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Category Archives: running commentary

I Ran, Can I Complain?

It has been a while since I made a Running Commentary post.  This afternoon I ran for the first time in three day.  I have not missed three days in a row for a while.  It was one thing I have felt pleased with myself about recently, that I have been running regularly. Well, when you don’t have to go to work in the morning,  it is easier to run.

I knew it would be more difficult to talk myself into running after work.  I did not even attempt it on Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday I tried and failed.  Today, I was determined not to lose the progress I have made.

Afternoon running is more difficult for me than morning running.  For one reason, I work on my feet all day.  In addition to being tired, I have that little devil that sits on one shoulder whispering, “You got plenty of exercise today!  Just look at all the walking you did at work!” I resolutely ignored that bastard.

My other problem is that it is hot and sunny in the afternoon.  Some people LOVE hot weather.  I am not one of them.  Today I resolutely ignored myself and got going shortly after work.

And I did not enjoy it.  I appreciated the occasional breeze or patch of shade.  I tried not to mind the sweat dripping down my face, although it did sting when it got in my eyes.  Ouch!  I tried to blot them with my sleeves,  which helped a little.

It was not a long run, but I did it.  Sometimes my stubbornness is my most useful quality.  As I ran up my street at the end of my run, I waved at some neighbors on their porch.  One lady yelled at me that it was too hot for running.

“You are SO RIGHT!” I answered.

I have run in hotter, muggier weather, and I will undoubtedly do so again.  I may write blog posts about it. I do not promise not to complain, but I may write a Lame Post Friday post about what a big baby I am.

 

 

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Running Behind

So I didn’t make a Monday post.  I will attempt to make two today, beginning with a Running Commentary on the run I took this morning.

I did not run Sunday or Monday with the result that I certainly did not feel like running today.  I resolutely ignored the feeling, although I did have some coffee and water before I actually got out the door.  As soon as I had running clothes on, I felt better about the whole idea.

My plan was to run up the hill by Valley Health.  I have not been running as long or as many hills as I would ideally like to.  Still, I did not want to jump right into a super long run up the hill to Herkimer College.  I had not made up my mind how long to run; my current minimum is 25 minutes, but I did not rule out going further if it felt good.

As I started, it didn’t feel bad.  I headed up German Street with optimism.  I was on the side of the street that has more of an upgrade.  All the better, I thought, more effort, more improvement, more calories burned.  Then I got a little tired.  No matter, I told myself.  Persevere!

I could not continue as I had planned, because the sidewalk was closed for construction.  Accordingly, I turned up Maple Grove.  I ran into a lady I know from the library and from a meeting about Herkimer Diamond Days (perhaps you read my blog post about it).  We said good morning, and she reminded me there is another meeting tonight.  I hesitated,  running in place.

” I may not be able to help after all,” I said, adding that I would contact the lady in charge.

We went our separate ways.  I must remember to message that lady.  Or perhaps I could go to the meeting and at least make a blog post about it.  These thoughts entertained me as I ran, taking my mind off the hill I was on.  It was not much of a hill to begin with, but my body really feels these things lately.

I ended up running two hills, entering against one Do Not Enter sign, and continuing for a total of 25 minutes.  My cool down walk was slightly longer than usual, because I put the trash containers away then walked back out front to retrieve the newspaper.

As usual, I felt happy I had run, at least for a short time.  Now I am feeling awfully tired, but we’ll blame that on the hot and humid weather.  Which sounds better than my own laziness.  I certainly hope I will not be too lazy to make another blog post later.  I do not want to be another post behind.

 

A Run Worthy of a Post

Rather than my usual Tired Tuesday post,  I thought I would attempt a Running Commentary.   For one reason, I ran up the hill to Herkimer College, an accomplishment which deserves a blog post, I think.

As usual these days, I woke up NOT wanting to run at all.  I always have all kinds of good reasons: I ran yesterday, I should recruit my energies for something else, I don’t NEED to run the Falling Leaves 14K in September… etc., etc.  I usually change my mind after a cup of coffee.  Let’s hear it for caffeine!   Also in favor of running was the weather: it was not raining,  which it is supposed to do soon and for the next several days.

I set off with high hopes.  I have been thinking that longer runs were in order, and a run up a challenging hill would be an excellent idea.  Additionally,  I could post to Facebook that I had run up to HCCC, and my Facebook friends would feel impressed.  Accordingly,  I crossed to the far sidewalk on German Street and turned left.

