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Category Archives: running commentary

Independence Day Run

When I noticed my Army t-shirt in a drawer yesterday, I made up my mind to have an Independence Day Run this morning.  I would wear the Army shirt and run up the hill to the Veterans Memorial at Herkimer College.  It was time to run up that hill again anyways, and it was the day to increase my run time to 44 minutes.  This was going to be great!

I was a little worried about how warm it was when I first got up.  We are having another muggy streak these days.  Oh well, what’s a little extra sweat compared to celebrating our country’s birthday?  I put on a wide headband in hopes of absorbing some of the sweat before it ran into my eyes and made a note to myself to look for some extra-absorbent, exercise-grade headbands for the future.

As I reached German Street, I met a lady taking a walk.  We exchanged good mornings.

“We gotta get out before the heat of the day,” I said.

“That’s what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s beautiful out!”

“Oh, it sure is!”

A short time later I was making a note to myself that I must run more hills.  I ran this one earlier this week (I don’t know when; remember that note to myself to go back to keeping a running journal?  I didn’t do it).  Today it felt as if I hadn’t run it in years!  Crap!  I was gasping for breath. But I persevered and at last I made it to the top.

It feels steeper when you’re on it, and it gets steeper after the curve.

And realized that it continued to slope upwards.  It is amazing to me how my body can detect the most subtle angles when running.  I took my mind off my troubles by continuing to ponder my plans for the Boilermaker Virtual 15K.  I hope to recruit a few friends to meet me along the way with water.  Once I figure out a route.  Various possibilities ran through my mind.

Soon I realized a slight problem.  It was taking a long time to get to the Memorial.  Would I be able to get back home in 44 minutes?  Should I run only for 44 minutes and let part of my cool-down walk take me the rest of the way home?  I would have water; I was carrying a 16 oz. bottle which I intended to refill at the spring.

At last I reached the Memorial!

It’s a lovely little area.

Going down Reservoir Road was a pleasure.  My body appreciates downslopes as much as it suffers on upslopes.  I finished my water shortly before I reached the spring.  A man was there filling a bunch of five gallon buckets, but he let me sneak in to refill my bottle.

One of my favorite spots in Herkimer!

He said he was getting water for his swimming pool.  “I’ve been drinking this water since I was nine years old!”

“I love it,”  I said.  “Thank you!”

I was getting closer to my goal but was further from home.  I ended up running 47 minutes. It is an increase of more than the recommended ten percent, but I think that will be OK.  Boilermaker,  here I come!

 

Late Post, Good Run

I begin my Thursday with  Running Commentary Post.  For one reason, I never posted on Wednesday, and this way there is an off chance I will make two blog posts today.  Additionally, I got back from my run less than an hour ago.  IT! COULD! WORK! (That was a quote of Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein)

I was ready to get up shortly after five.  Steven was still blissfully asleep, so it was a good day to start with a run.  When I looked out the window at the fog, my mind was made up.  I got ready quietly and off I went.

I have been running for several days in a row.  I really must go back to keeping a Running Journal so I can keep track of these things.  Yesterday I went for a long run up the hill to Herkimer College (previously known as HCCC), so I thought a shorter, easier run would be acceptable.

For most runs, I turn left out of my driveway and head toward German Street.  Today for something different, I turned right, going the way I go when I walk to the post office.  I went through Meyers Park, another familiar route for me.  When we first moved here and I started running again (after several sedentary years and gaining over 30 pounds), I made it a habit to always run through the park.  I went on really short runs in those days, but you have to start somewhere.

After the park, I headed toward Main Street.  I decided to keep going in roughly that direction till I had run for ten minutes then head home.  It would probably take me more than ten minutes to get home, what with following a different route, so that would be a good plan.

The plan worked fine.  I went on a couple of streets I don’t often go on (the village is too small for there to be many I’ve NEVER seen).  I admired several flower beds and envied a few screened porches.  I ran by my beloved Herkimer Historic Four Corners.  I ran for 23 minutes.  To put that in perspective,  I ran 40 minutes yesterday,  33 the day before.

I still don’t have a plan for running my Virtual Boilermaker 15K,  but my training seems to be going  well.  I’m feeling pretty good about it.  Now to work on my writing!

 

Running Off Frustrations

I needed to go running this afternoon.  For one reason, I did not run Tuesday or Wednesday,  and my run on Monday was short (I counted my gardening on Tuesday as exercise, since I spent a goodly amount of time walking around carrying rocks) (no, I have no excuse for Wednesday,  judge me if you must).  Where was I?  Ah yes, running off my frustrations, or rather making a blog post about how I attempted to do so.

