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Category Archives: running commentary

Reindeer Running Commentary

My choices today are another attempt at a Running Commentary or to write about socks.  I don’t see why I should not make the blog All Reindeer Run All The Time.  For one thing, there is not that much more time before the run. It is Saturday, the day after tomorrow.  I can save my sock tirade for another day (but if I make it on a Thursday I can still call it “Non-Sequitur Socks,” which is the title I thought of at work today).

What a surprise, I did not want to run by the end of the day.  My body is still not used to getting up at 3 a.m. and working for 10 hours.  Additionally, I was on my feet all day (except for breaks, of course; we are not barbarians around here, we get breaks).  Of course I had all kinds of good excuses:  I could rest up, I fully intended to run tomorrow, it’s only a 5K after all.  What finally decided me to run was that as I drove home I noticed the sidewalks were bare.  I had to take advantage of that.

Once again, I threw a load of laundry into the washer before I set out.  For one reason, I wanted my silver long-sleeved running shirt for Saturday.  I have a whole outfit planned.  I’ll have to get Steven or someone to take my picture.  I finally got myself out the door and set out.  I felt really good about myself that I had decided to run.

Brr, cold, but it’s been worse.  There wasn’t too much wind, so that was a good thing.  I headed down German Street in the opposite direction of the one I took Tuesday.  I thought briefly of crossing the street at Main and running up the pretty good hill that is there.  Nope, too much traffic at the four-way stop.  I turned towards downtown.  Hey, this run didn’t feel too bad.  Maybe I could go for a long run.

I went by Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners.  There was a Christmas tree in the window of Suiter House, home of the Herkimer County Historical Society.  I have to get over to their gift shop and do some Christmas shopping.  I went down Main till I got to Park Avenue, then I ran by the post office and on to Meyer Park.  I made a mental note to take a walk or drive by the park at night, to see the pavilion and tree all lit up.

By this time, I was getting tired.  Hey, body, what’s going on?  I thought we liked running!  Maybe I could catch a second wind.  As I kept running, it soon became evident that I would not.  Oh no!  I had run less than 20 minutes so far.  I can’t run a 5K in 20 minutes!  What was I going to do?  Then I said to myself, “You will not have just worked a 10 hour day.  You will have gotten a good night’s rest and had a light, healthy breakfast.”  I am also planning a nice pasta dinner Friday night, so I will be all carbed up, as the saying goes (I’m not sure exactly what the saying is, but I believe it includes the phrase, “carbed up”).

I ended up running for 25 minutes and walked my usual 10 minute cool-down.  I confess to feeling better about myself before I ran that after, but you’ll have that.  Full disclosure:  I’ve felt better about blog posts than I feel about this one.  Once again, you’ll have that.

 

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Better at Running than Blogging

I normally write my running commentary posts soon after the run, so it is fresh in my mind.  However, sometimes it gets to be 5 p.m. on a Saturday night, I don’t have much else to write about (OK, maybe a few things, but there are reasons I do not want to write about those), so I am going to attempt a post about this morning’s run.

Regular readers may remember that I have my eye on the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls on December 8.  Every day during this past week, when I thought I ought to go running, I also thought, “I don’t want to run! I don’t want to run the Reindeer Run 5K!  I want to sit! I want to sit home and knit!  That is what middle aged ladies are supposed to do: sit and knit!”  I managed to run on Wednesday despite my own misgivings, and I wondered if I would run today.  I surprised myself and not only did, but it was not a bad run.

I could hear drops on my back porch roof but could not tell if it was rain or just dripping.  I took a chance.  It was not rain.  Score!  I wore my road guard vest.  For one reason, it was still dark out.  For another, we got snow and I knew many sidewalks were not shoveled or plowed.  I was glad I did, because I ran most of my run on roads.  Left side facing traffic, of course.

You know how earlier I mentioned my tiredness during the week?  How I said, “I can’t run!  I don’t want to run!”  And I did not run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday?  Well, right now, my brain is saying, “I can’t write a blog post!  I don’t want to write a blog post!”  So everything I remember about this morning’s run is probably not going to make it into this post.

But, as I said, it was not a bad run.  The temperature was not that cold and the wind was only sporadic.  I ran a few hills, including the one by Valley Health and a few minor upslopes in the residential area behind (what I usually refer to as The Suburbs).  I stopped and petted one very cute dog.  I ran for 37 minutes, which is how long I ran last Sunday, the last time I increased my run time.  That is about how long it takes me to run a 5K, give or take a few.

So I feel pretty good about that.  I still have not made my final decision about the Reindeer Run. I’ll keep you posted.