A young man was walking a block, maybe a block and a half ahead of me.  I wondered how long it would take me to catch up to him.  It seemed to take a while.  It was actually about three blocks.  Is that a lot?  I suppose some of you could have done it in one. I am all admiration, I assure you.  The young man heard me huffing and puffing behind him as I approached.

“Good morning,” I said.  He returned the greeting as he moved over to give me room.  “You know how long it took me to catch up with you?” I added as I ran past him. “That’s how slow I run!”

” Have a good day,”  he said, turning up the next street.

“You too!” I called, running on.

The run had felt pretty good up till then.  The temperature was nice, my body was not complaining.  Then I started up the hill.  It wasn’t long before I started to feel like I Could… Not… Make… It…  I knew this was not the case.  I knew I could and would make it.  But I only knew this intellectually and logically.   I sure wasn’t feeling it!

I reminded myself of the first time I had run the hill.  I had thought I would run up till I had been running for 15 minutes (starting from when I left my house), then I would turn around and go down.  I had the idea that eventually I would make it all the way up.  Well, by the time I got to 15 minutes,  I was too close to the top to quit. So there, keep going,  I told myself

At one point I tried the trick of looking back at how far I had come.  This works best if you do it after you are halfway up, which I knew I was.  Yes, I had come far, but looking back down gave me a little vertigo.  Yikes!  At last I was all the way up and ready to go back down.

As I ran toward the back road down, I realized I had run by a Do Not Enter sign, where there was one of those triangles at a wide T intersection.   I ran back and ran by it, entering where it said not to.  It added a little more distance to my run and solidified my rebel cred.  Yes, yes, I know, by the rule Left Side Facing Traffic I should have been running there. It amuses me to enter where the sign says not to and pretend I’m a rebel.  I have to get my laughs where I can.

After running down the hill, I backtracked to Lou Ambers Drive and got a quick drink at the spring.  Then I continued on home for a 42 minute run.  I did not immediately go on my cool-down walk but opened the garage and hauled out the non-power mower.  I spent a good 20 minutes huffing and puffing behind that, once again taking advantage of the time before the rain.

Eventually I got to my cool-down walk.  Phew!  I felt that I had gotten a work out.  I think I’ll be up for the Falling Leaves run in September!

 

Sweat Gets In Your Eyes

You know, like that blues song, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”?  I often think of that when I run so decided to use it as a title for today’s Running Commentary post.

I ran five days in a row then took yesterday off. I was disinclined to run this morning but knew it would be a good idea.  For one reason,  my depression has been kicking my butt lately.  I just feel so sad and down!  Of course, there are many reasons for sadness, in the world and in my life, but sometimes what I feel is is out of proportion.  But one must not give way to despair.  Exercise is a potent antidepressant.  I got myself ready and went.

One way I got myself out the door was to plan a short, easy run.  Not very far, not very fast, I thought.  This would be great.

And it wasn’t bad.  My legs are getting into pretty good shape; they pump right along with few or no complaints.   I stuck to my plan for a 25 minute run, although I actually ran for 26.  Bonus points!  My mood was at its best when I paused to pet a nice dog.

As I walked my cool-down,  a lady came up behind me, walking at a brisk pace, obviously for exercise.  I got out of the way.

“You’re faster than me,” I said.  “I ran, this is my cool-down.”

When she said she didn’t run, I remarked that she was obviously doing something right, because she looked terrific.  She returned the compliment but went on to say she didn’t believe in running.

“It’s bad for your feet, your knees and your back.”

“I know,” I said, “but I love it.”

She said she didn’t understand that at all but told me to keep up the good work.

“You too,” I said, as she handily out-paced me.  I continued my cool-down walk,  blinking against the sweat in my eyes.

The run did improve my mood, as does getting a blog post published this early in the day.  Will I publish again and be one less post behind?  A little uncertainty adds interest to my day.

 

Running Update

It’s a Saturday Running Commentary!  You knew I couldn’t spend all my time whining about the difficulty of making posts.  A great deal of my time, but surely not ALL of my time (and you KNOW I feel free to call you Shirley!).  Do you get the feeling I am in a better mood today?  Maybe a little.

I have been running every day since Wednesday.  None of the runs has been especially long, but I have gone a little longer each day.  And I’ve been running a few hills.  I feel I am maintaining and look forward to improvement at a later date.

Hmm… now that I am sitting here typing (on a real computer at Martha Canfield Library, so there’s that), I find myself disinclined to give an actual blow by blow of today’s run, or indeed any of my last four runs.  How about a highlights reel?  Or perhaps just a few thoughts that have, you should pardon the expression, run across my mind lately.