It does not matter why I was frustrated; it is, in fact, the least interesting part of the story.  Suffice it to say, I felt that some time spent beating up my body would do me good.  So I changed into running gear, threw a load of laundry into the washing machine, and took off.

I had great hopes for this run, because my back was feeling much better than it did on Monday.  However, once I started running, my legs started to feel awful.  Well, that’s what I get for taking days off, I told myself.  Just keep going.

So I did.  The sun was warmer than I prefer, and soon sweat was seeping into my eyes.  Ouch!  Wasn’t that head band helping at all?  Apparently not. I moved my glasses to wipe with my hands or my sleeves.  Don’t touch your face, you advise?  Good luck with that!

I got to smell one lilac bush and one patch of peonies, plus another peony on my cool-down walk.  I had managed to run for a mere 20 minutes, with a 10 minute cool-down walk.  Better than Monday, not as good as I had hoped.  As far as my rotten mood, I guess it helped.  A glass of chocolate milk (my usual recovery beverage) (it’s science, you know!), a cool shower, and a glass of wine (In that order) also helped.

Finishing a 300-word blog post is pretty good too.  And tomorrow is Lame Post Friday!  As always, I hope you’ll tune in.

 

Surprise! It’s Running Commentary!

How about a Running Commentary Post in lieu of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.  I surprised myself by actually running.  Let’s see if I can further surprise myself by writing a decent blog post about it.

Full disclosure:  it was running only by the most generous definition of the act.  Of course this is always the case with me, but today was an especially egregious example.

I did not get out as soon as I got home.  First I talked myself out of it, which is what I did yesterday (Monday I counted mowing the lawn with the non-power mower as my exercise, so did not need an excuse).  I sat and checked my email, looked at Facebook, got hungry, wondered what to eat.  Then I changed into running clothes, put a load of laundry in the washer, and off I went.

Like the proverbial herd of turtles.

Oh, I thunked.  I clunked.  I huffed and puffed.  But I kept going.  I had a deal with myself that I only had to run for 20 minutes.  That, with my ten minute cool-down walk, would bring me home just about when the washer finished.  Surely I could rock 20 minutes (I’ll call you Shirley if I feel like it)!  I was running more up to 45 minutes on the weekend.  Come on, me!

I did not rock anything.  However, I kept going.  I looked at the grass, I looked at the trees.  I ran in or across the street when I saw other pedestrians, because, you know, social distance.  I called a greeting or waved to many of them.  I saw other people’s irises which had already bloomed (mine are still buds, as pictured in yesterday’s post).

I’m thinking this is a short, and I am afraid rather dull Running Commentary Post.  So I did not surprise myself twice.  I must say that does not surprise me.  Does that mean if I had surprised myself with a terrific blog post, I would have been surprised three times today?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

Virtual Run, Late Post

So I think I ran 5Ks on Saturday.  Regular readers may remember I was going to run the Social Distance Virtual 5K sponsored by Rock City Runners of Little Falls.  I ran something, at any rate.

I meant to write my blog post about it yesterday, but I feel sure my readers will forgive me. I was undecided as to whether or not to run right up to the last minute. One factor in favor of running was that my $10 registration would benefit Little Falls Food Pantry.  I suppose I coukd have just made a donation directly and had done with, but we all know that is not my style.

All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?

I took a before picture. Please note that the shirt is from the Reindeer Run 5K, also sponsored by Rock City Runners. The only 5K track I could remember was the Herkimer Dare 5K.  At least, I hoped I could remember it.  I think the last time I ran it was 2013.  That may have been the last time anybody ran it, since, alas, it is no longer a thing.

I knew it ended at my beloved Historic Four Corners.  I walked there from my house and put my sweatshirt and water bottle at the Herkimer County Courthouse.  I was pretty sure nobody would bother them, but I used my shabbiest sweatshirt and water bottle just in case.  I walked up Main Street to the starting point.

Not surprisingly,  I could not recall the exact spot, although I knew it was not all the way at German Street.  I picked a spot that looked good, and off I went, like the proverbial herd of turtles.

I knew to go down Main to Church Street, all the way out Church, around the corner to German Street and up Lou Ambers Drive to Herkimer College (or HCCC, as I usually call it).  Oh, it was not fun going up that hill!  I went up it once recently, and went up another bad hill earlier in the week.  It did not seem to matter.  However, if there is one thing I know how to do, it is to persevere.

Once I got up to the college, I realized I was not quite clear on where to turn around.  The Dare 5K has two routes.  One goes just to the college, then down the back road and through Brookfield Park (also known as the Unknown Park in this space). When that route suffered damage in the flood of 2013, they changed to run to go up through the parking lots of the college and back down Lou Ambers Drive.