 

Not a Bad Run, Not a Great Post

I’ve been running again, perhaps not as often as I’d like to, but I try not to judge myself.  I went running today and thought I would make a Wednesday Running Commentary post.  Unfortunately, I finished my run a good two hours ago and I don’t remember a damn thing about it.

Oh, that’s not true.  I’m sure I remember something, even on Wuss-out Wednesday.  I ran both Saturday and Sunday, then skipped Monday and Tuesday, so I knew it would be a really, really good idea to run today.  Additionally, I had to do laundry, and it is just so handy to put a load in the washer, run, then put it in the drier before I get in the shower.  I only hoped I would not talk myself out of it.

And I did not.  I arrived home in a dreadful mood, however.  Steven asked me how I was, and I said, “I’ve been better.”  Maybe a run would improve my disposition.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, even warm enough for shorts and short sleeves.  I put a sweatshirt next to my water bottle for my cool-down walk and set out.

Right away I was not too happy about it.  My work situation has changed recently and I am spending much more of the day on my feet.  My legs get tired!  However, I reminded myself that running can help me lose weight and the less weight I have to hold up, the better my body will feel.  I comforted myself with the thought that the run did not have to be a long one.  I turned so the bright sun was behind me and ran on.

It really was not too bad of a run.  I didn’t feel great, but I didn’t hate every step, either.  The breeze picked up, making the air colder, but I did not regret my ensemble.  I managed to make it for 25 minutes, which I thought was pretty good.  All I require of myself on these weekday runs is 20 minutes.  I am over a half hour on my weekend runs, so things look good for the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls in December.  I’ll write more about that as it gets closer.

I was happy to put the sweatshirt on for my cool-down walk.  I was pretty damn tired and hungry when I got back home, and I felt so ill-used when I remembered I had to put the laundry in the drier before I took my shower.  However, I did it, so I have clean socks and handkerchiefs for tomorrow.  Score!

 

To Trot or Not to Trot

Spoiler alert:  I’m probably not going to trot, but I thought of that title while I was running this morning and I like it.  I wondered if I would ever do another Saturday Running Commentary, and it looks like I am about to.

I had actually thought about not running today.  I had an excellent run yesterday (I believe I mentioned it in yesterday’s post) and can certainly run tomorrow.  Additionally, I have been getting brutal headaches on Saturdays (regardless of whether or not I tie one on Friday night) (um, I mean, I never tie one on), and I fear running in cold air makes them worse.  It is cooler this weekend, real fall weather.  I love it, but my sinuses are less than thrilled.  However, I do not allow my sinuses to run my life.  Try not to anyways.

So I decided to run.  My thermostat said it was 47 degrees, two degrees above my usual cut off for shorts and short sleeves.  However, since I am not in really good running shape, I put on leggings and long sleeves.  I was glad I did.  For one reason, as I started out, I realized it was raining.  What was that all about?  I didn’t hear any rain on the tin roof outside my bathroom window!  I felt quite ill-used, but once I’m out there, I usually keep going.  Yesterday when I started out, I realized I had left on my reading glasses instead of switching to my running glasses.  I kept going for a blurry run. I remembered the running glasses today, but once they got rained on, the run was no clearer than yesterday’s.  No matter.  I could see well enough.

I debated running up a hill.  Regular readers may recall that hills are in short supply in Herkimer, NY (where I live).  I was inclined to stay off the incline (just to make a play on words).  But one must run hills to train properly, especially if one wants to run a 5K in Little Falls (which I do).  I was headed towards Main Street.  I could go up a hill there, if only I crossed German at the four-way stop.  I made a bargain with myself: if there were no cars at the intersection, I would cross.  If not, I would immediately turn down Main Street.  For one reason, my glasses were by now spotty enough that I could not reliably see if a driver was waving me across.  There were cars.  I was off the hook (don’t judge me) (oh, go ahead and judge me; I don’t run for anybody but myself).

It was not as enjoyable a run as yesterday, but it wasn’t too bad.  It got better as I went along.  I started out thinking if I only did 20 minutes it would be OK.  My longest run lately has been 28 minutes, and I have been plateaued there for two weeks.  My main goal is to do the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls in December.  I did it last year and it was great fun.  There is a Turkey Trot 5K in Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day.  I could be in 5K shape by then.  Well, not if I stayed plateaued at 28 minutes or, worse yet, went backwards (ooh, running backwards is a good way to get in shape, but I’m not talking about that).

