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Category Archives: running commentary

Lousy Run, But I Petted Pudge

I thought of a better headline at the beginning of my run, but I do not remember it.  Perhaps I could if I really thought about it, but I am strangely disinclined to do so.  I like the headline I used better.  For one reason, it kind of tells it all.  Now I don’t have to write the post.

Oh, OK, I’ll write the blog post.

This afternoon I got a graphic demonstration of why we are not supposed to run twice in four days then not at all for ten.  Of course I already knew this, but what else could I do?  It was too late to go running on the ten days past.  As I ran, I thought it would have been a better idea to walk.  For one reason, the roads and sidewalks were TERRIBLE with puddles and ice.  For a walk, I could have worn my flood boots and waded through the puddles.  And it probably would have felt a lot better than my shuffling run. However, by the time I thought of this, that ship, too, had sailed.

Some of you may be thinking, “Hmm, blogger’s sick day yesterday, going running today, was she goldbricking?”   I assure you I was not.  In fact, I wasn’t feeling a whole lot better for most of the day, but I thought a little exercise might help.  Also, I needed something to write a blog post about.

I spent most of my run on the roads, avoiding deep puddles by running practically in the middle of the road.  I tried to stick to quiet streets, but there was still traffic.  At one point, I tried to run around a car stopped at a stop sign and almost ran right in front of a truck turning left onto that street.  I put both hands on my head in a gesture of distress, as an apology to the stopped car, which I was directly in front of at the moment.  I don’t know if you can picture it, but I laughed at myself.  I can only hope the drivers were similarly amused.

My legs did not thank me for the exercise, but I was not looking for gratitude.  As I walked my cool-down walk, I felt only a kind of a dull satisfaction that I had done it at all.  That was when I saw a lady ahead of me on the sidewalk, and it looked as if she was walking a dog.  I felt that petting a nice dog would make the whole thing better, but she was far ahead of me.  Luckily, the dear little doggy (as I thought of him) stopped to sniff enough that by walking quickly, I was able to catch up.

It was my friend Pudge the pug!  I was delighted to pet him again.  I have not seen him in a long time.  I chatted briefly with his person, wished her a good day, and finished my walk.  Oh, I was tired, and when I stretched, I was stiff.  Well, these are the runs we must live through to get to the good ones.  Sorry about this dull post, but I’ll make sure I write about the good runs, too.

 

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I Felt Super!

Ah ha ha!  (that was a triumphant laugh)  I went running again!  I took two days off, because it was just too cold for me, but this morning it was 30 degrees when we got up, so I said, “Hey!”

I waited a couple of hours first and ate a banana with peanut butter not quite one hour before I actually went.  It was not much above 30 by then, but I thought I could rock it.  I was right.  I ran on the sidewalk instead of the road for the most part, because it was covered with enough snow to give traction.  Sometimes I thought I saw ice underneath the snow, so I exercised caution.  My middle-aged shuffle is good for that.

I had run for a half a block before I realized it was snowing. Snow?  Oh well, I could still rock it (but not rocket, if you see what I mean).  I had on leggings, a long sleeved t-shirt, a hat and gloves.  I wished I had also worn a scarf, especially when the wind picked up.  Then again, running without a scarf, I think, “Oh, if I had a scarf to cover my cold face, how nice that would be!”  Running with a scarf, it’s, “I can’t get this damn scarf to cover my face right and now I’m fogging my glasses!”

As I ran, I thought about the blog post I would write, especially the title.  It is Superbowl Sunday.  Could I work that in?  How about alliteration on Sunday?  Then I looked around at houses, feeling happy when I saw the occasional Christmas decoration still up.  I don’t really get over my post-Christmas let-down till spring.  Sometimes it lasts till it’s time to start thinking about Halloween.  When I wasn’t looking for greenery and wreaths, I was hoping the cold air would not give me a headache.

Regarding that last sentence, it was a forlorn hope. As I type this, I’m afraid I got one and it is getting worse (remember, the more you complain, the longer God lets you live). However, I see that I am over 300 words.  Short for a Running Commentary but long enough for a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I shall stop blogging and nurse my headache.  But I ran for 26 minutes, the same as I ran on Thursday, and I felt pretty damn good about it. Happy Sunday, everybody.

 

Running Away From My Health Problems

I think it is an impressive structure.

As I approached Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners on my run this afternoon, I remembered I had pictures in my Media Library I could include in today’s Running Commentary.  Lacking a really catchy lead, I decided to open with the Courthouse.

