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Category Archives: running commentary

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.

 

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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.

 

Sprint Distance, Marathon Pace

That describes today’s run in a nutshell.  The only problem with the headline is that it might sound like a shout-out to the phone company called “Sprint.”  Never mind.  I’m making a Running Commentary instead of a Non-Sequitur Thursday post, and, like the run itself, I will try to keep it short.

I have not run for three days for what seemed like good reasons at the time.  I did not dare skip today as well, because I will not have time to run tomorrow before the Little Falls Canal Celebration Parade.  Five days is too many even for a wuss-out like me.  It was hot and sunny, but according to the weather forecast humidity levels were less.  Still not in the comfortable range, but less.  No matter.  I could go for a short run.  I did not rule out running longer, but I wanted to go for at least 20 minutes.

It took a lot of determination to not rule out running longer right away.  It took a lot of determination to keep running at all.  Luckily I had a sufficiency of determination for the project.  Also, I just tried not to think about it.  I thought about my murder mystery instead.  I started writing the script today (don’t judge me that it took so long), and it seems to be going well.  I’ll write more about that later (preview of coming attractions).

I changed my mind about which way to run several times.  I don’t know why certain sidewalks seemed so unappealing, but I kept thinking, “I just can’t run that way today!”  I ran a different way.  Slowly.  I never got the hang of it.

I’m not getting the hang of writing about it either, it seems.  Sorry, folks.  I continued to run (which I insist on calling it) for 22 minutes, my favorite number.  The 10-minute cool-down walk felt good, especially when I was in the shade and a breeze blew.  At least I did it.

And I wrote some semblance of a blog post.  We’ll see if I can do better tomorrow on Lame Post Friday.  As always, no promises, but I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

Oh, the Humidity!

Get it?  Like “Oh, the humanity!”  I thought of it while I was at work today, thinking I did NOT want to run, and I felt sure I had used the title before.  However, a quick check of my posts tells me I did not, so here is a Tuesday Running Commentary, and yes, it is also Tired Tuesday.  You see, that I can so multi-task.

As I left work, I felt greeted by the wind.  This was much better than in the building!  Unfortunately, I soon realized that it was not the miracle I was hoping for.  It was hot, it was muggy, I wanted to go someplace air conditioned and cry.  Of course I did nothing of the kind. I went home and put on running clothes.  Changing was not fun, but I will spare you the blow by blow (see? I don’t always overshare).

I told Steven I did not know how far I would run.  You never know:  sometimes you catch a second wind as you go.  Also, if it began to rain, that might feel really good and I would be happy to keep running.  Conversely, it there was thunder, I would sensibly run right back home.  At least I would get a few steps in.

Right away my body was not happy with me.  My legs hurt.  My lungs did not want to breath.  I was sweating already.  Well, runs often begin badly and end well.  Second wind, remember?  Then I thought, here’s a point to ponder: does it count as a second wind if you didn’t have a first wind?  Shouldn’t I start out feeling good, get tired, THEN get a second wind?  I never do anything right.

I did it really wrong this time, because I never felt good, never hit the “I can rock this” stage, and my legs complained pretty much the whole way. I debated to myself how far I would run.  At least 20 minutes.  Of course 30 would be better.  I could turn here. Or wait till the next street.  Or go all the way to the high school!  I was drenched with sweat and sweating sunscreen into my eyes. Ouch!  No matter.  A cold shower awaited.  And my recovery beverage of chocolate milk.  One must earn a recovery beverage, I reminded myself.

I did have one encouraging moment:  I was headed down Park Avenue (ooh!), towards the footbridge over the brook behind the high school.  A man and two women with a couple of baby carriages were headed that way by a parallel street, arriving at the bridge about the same time I did.  The man noticed me.

“She’s coming straight through,” he said to the women.  They stopped.

“Oh, I’m sorry!  I didn’t see you!”  one said.

“You’re fine,” I said.  “Thank you.”

“Keep going!” the man said.

“I’ll try!”

“Good job!” I heard one of the women call as I ran over the bridge.