Another reason I probably cannot participate in the Turkey Trot is that I plan to go to Rome to my Mom and Dad’s house for Thanksgiving.  I had planned to go the night before, in case they need help getting the turkey stuffed and in the oven at 6 a.m. or whenever they need to do it.  I can also peel potatoes, something I never do for myself but know how to nevertheless.  Still, I have always wanted to do a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.  Additionally, this Thanksgiving is my birthday.  I can run 5K on the day I turn 55.  How cool is that?  But would I even be in 5K shape if I only ran 20 to 25 minutes today?  And so I debated as I ran, and that is when I came up with today’s title.

I was on my street, figuring I would at least get to 25 minutes, when I heard a voice behind me:  “I thought I was the only crazy one!”  It was a lady I had encountered on another run.

“I didn’t know it was raining till I set out,” I told her,  “and I said, ‘Oh well, I’ve got the sports bras on!'”

“It’s raining and we’re training!” she said.

Well, that kind of inspired me, and I went around the block and ended up running for 31 minutes, an increase (at least the way I did the math) of the recommended 10 percent.  I felt pretty darn pleased with myself.  If I don’t make it to Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day, I will just have to trot by myself in Rome.

 

Running to Halloween?

I was determined to go running today, and to write a Running Commentary post.  First task completed!  On the the second part…

When I got home from work today, I did not pause and change my mind.  I went upstairs, gathered a load of laundry and put on running clothes. You see, I intended to multi-task by putting clothes in the washer while I ran (and felt pretty virtuous about it, since I am not out of clean underwear, nor is Steven out of clean socks).  I got the washer going, then got going myself.

I started out in the opposite direction of what I usually take, heading towards State Street instead of German.  The reason was that I had noticed a house down the street with Halloween decorations in the front yard.  I need a little Halloween!  I saw another house with a couple of scarecrows by the porch, so that was nice.

It was fine running weather:  not hot, not too sunny.  Of course, I was NOT in fine running shape.  I’m not even sure when I last ran, but I believe it was more than a week ago.  In my defense… OK, I have no defense.  It was stupid of me not to run, or at least get some form of exercise.  What can I say?  We do not always do what is best for ourselves (Oh, I suppose YOU do?).  However, I was happy I was out there moving, and I can continue to get out there on a regular basis.  I hope.

The house did not have as many decorations as some (not as many as MY house is going to have), but it did look nice.  I love Halloween.  I ran past it and turned right onto West Albany Street.  Hmm… which street should I run up?  Not Henry, that was too close. Maybe Caroline and make a BIG rectangle.  Instead I went up Margaret, because I did not feel like running around some cars I saw parked across the sidewalk.  I should perhaps mention that my body was not best pleased with me.  I wondered how long I could keep up even my slow middle-aged shuffle.

Twenty minutes.  I could go 20 minutes.  Oh dear, I wasn’t even at ten.  Never mind.  Just keep going.  I looked at different houses, envied a few screened in porches, admired some late blooming flowers, and calculated how long it was going to take me to get back into 5K shape.  There is a 5K at Cullen’s Pumpkin Farm in October, but that may be too soon.  There are usually a couple of Turkey Trots on Thanksgiving, but I might be busy that day.  Of course I intend to participate in the Reindeer Run in December (perhaps you read my blog post about last year’s event).

As I ran and figured, I started to feel a little better about moving.  Not better enough to go a whole lot more than 20 minutes, but I managed 25.  Then I felt pretty darn tired.  But that hardly matters.  The only other thing I have to do today is make my blog post (what, fold the laundry?  Surely you jest!) (and I will call you Shirley if I want to).  And here I am over 500 words.  Yay me!  Now if only I can make it LESS than a week before I run again.

 

Labor Day Run

I had been going to call this one “Labored Run,” but that began to seem a trifle melodramatic.  The humidity is up, up, up, and I am still not back in shape.  I simply must remember that at my age, one’s body slips backward FAST.  But never mind that, I had a few good things happen on this run, so here is a Monday Running Commentary for our holiday.

I almost did not run again today, because I slept in till after six, then enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee.  Even after seven years at my current place of employment (how the time flies!), Monday holidays still feel like a big deal to me.  Shortly after seven, I changed my mind and got into running gear.  I wore my Big Sur Marathon t-shirt, for encouragement.  I did not run the marathon; I have the t-shirt because I volunteered back in 1998 (what did I say about time flying?).  I really would like to run a marathon one day.  Maybe I can make that happen in 2019.

To begin with, it was not much fun.  As I said earlier, it was humid. Oh, the humidity! (I love that joke.)  Still, one must persevere.  I ran up German Street to Valley Health and up the hill on the far side of that building.  I felt this was a necessary effort if I am ever to get back into shape (that is, a shape other than round and puffy).  I ran into the residential area I refer to as The Suburbs, knowing there were some very good hills there but making up my mind to avoid them.  I would turn right here not there… oh no, there was a couple walking along with a cute little dog.  I love to pet a cute little dog.