Yes, after almost two months, I returned to running today.  My tiresome health problems continue to dog me, but I figured taking it easy was not helping me, I might as well try a little exertion.  For another reason, I miss running, and I thought I saw a 10K going on somewhere nearby in April.  I can be ready to run a 10K in April.  Or I can run it anyways, if I’m not ready for it.  But I could be partially ready for it if I started running today.

It was 39 degrees according to my thermostat.  Not too warm for leggings and long sleeves.  I wore a new sports bra I bought some weeks ago.  Ooh, it was soft.  I must purchase more new sports bras.  I put a sweatshirt and bottle of water on the deck rail, ready for my cool-down walk, and got started.

Regular readers know I prefer to run on the sidewalk.  It is safer, and I find it more pleasant.  However, winter sidewalks, especially when things have been thawing and re-freezing, can be treacherous.  I chose the road, left side facing traffic, as we are supposed to do but many do not.  I regretted my choice when I turned onto German Street.  Too much traffic!  And mud puddles.  I decided to only go one block and turn down Henry, a quieter street.

Ah, much better.  I noticed the sidewalk did not look too bad and decided to try it.  Long stretches were bare and dry, some were merely wet.  I shuffled carefully over some icy patches.  There were sections of the road that looked worse than the sidewalk, but you’ll have that.  I alternated sidewalk and road, avoiding ice and icy puddles whenever possible.  I ran up Main Street, which in the downtown area had lovely stretches of bare, dry sidewalk.

I used to go to this church.

It was as I ran by Christ Episcopal Church, narrating in my head, that I remembered about the pictures.  There is nothing like pictures to pep up a blog post.  I was able to stay on the sidewalk till the 1834 Jail.

Is the picture less effective because you can see green lawn and leaves? Sorry if I have ruined the mood.

Continuing up Main Street in the road got a little scary, because traffic picked up and I had to go around parked cars.  Still, every time I looked at the sidewalk, I felt no inclination to go there.  German Street was no better, and traffic there was worse.  Yikes!  I only went one block on German then turned down Prospect.  Phew!

I had planned to run for 20 minutes, my usual goal when I have not been running in a while.  However, I made it for 26 minutes.  As I walked my cool-down, my legs felt TERRIFIC!  I kept repeating to myself, I must run or walk every day.  We’ll see how that goes tomorrow, when the temperature is supposed to drop, abruptly and considerably.  At least it will be Friday!

 

Cold Hands, Good Run

I don’t think this blog will go All Reindeer Run All The Time.  I am not running enough to warrant such a thing.  However, I did run today and will attempt to make a Running Commentary post instead of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.

I had thought it was supposed to still be kind of warm today, and sure enough, when I got home from work my thermostat said it was 45 degrees out.  That is my cut-off for shorts and short sleeves, but it was a bit windy, so I thought I would go for the leggings and long.  Leggings were easy to find (actually they were polyester long johns I like to wear instead of pantyhose), but by the time I found a long sleeved shirt I was hot flashing.  I had worn my t-shirt from the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K (remember that?)  to work today, and that is such a lovely soft cotton, I decided to run in it too.

Thus hybridly attired (what, isn’t “hybridly” a word?  It should be), I set out.  Ooh, that wind was fierce.  I was already regretting the t-shirt, but no matter.  I thought about how good it would feel to put on my sweatshirt for my cool-down walk.  I was thinking I should run a long (for me right now) time, at least 30 minutes.  My last longest run was 36 minutes.  I will increase that to 40 this weekend, which will put me right where I want to be for the 5K.   I hope.

I let myself off the hook for hills, because I hate trying to cross a busy street in the late afternoon.  In fact, traffic was so bad, I turned left instead of right at the end of my street so I would not have to run in front of the cars stopped at the STOP sign.  I made it to Caroline Street before I didn’t want to cross again, but that was OK.  This was one of my go-to runs:  German to Caroline, then down Caroline, up Margaret, down Henry…

My run was enlivened by some Christmas decorations on some houses.  I tried to make a note of where houses were that had lights, in case we go for a walk after dark one night, which I hope we will.  My legs pumped along steadily, not giving me much problem.  My breathing wasn’t too bad.  My hands were turning to stiff icy claws, but what could I do?  I just wouldn’t try to write anything as soon as I got home.  I hoped my hands would be able to turn on the faucets for my shower.  Ah, hot water would be great.  Maybe I would even have hot chocolate instead of cold chocolate milk for my recovery beverage.

By the end of my run, I was feeling quite tired, but I persevered.  I ended up running for 35 minutes instead of 36.  Sorry, folks, I was at my house and I just did not have the mental or physical wherewithal to go past the house again (I had already gone past it once, running down the opposite sidewalk, then to the corner and crossing the street).  It did feel wonderful to put my sweatshirt on.