I ran all the way to the parking lot by the gym.  I think that was how far the route went.  In any case, I am sure it went no further.  Better too far then not far enough, I thought.  I felt pretty awful by the time I turned around.  Oh crap, was this even going to work?

After I turned around,  I felt better.  What a difference a little downhill makes!  When the downhill got a little steeper, I didn’t like it as much.  I leaned back and kept it under control.  I thought about really making use of gravity and barreling down that hill, but I am a little leery of getting out of control.

The only problem I had once I got back into the village was that I somehow got it into my head that I should turn onto Prospect Street.  Where were those damn Four Corners?   Stupid!  I should have turned at Main Street!  A turn onto Church Street corrected the error, and I don’t think it changed the length of the run.

My hair is so pretty!

When I got home I took another selfie.  I felt pretty pleased with myself, although I also felt pretty awful.  A shower and breakfast helped.  I went for a short run on Sunday (today).  And I see I have written kind of a long blog post.  Not a bad weekend, I say.

 

I’m Late, But I Ran! And Blogged!

So the idea of writing while on breaks at work was not successful.  After writing and crossing out three or four phrases, I flipped back a few pages and worked on my latest attempt at a novel.  However, I had the plan that I would go running after work and could do a Running Commentary post.  Perfect!

Well, I was half right.  I ran, and it did not go too badly.  Then I was too damn tired to do anything but lounge on the couch watching Snapped and go to bed early.  Perhaps I could have forced my body and brain to do something, but I felt so deliciously relaxed and comfortable, I decided to cut myself a break.  Do I perhaps cut myself too many breaks?  That is a philosophical question better suited for Lame Post Friday.  This morning my purpose is to do a late Wuss-out Wednesday post.

The weather was not too cold (for February) and dry.  At least, the sky was dry.  The sidewalks were dreadful and the roads only really good in the middle.  I kept to streets less traveled but even so met with some traffic.  I dodged up onto the sidewalk only once, when a car was coming and I saw a bare patch of walk.  It did not last and I had to dodge over deep puddles and slushy ice to get back into the road.  Ugh.  No matter, just keep going.

My breathing was not bad.  My legs were not particularly happy, but that was to be expected after two weeks off.  Was it two weeks?  Yikes!  I’ll try not to do that again.  My legs eventually settled into it, and by the end my whole body was pretty happy I ran.  I plowed through snowy, slushy, wet sidewalks on my cool down walk, feeling fairly pleased with myself.

Oooh, look, 300 words.  I rock!  OK, not really, since this is a late post and not very descriptive of my run.  Still, I must celebrate even small wins.  Belated Happy Wednesday, everyone!

 

Was There a Spring in my Step?

I felt myself incapable of writing a blog post earlier.  Go ahead and judge me if you are so inclined.  I had a headache and was battling a down mood.  Oh, stop playing that miniature violin (you know who you are); I was not asking for sympathy, I was just giving you the picture.  Anyways, I thought it would be all right, because I planned to go running and could make a Running Commentary post.

It was not a particularly eventful run, but I did it, so I give myself credit for that.  It was grey but not precipitating, cold but not freezingly so.  In fact, at times I almost thought it could be March.  I felt some indefinable hint of spring in the air.  I kept asking myself why I felt that way, since it was in fact cold.  I suppose it could have been the feeling of 30 degrees instead of ten.  Or it could have been the mud.

I spent most of the run in the road, because I kept encountering ice on the sidewalk.  I stayed on the left side facing traffic, and I was wearing my road guard vest (reflective vest, to you civilians).  I would have been better served to stay on the quieter streets but unfortunately wound up on German Street for a few blocks. That was where I encountered most of the mud, because I kept as close as I could to the curb.

My legs felt pretty content to be running,  and my breathing was fine.  I am SO going to rock the Boilermaker 15K in July!  I may even be writing better blog posts by then.

 

Staying in Some Sort of Shape

In my defense, I have not made a late post at four in the morning in a while (OK, 4:16, according to my laptop, if you want to be didactic) (you know who you are) (and yes, I am on my laptop, ten-finger typing.  It’s fun!).  On the other hand, as regular readers know, I am too lazy (or maybe too impatient; is that better? Discuss amongst yourselves) to go back and check these things, so my defense may be a whole lot of hooey.  I can’t worry about these things now.

I felt too sick to my stomach to make a blog post last night.  I expect I ate too much at supper.  It is a sad reflection on me when I am gaining my holiday weight through a mere week-day supper of leftovers.  But it was quite tasty.  Perhaps the run I took helped burn a few calories, but the fit of my pants this morning (and I specifically washed the fat old lady pants for just such an emergency!) would refute that forlorn hope.