When I run at home, I have been getting up, having coffee, and talking myself into running.  In Vermont, I have been getting out of bed and onto the road.  That is actually the way I used to do it on the weekends, get out there before I well knew what I was doing and could change my mind.  In the past couple of months, however, I have been waking up with my mind pretty much made up NOT to run.  I need that boost of caffeine to get me going.

During the past few days, I have discovered that in fact I do not need the caffeine before the run, and that cup of coffee tastes pretty darn good after a shower.  It’s nice to know I can do things differently and still meet with success.  At least, some might think I could meet with even greater success, say by running faster and further, but I say, one does what one can at the time.  When I was running on Thursday, I reflected that I truly run for myself.  I go the pace I want, I go how far I want.  I don’t have to worry about meeting any standards, and I don’t.  It’s nice.

OK, go ahead and start the lecture about how we set goals for ourselves, push ourselves to do better than we think we can, and meeting standards is an intelligent way to go about things.  Full disclosure:  I will probably not pay much attention, and I will certainly not change the way I run.  I am enjoying it.

 

I Feel Like a Winner

I haven’t done a Saturday Running Commentary post in a while (yes, I’m too lazy to go back and check; that run wore me out!).  Additionally,  today’s was a run I don’t mind revisiting, at least briefly (yes yes, my Running Commentary posts often run long, but they don’t always) (did you see what I did there? “run long”? Well, I liked it).

Yesterday’s run equalled my last longest time, so I thought I might do a shorter run today, then increase by the recommended ten percent tomorrow.  I could decide as I went.  I carried a bottle of water with me, reminding myself not to drink too much too fast.  Then I reflected that the run ought to be a long one, since I was bringing water.  You see how I talk myself into these things.

I decided to run up the hill by Valley Health then on into the residential area I call the Suburbs.  There are some pretty good hills in that area, and I can easily go by the spring to refill my water bottle on my way back home.

Tiny sips, I reminded myself, and not too often.  This would be fine.  Soon I had made it up the hill by Valley Health. That did not feel so fine.  I called a greeting to two ladies going to work (I surmised by their scrubs).  They waved and one said, “Get that work-out done!” in an encouraging tone of voice.

I ran further into the Suburbs than I have on my shorter runs.  Here was a hill!  As I recalled, it was a long hill.  Just keep going, I told myself. I resisted the urge to turn left and not go all the way up the hill.  Then I saw that I was no nearly as close to the top as I thought I was. Oh no!

There was the right-hand turn which was where I would come out if I kept going straight.  The road goes down then up.  So  I could turn right and go down, then up, then down,  or I could go straight and go up, then down, then up.  I turned right.  I felt I HAD to go downhill at least for a bit.

Bad move, I realized.  This made for a lot longer distance going up.  The snarky voice in my head suggested I take a life lesson about choosing short-term gratification and ending up with longer-term effort.  Then I told the snarky voice to shut up.  It is a win/win situation, I decided.  Either I enjoy an easier run or I enjoy the benefits of a more difficult run.  Additionally,  I intend to run in this area all summer.  I have plenty of chances to run the other way.

Keeping an eye on the time, I ran toward the spring.  I finished the bottle just as I got to it.  By virtue of going a little ways past my house, I increased my run time by 10 percent.  Now THAT is a win/win situation.  Or do I only win once?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

Late Run, Lame Post

I confess, the days are running into each other such that I have to make an effort to remember where I am in the week.  Nevertheless, I know today is Friday and I shall take the liberty of making a Friday Lame Post (I just love that expression “take the liberty of”).

It was pouring rain this morning, so I thought I was off the hook for running.  However, it stopped eventually, and I felt guilty for not running,  so off I went.  It hadn’t gotten sunny and hot yet.  This would be great.

Unfortunately, when I thought I would not run, I ate something. Then  I did not wait long enough before running. Oh dear!  I felt dreadfully sick to my stomach. I made it a short run, but I sure didn’t feel good about it.

Two highlights on my run.  Early on, a group of men was walking toward me.  They went single file so we could share the sidewalk.

“Training for the Boilermaker?” one asked.

“Not this year,” I confessed.  Another man told me I was doing great, and we went our separate ways.

Toward the end of my run, I went by a neighbor who was having a garage sale and called a greeting.

“I shouldn’t buy any of your stuff, ” I said as I passed, “I have too much stuff already — ooh, movies!”

However, I did not return and buy anything.  No promises for tomorrow,  though.

So for a Friday Lame Post,  I guess this is a kind of a Running Commentary.  Some days I can’t get anything right!