I think I will be just fine for next Saturday’s 5K.  My only sticky widget, as I just realized, is that I don’t have anybody to meet me at the end of the race and sing “We Are the Champions” while I walk around with my fists in the air.  After a race, I like to walk around with my fists in the air while somebody sings “We Are the Champions.”

 

Don’t Reindeer on my Parade

The Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls is looking increasingly remote.  I feel so sedentary lately!  I have managed to bestir myself to take a few half-hour walks, so I do not completely harden into a concrete slab.  Oh yeah, like I would ever be rock hard!  But heavy as a rock.  Perhaps concrete flab.  In any case, I managed to go running this morning so will attempt a Sunday Running Commentary.

Winter weather was in the forecast, and when I woke up sometime in the very early morning, I thought I heard sleet against the windows.  We woke up to rain and wind that makes an old witch like me look at the sky fearfully.  I figured a run was out of the question.  After coffee and scrambled eggs, I began to question it.  Steven said it was snowing, but when I looked out the window a few minutes later, the precipitation had abated.  After waiting for my food to digest, I got into running clothes.  Of course it started snowing again, but after I wrestle myself into two sports bras (don’t you DARE say TMI!), I run.

The snow had turned to rain by the time I got outside.  As I started to run, I questioned my determination.  I had said to Steven that a 20-minute run would not kill me.  Still, there exists a lot of discomfort short of death that I might like to avoid.  Never mind, I told myself.  I have been putting on a few pounds once again.  Running was a good idea. Presently the rain stopped.  The sun even started to peep out from behind the clouds.  This was all right.  The wind was still pretty fierce, but I had a headband over my ears and my sleeves pulled over my hands.  I could do this.

I did not run any hills, but ran up and down the sidewalks, avoiding puddles and mud.  I could keep this up for 20 minutes.  Maybe even longer.  Let’s see, how far away was the Reindeer Run?  How much longer than 20 minutes would I have to run to be in OK shape for a 5K by then?  I think the run in on the 9th of December, giving me two more weekends to increase my run time.  Then I thought I could probably run a 5K regardless.  Nobody cares how slow you go on these community runs.  No doubt I could keep moving on determination alone till I got to the finish line.  People are nice; they would still clap for the fat old lady huff-puffing along.  It might be fun.

As I walked my cool-down, I felt wonderful.  The hot shower felt even better, and my chocolate milk recovery beverage was delicious.  I am still on the fence about the Reindeer Run. Any advice from my readers?

 

Mid-Week Run with a Stop Mid-Way

After several huge bouts of Don’t Wanna Run/Not Gonna Run, I went running.  It was not the best run, but I will attempt a Running Commentary post to avoid another Wuss-out Wednesday (is it really Wednesday? I have been in a time warp since last Friday, which did not feel like one).

I started the run late, about quarter to five.  The sun was setting.  At least, I couldn’t really tell if it was setting or not, because the sky was so cloudy.  I appreciate a cloudy day, so  that was all right.  The temperature was one degree below my cut-off for leggings and long sleeves, so that was how I dressed.  I was not worried about getting too hot while I run because of that sun going down thing.  I figured the air would only get colder.  Additionally, I had one of my long-sleeved ARMY t-shirts handy. It has a reflective decal on the back.  Safety first for Mohawk Valley Girl.

My idea was to have a long, slow run with no hills.  The slow and no hills part would make the long part possible, so I thought.  As I started out, though, I wondered if I was up to it.  I ran slow.  I did not turn toward the hills.  I felt tired.  To distract myself, I thought about what I would cook for dinner and if I would ever get to the other chores I had set for myself.  I ran a couple of errands earlier in the day, but they did not include going to Hannaford nor getting milk (we get it at Stewart’s, where members of the Milk Club, we get a gallon for half off after purchasing five).

The last reflection rendered my run even less enjoyable.  I hadn’t gotten milk!  I couldn’t have my beloved post-run recovery beverage of chocolate milk!  What was I thinking?  I reviewed my timeline in my head, including run, cool-down walk, and shower, ending in Steven’s expected arrival home.  I figured I could at least get the milk.  Maybe I could go to Hannaford as well, and get something easy for dinner, since my timeline clearly did not include time for cooking.  My body heartily applauded the idea of a shorter run.

Still, one must run a certain length of time or it isn’t worth putting on the sports bras.  I continued, looking at my watch and figuring my rout and how long each street was likely to take.