Yes, I took a run and fully intended to make a Running Commentary post.  The weather in Mohawk Valley is veering between bi-polar and “Go home, December, you’re drunk.”  I can’t quite remember Monday (I’m having that sort of a week, in case you couldn’t guess), but Tuesday had some relatively high temperatures: 40’s and 50’s, but was supposed to get colder in the evening.  It had rained during the day, encouraging snow melt, so I was a little concerned that it would turn to ice right about the time I wanted to run.

However, I set out around 3:30 p.m., having paused only to put on running gear and throw a load of laundry into the washer (regular readers may recall that is one of my few instances of multitasking).  I wore leggings (nylon long johns which I often wear in lieu of pantyhose, to be exact), my long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt, and a knitted headband.  It was a little warmer, after all.  No need for hat and mittens!

As I have often observed, running after an eight-hour work day is a far different activity from running after a good night’s sleep on the weekend.  Still, one must persevere.  For the main reason, the Reindeer Run 5K is THIS SATURDAY!!!  I felt prepared this past weekend.  I felt distinctly less so yesterday.  You’ll have that, I told myself (one of my favorite phrases of self-encouragement), and, well, persevered.

And it was not that bad of a run.  Some of the sidewalks were bare-ish, but I mostly stuck to the road.  My experiments with running on the sidewalk did not lead to disaster, but my feet definitely did not feel as secure.  I kept to the less busy residential roads but of course could not avoid all traffic. Parked cars were an especial annoyance, but after all, people have to park somewhere.  I hope I am not unreasonable.  I kept left side facing traffic, and stayed over as far as I could without running in deep puddles.

I ended up going for 26 minutes.  I hope that is good enough for maintaining my 5K shape for a few more days (let us not further discuss my actual shape!).  Tonight we have shopping and dinner plans, but I hope to run Thursday and PERHAPS another short run Friday.  And a pasta dinner.  That is my favorite part of a race: carbing up the night before!

 

Great Run on a Gloomy Day

Here is the Running Commentary post I should have made yesterday!   I knew I had to run; I had not run for two days, and the Reindeer Run 5K is a week and a half away.  Additionally, I LIKE to run!  And I like best to run when I am in good shape to do so.  That means running on a regular basis even when I do not feel particularly inclined to do so.

As I left work, however, I did feel inclined to run.  For one reason, it was a grey, gloomy day, whereas yesterday had been bright and sunny.  I love a grey gloomy day.  Steven says I am part Addams (Morticia, not Ansel, of course).  It was not overly cold, either.  The roads and sidewalks were just as much of a mess, but one must deal with these things.

I wore my road-guard vest (that’s a reflective vest, for you civilians), because I knew I would be running in the road where the sidewalks were not plowed, blown or shoveled.  I made sure I was on the left side, facing traffic.  I like to give myself every advantage.  As I started, I remembered the good thing about running on snowy roads and sidewalks:  it takes more effort.  That mean it burns more calories!  Of course I mostly run for entertainment and general health reasons, but a little help towards my weight-loss goals is always welcome.

The run was great.  I was able to spend most of my time on the sidewalk, but I kept mostly to the lesser traveled streets just in case.  I had told myself that 20 minutes would be an acceptable run, then caught a second wind and decided to go for 25.  Then I got confused and ended up running for 26 minutes.

Hmm… this is not the most entertaining blog post I could have written. On the other hand, it isn’t overly long.  I think I’ll chalk it up to Wuss-out Wednesday and drive on.  I hope you are all have a swell mid week!

 

So I Ran Today

I thought I would attempt a Running Commentary post in lieu of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.  For one reason, I knew it would be a really good idea to run, with the Reindeer Run 5K a mere three weeks away.  For another reason, I enjoyed my weekend runs SO MUCH, I wanted more. I knew, however, that I was not guaranteed more.  Mid-Week runs are often less fun.  And yet, they are an evil that must be endured.

Originally I had thought to do what I often do during these runs:  put a load of laundry in the washer, run, then put it in the drier before my shower.  Unfortunately,  I felt too tired to do both laundry and run.  Run won.  I could not and did not promise to run very far.  Twenty minutes would be good, fifteen would be acceptable,  less might be settled for.

Right away it was not a fun run.  My body did not want to participate.  As usual in these cases, I persevered.  I reminded myself that I had taken two days off, never the best idea.  I turned left instead of right onto German Street as I had planned. I most often turn left and thought an unfamiliar route would feel less onerous.

My strategy worked.  I was narrating in my head as I ran, always a helpful technique for me. For one reason, I mentioned in my narration how the run got easier as I went.  I knew I could make 20 minutes, and I soon felt I could do more.

I made it for 25 minutes, which I felt pretty good about.  And now I have a blog post. Phew!  Happy Wednesday,  everyone!