?

Friday I thought I’d better register for the DARE 5K since I had it in my head the price when up after the 12th. Of course I neglected to do anything about it Thursday the 11th.

I called Steven from work about 7 am and got the number of the Herkimer Police Department. I know they are very polite there. I called and said I wanted to register for the DARE Run. They immediately called someone to the phone. I neglected to ask if it was Officer Steven D. Elwood, the DARE officer. I asked if I could stop by the police station after work with the registration money.

“Will there be somebody there?” I asked. “Well, obviously there will be somebody there, it’s a police station. But will there be somebody there to take my DARE registration?” He assured me there would.

I got home around four and after I changed we put Tabby on the leash and in the car and rode over, first discussing exactly where the police department was. See, we don’t usually get in trouble with the cops. The worst Steven ever does is get a parking ticket for not putting money in the meter. He pays those by mail. Steven wondered if we should bring Tabby inside. I thought the police would be OK with a dog and might even try to recruit her for their K-9 unit. OK, I didn’t really think they’d try to recruit her, but don’t you think my jumpy dog would make a cute cop?

The sergeant at the desk (I didn’t get his name, but I knew by his stripes he was a sergeant) actually didn’t know anything about the DARE run, but found me the registration form and went to ask somebody what to do with the money. I filled out forms for myself and my nephew and paid the money. I noticed I actually had till August 15th before the price went up but was glad to get it taken care of.

Once, again, the DARE 5K is Saturday, Aug. 20, Jr. Fun Run at 8:30 am, 5K at 9:15. For more info, contact Officer Elwood at 315-866-4330, email dareherkimer.@yahoo.com or Herkimer Dare at facebook.com. See you there; I’m registered!