Then I ran into Nicky’s Mom.  Nicky, regular readers may recall, was a sweet little dog I always stopped and petted when I saw him.  I don’t remember if I mentioned it in the blog, but I heard from a mutual friend that Nicky had passed away.  I stopped and said, “I’m so sorry about Nicky!”  We chatted for several minutes about Nicky, and having a dog in general, and how sad it is to lose them. Nicky’s mom (how embarrassing that I cannot remember her name!) has a cat now.  She thinks it was abandoned by some people that moved out of the neighborhood.  It had been living as a stray for a while, until she said to it, “Do you want to come in?”

At some point while we talked, I clicked my watch so it stopped timing my run.  When I finally started running again, I thought I would run to the corner before turning it on again.  Then when I turned it on again, apparently I didn’t do it right, so I have no idea how long I actually ran for.  I think it was for at least 20 minutes.  I’ll tell you what, it is not the best idea to stop in the middle of a run and stand in the cold weather chatting.  My body enjoyed the last part of my run even less than the first part.

It was almost dark as I walked my cool-down.  I reflected how much more I enjoyed walking than running.  For the past two days, I have gone for walks of about a half hour.  It may be time to change over to walking.  But, a little voice in my head says, what about the Reindeer Run?  Well, that’s a problem, isn’t it?  Any advice?

 

Not Quite the Run I Planned

YES!  Saturday Running Commentary is BACK!  I ran this morning and less than an hour later, I am sitting down to write my blog post about it!

I had actually planned  better blog post.  I am still unsure of my plans for the day, so I thought I  would think about what I was going to do while I ran, then I could write about the run and my plans.  Well, I thought about my run while I was running, probably because I kept changing my plans about where and even how long I was going to run.  So I am going to tell you about that.

My thermostat said it was 38 degrees out, well within my parameters for leggings and long sleeves.   A long-sleeved running shirt was handy, because I had worn it under my sweatshirt when greeting the trick-or-treaters on Tuesday.  It took a little longer to find leggings and winter running socks.  I guess I could have done without winter socks, but the leggings I found are a little short and I did not want that little half-inch of bare leg between sock and legging.  It’s the little things.

At last I was off.  Ooh, it felt cold.  And I felt a little self-conscious in my form-fitting shirt and leggings.  I usually run in very large t-shirts.  Indeed, most of my long-sleeved t-shirts are on the baggy side as well.  But one must not let these things keep one from pursuing fitness.  I kept running.  My main concern was that the cold would give me a sinus headache, as it sometimes does.  I made up my mind that if it started to I would have a short run.  I have things to do today (even if I have not planned it out yet); I can’t be down with a headache.

I ran toward Valley Health, my go-to hill when I am building myself up.  From there, I could run to the high school and over the little footbridge.  That is often my Sunday run, but it would do for a Saturday.  As I approached the hill, I could see something was going on at the school: a school bus and several cars were right where I planned to run.  I revised my plans.  I thought the sight of my lumpy body outlined in such detail by my outfit, which was not even all that warm, might traumatize high school students.   I decided to run into the residential area behind Valley Health and make my way back to German Street via Lou Ambers Drive or Maple Grove.

As I approached Lou Ambers, I thought I would go to Maple Grove, where there were sidewalks to run on.  Then as I got toward Maple Grove, I saw that it went uphill to the next street over.  A little uphill would be a good thing.  Beyond that was the back way up to Herkimer College.  I was not up to running to Herkimer College.  Then I noticed the “Do Not Enter” sign.  I felt I just had to run by a “Do Not Enter” sign.  I thought I would only run to the path that goes into Brookfield Park (previously known as The Unknown Park in this space).   This put more uphill in my run.

The path into the park added more uphill.  As I ran, I hoped I could actually get into the park.  The path leads to a picnic area, which is separated from the rest of the park by a little footbridge over the brook.   The bridge and brook are surrounded by a chain link fence.  Sometimes the bridge is blocked.  If the bridge was blocked, I would have to turn around and run back the way I came.  I did not want to do that.  I was tired of running and wanted to go home.  I made up my mind that if the bridge was blocked, I would just climb over it.

I could not tell until I was right at the bridge whether or not it was blocked.  In that length of time I was able to picture myself ripping my leggings on the fence, falling into the brook, spraining my ankle, and having to drag myself out of the brook to limp home.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just run longer than I intended.  The bridge was unblocked, so that was good.

By now I realized I MIGHT make it home in 30 minutes, the length of last Sunday’s run.  Then again, it might end up being 33 minutes, the intended length of tomorrow’s run.  I felt pretty good either way. My legs and body had warmed up nicely and I felt I could continue running with no problem.  This was all right!  I ended up running by my house to the end of the street and coming back for a 33 minute run.  Yes!

As I walked my cool-down, I felt pretty damn good about myself.  If I keep this up, I will be in great shape for the Reindeer Run 5K!  Now to get on to planning the rest of my Saturday…