“Can I pet your dog?” I asked.

“You sure can,”  the lady picked him up.  “He’s a scaredy cat.”

I let him sniff my hand and petted him gently.  “I love dogs.”

We wished each other a good day and I ran on.  Soon I was feeling a little better about the run.  My legs were not complaining at all, and my breathing was really not that bad. I saw a lady running toward me wearing a bright green Boilermaker t-shirt. Regular readers may recall that I have run the Boilermaker 15K.  I thought it was cool that we were both wearing running shirts.  She called a friendly good morning.

“Good morning,” I returned.  “We’ve got to get out while the gettin’s good!”

“It’s still hard!” she said.  I felt a little better to think she was having a hard time too, because she looked to be in marvelous shape.

My run ended up going better than I expected.  I ran for 22 minutes on Saturday and missed Sunday (because I wanted to sleep in AND go to church), and did not intend to go a whole lot further than 20 minutes.  Then I thought I could go a little further than 20 minutes.  I would see how far I went.  As I approached my street, I started thinking I could actually go for 30 minutes.  All I would have to do is go past my house.  It! Could! Work! (That’s a line from Young Frankenstein.)

On my street, I heard footsteps behind me.  It was my new friend in the Boilermaker t-shirt!

“You’re faster than me!” I said.

“It doesn’t feel like it!”

“At least we’re out here! That’s the important thing!”

“That’s right, we get 100 percent for that!”

“Eat some ice cream later!” I called as she went past me.  She agreed wholeheartedly.

As I walked down the street for my cool-down, I saw her walking towards me with a man and two dogs.  I used to always walk my cool-down with Tabby.  How I miss that!

When they got close enough I said, “I have got to get a dog so I can walk with him after my run!”

“Yes, the cool down!” she said.

“Get a rescue!” the man said.  “Always a rescue!”

“Definitely!” I said.  I WILL get a rescue.

I kept going straight down my street instead of around the block, because I saw another man walking a dog and thought I might be able to pet her (it turned out to be a her).  He pulled the dog up a handy driveway and told her to sit as I approached.

“Can I pet your dog?” He said I could, and she nicely sat while I petted her.  What a good dog!

So it was a not bad run.  I petted two dogs, exchanged remarks with another runner, and went further than I thought I would.  And I’ve already written my blog post for the day.  I say it’s a good start to my holiday Monday.

 

Running From an Unhappy Body

So I ran two Saturdays ago, found out I could not run the 14K I has been aiming for, did not run for a week, ran last Saturday, then did not run again for four days.  This is no way to train. In my defense… oh, never mind what my defense is, just believe that I have one, maybe not a good one, but you can’t have everything.

Where was I?  Ah yes, about to make a Running Commentary post.  It probably won’t be a long post, because it was not a very long run.  But, hey, I broke the four day streak of not running. I call that a worthy accomplishment. Let us not contemplate its degree of worthiness as compared to other accomplishments which I did not achieve, but let us continue with the blog post.

I got home and right away got into running clothes (I said I broke the streak, I didn’t say I went streaking). I also gathered a load of laundry, which is my other accomplishment for the day.  I did not plan to run very long, 20 to 30 minutes sounded good.  I put the laundry in the washer and set out.

And right away my body was unhappy.  Well, of course it was unhappy.  It had not been running regularly for two weeks.  That is, I had not been running regularly for two weeks.  There was nothing for it but to have an unhappy run and hope for better in the future.  My plan had been to run down German Street to Main Street.  Turning down Main, I usually make a big square, going down to Albany Street, then over to Caroline and back up to German.  I was not very far down Main when I decided to turn right sooner.

Through the little park by Basloe Library to Prospect Street.  Should I cross immediately and go past the Do Not Enter sign to enter Bellinger Avenue?  I do like to Enter where it says Do Not Enter.  Or should I go through Meyers Park?  I opted for the park. For one reason, I could cross Prospect Street at a four-way stop, which would be safer.  However, before I reached the four-way, I saw a tree casting shade across the street.  I crossed the street in the shade and felt clever.

It actually was not a thoroughly unhappy run.  My legs eventually settled into it and felt pretty OK.  My breathing was never great, but I was never gasping for breath or having a VCD attack (that is Vocal Chord Dysfunction, a thing I get when I overexert). I ended up last for 22 minutes, my favorite number.  The cool-down walk felt even better, as it usually does.  And I felt really pleased with myself that I went at all.  For one reason, I knew I could make a Running Commentary blog post.  It makes a nice change from posts about I Just Can’t Make A Good Post Today.