Well, one must keep going when one has received encouragement.  So keep running I did.  I made it for 23 minutes.  I felt dreadfully tired during my cool-down walk and even considered cutting that part short.  Then I thought, no, I have calories to burn.  As always, I felt happy that I had run.  I was sorry it was such a short run, but you can’t get bogged down in these details.  I ran.  That was the important thing.  Maybe I will run again tomorrow.

 

Something of a Running Commentary on Tired Tuesday

Here we are on Tired Tuesday, and I feel as if I just can’t write a thing.  Well, obviously, I just wrote that stupid sentence, as well as this one.  That doesn’t prove anything, because I can just backspace them out and once again be staring at a blank screen.  Crap.

It was almost as hot and humid at my work today as it was yesterday, so I left feeling pretty much as melted (but yet no smaller, it’s no fair).  However, I managed to go running.  I did not ambitiously get right out as soon as I got home. First I sat on the couch, drank a glass of chocolate milk, and looked at the computer.  I had made up my mind to give it a miss and try again tomorrow.  Then I said, oh, what the hell.

As I ran, I thought I would make a Running Commentary post.  I know I just did one on Sunday, but I thought I could get away with it.  Anyways, I like to narrate in my head as I go. I never include all the stuff I come up with, which is probably just as well, because it would make some pretty long posts.  Today I went pretty slowly.  I figured I could make it a short run: 20 minutes.  I could make it for 20 minutes.  Could I make it for 20 minutes?  Sometimes 20 minutes is a long time and not just when you’re at work.  Why couldn’t I get one of those second winds you hear about?

Eventually I realized I was going to make it for 20 minutes, or a little more.  I turned the corner and was headed towards my street.  Suddenly I felt pretty okay and thought I could run further.  I could pass my street, and the next, then run up Main Street and over German back home.  Woohoo!  This is what a second wind feels like!  I felt less second and more windy when I actually got to Main Street, if you know what I mean.  The beauty part was, I still had to run back home, so my run was going to be a decent amount of time. Also, I like running by Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners.

My run ended up being 30 minutes.  I felt pretty happy about that, and my cool-down walk felt pretty darn good. And now I have managed to wrote a blog post.  Not a great blog post, but I think it’ll do for Tired Tuesday.

 

Winning Run on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

Today I experience the melancholy of knowing I must go back to work tomorrow (YES, I AM grateful I have a job!  Sheesh!), but earlier today I felt some awesome endorphins so thought I would try a Running Commentary post instead of the promised Wrist to Forehead Sunday (but tune in tomorrow for a potentially sad Monstrous Monday!).

I was up prior to 6 a.m. (not a WHOLE lot prior, of course) so was ready for my run prior to seven.  I sure will miss running before the heat of the day when I have to be to work by 6:30, but that’s a problem for a different day.  I wasn’t feeling real energetic so did not know if I would increase my run by the recommended ten percent, as I like to do on a Sunday.  That would be OK. I just needed to get out there, because I did not run yesterday (I was recruiting my energies for the play) and I will probably not run tomorrow (hello! Back to work, 90 degrees, what sort of an iron woman do you think I am?).  I carried a bottle of water with me, though, in case it was along run.  Must fight dehydration!

I did not really feel up to major hills, like the one to Herkimer College, but I headed towards Main Street.  That is a pretty good hill with two chances to turn off it before you go all the way.  Of course the devil on one shoulder tried to talk me out of running any hills at all, but the angel on the other won and soon I was puffing up the hill.  I ended up going all the way to the end of Highland Avenue.  The steepest part of that hill is the beginning anyways, there are stretches of level ground and even a little downhill.  Additionally, I had not run that way in a while and enjoyed the chance to reacquaint myself with the houses out that way.  I was happy to see the gorilla-headed dummy still sitting at a table in front of one house.  There was a nice table cloth and some flowers on the table, which I did not remember seeing, so that was nice.

Going down Steuben Hill certainly felt pleasant.  I met a few cars, most of which nicely moved over or slowed down. I gave those people the “thank you” wave.  I found a nickle, which I picked up and slipped between my sports bras (PLEASE do not say, “TMI”).  I saw a couple beer cans and a water bottle, so I could have picked up more nickles, but that would have been awkward.

It was nice to sip water now and then as I ran.  I had it in mind to run down German Street to the spring on Lou Ambers Drive for a re-fill but was not sure if I would have time.  I was pretty sure by now that I would be able to keep going for 47 minutes, which was 10 percent longer than my last longest run.  I know I could run for longer, but I don’t know how bad of an idea it is to increase by more than the recommended 10 percent.  It is perhaps clear by now that I am not particularly scientific about my work-outs, but I try not to actively do harm to myself.  I have, as they say, only one of me.  Then I realized:  I could stop running and start my cool-down walk before I reached my house.  After all, I already had a bottle of water in my hand.  I really like that water on my cool-down walk!

I was feeling pretty terrific a little more than mid-way through my run.  It may have been endorphins.  It may have been relief to be running downhill instead of up.  It may have been happiness of being able to run as far as I wanted. Or it may have been that I finally sweated out enough toxins to let in the joy.  Who cares?  I felt good!  Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to just beat up your body for a while.  When I got to 47 minutes and stopped (less than a block from home, by the way), I wanted to raise my fists in the air in triumph, and have somebody sing, “We Are the Champions.”  Of course there was no one there to sing for me, so I just kept walking and sipping.

It is by now, as I write this, way too hot to run or even walk comfortably.  The endorphins have predictably worn off, but in writing this I have recaptured some of the feeling of accomplishment and the joy of all that sweat.  In fact, I am sweating again, but not from effort.  No matter.  It is Sunday and I did not make a Wrist to Forehead Sunday post.  I’m going to call that a win.

 

Happy Wednesday Run

I’ve gotten a little obsessed with running lately.  It could be because my writing has not been going so well, especially this blog.  I say that because I have been sitting here for at least twenty minutes, alternately staring at the blank screen and typing in/backspacing out partial sentences. (In fact, I am sternly forbidding myself from backspacing out what I just wrote, because, dammit, I want to make a blog post!)

All this by way of saying, here is another Running Commentary post, even though I just did one two days ago, and I do not even have the excuse of an upcoming race (no Boilermaker 15K for me this year!).  I did not run yesterday, because my knees hurt and I had this weird pain in one hip joint.  It was a really bad pain when I bent certain ways.  I came home and took a warm bath in epsom salts which helped.  I also took some ibuprofen before bed, so my legs were better today.  I really wanted to run while I was at work (run away from work?  Not a bad idea…).  I even thought I might go running in the rain, which was predicted.

It was raining as I left work.  When I got home, I said, “I’m not running in the rain!  I’m having a glass of wine!”  Don’t judge me.  Anyways, I only drank half the wine and decided to go running in the rain.  It seemed to have died down a little; maybe it would stop.  Steven said it was very energetic of me, but after all, I did not intend to run very fast.

And right away, the run was not too bad, although the rain did not stop.  My knees twinged a little, but I’m used to that by now.  I dodged around puddles and ignored the water spots that soon covered my glasses.  Eventually I tried to find a dry spot on my shirt to wipe off my glasses.  I had to do this several times.  I was impressed that I could find a spot, but I guess my handle-bar hips created a shield while I ran into the rain.  Or something like that.

It was not till well into the run that my feet started to go “squish” in my sneakers.  Then I stopped worrying about dodging around the puddles.  I was just so delighted that my legs felt fine and my breathing was not problem.  How weird was that!  My Monday run was terrible!  I didn’t run at all on Tuesday!  I can’t worry about why these things happen; I just enjoy them when they do.

I ended up running for 35 minutes, the time of my longest run so far (this latest spate of running).  As I walked my cool-down, the rain started to get on my nerves.  I was sopping wet, of course.  No matter. I ran. It was a good run.  And now I have typed in a blog post.  Is it a good blog post?  I can’t worry about these things!  Happy Wednesday, everyone.