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Category Archives: running

Was It a Self-Indulgent Run?

I thought I would do a Running Commentary Post. For one reason, I went running. As I freely admit, what I do is called running only by the most generous definition of the term. However, I was out on the sidewalk moving my feet and putting in effort. I feel I deserve some credit at least.

It was a pretty afternoon with bright sunlight and bare pavement. The temperature was less inviting, but I put on leggings, long sleeves, gloves, and a knitted headband. This would be fine. I set out with modest goals and high hopes of meeting them.

I had reckoned without the wind. Where did that come from? And did it have to be right in my face? Apparently it did, because it seemed to change direction almost every time I did. I don’t think I felt it at my back the entire run. I know this is not logical, but how do you explain it? We all know I do not run fast enough to create my own wind resistance.

The best I could do was to keep plodding along as best I could. I decided 15 minutes would be acceptable. It was more than a mile. Stop judging me! I told you in the first paragraph I run slow! My cool down walk was also shorter than usual, eight minutes instead of ten.

As I walked my cool down, I told myself I could feel good about getting out there at all. Then, being me, I questioned whether I was being self-indulgent or at least unambitious. Was I, in essence, giving myself one of those despised Participation Trophies? As I type this in now, I feel these questions are best left for Lame Post Friday, the proper home for half-baked philosophy.

In the meantime, I have made my Tuesday post on Tuesday. At the risk of being self-indulgent, I say, “Yay, me!”

Oh Yeah, I Ran

I am uncomfortably aware that I have not posted since Friday (Saturday actually, since the post was late, but you see what I mean). The fact is, Saturday Running Commentary should have made a triumphant return. I ran on Saturday! And it was great! And I ran again on Sunday! And it was not so great!

Still, we could have had a triumphant return on Saturday, because we did not know then how Sunday was going to turn out. Perhaps it was not what others might consider a triumph anyways. To me, since I had not been running since January, any step was good. I set myself a goal of 20 minutes and ran for 24. Later I took a 20 minute walk. I was back on the road to fitness!

Sunday I felt less fit. I managed to run but let myself off the hook at seventeen and a half minutes. Still, I told myself, after two months off and being sick…

The problem was, my runs had irritated the fronts of my thighs so that going up and especially down stairs was torture. I whined and cried in a most unbecoming fashion. Monday I discovered a terrible shin splint in one leg. Any walking was rendered hideous. I had to say, what the hell, body?

I have stopped and restarted running any number of times since the late ’90’s. I have never suffered such pain. Could I be feeling my age? SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

The shin splint was in abeyance today, so I tried to run again. I had to remind myself that I LIKE to run. I guess parts of the run were OK. I continued for a mere 17 minutes. As I started my cool down walk, a voice in my head kept saying, “Where is it written that I have to do a ten minute cool down walk?” This voice has questioned me before. I had to admit, she has a point.

I see I have blathered on for over 300 words (and my autocorrect seems to think “blathered” is not a word). I say pretty good for a Tired Tuesday. I hope I can continue to run. For one reason, it gives me something to blog about.

If Only Dithering Burned Calories!

To run or not to run… is not really the question. How’s that for hacking Shakespeare? I guess it’s kind of a cliche, but here is something else that has become something of a cliche (I don’t know how to add an accent, so my computer is underlining it. How embarrassing) at least in the context of this blog: I am dithering.

The subject of my dithering is the Reindeer Run 5K, part of the Christmas in Little Falls festivities this Saturday. I have participated for several years. It is a very run run: nice people, interesting course (I love Little Falls), and you end up at Ed & Bud’s, where you can get a Tom & Jerry, a traditional Christmas drink. Why, you may well ask, am I dithering?

Well, sad to admit, I have not been running enough. I have been running; I’m not a complete slug. However, it has only been maybe three times a week: Saturday, Sunday and usually Wednesday. And when I have worked Saturday overtime, it has not been Saturday. I am in shape, but only because I maintain that round and puffy is a shape. I am not in 5K shape.

One could argue that this does not matter. People run 5Ks and even longer runs without properly training or training at all. Your body can put up with a one-time great effort. I, personally, can usually count on my stubbornness to keep me going when my body is not actually up to the challenge. It is really a question of how ate-up I will feel afterwards

I do not want to feel ate-up. I want to enjoy all the fun things going on in Little Falls this Saturday! I don’t want to spend the whole run feeling completely horrible. I want to enjoy myself!

These arguments are really very spurious. I will no doubt enjoy the run even if my body does spend the whole time complaining. I feel I am being highly entertaining with my whining. For example, on one run, I passed a couple of ladies pushing strollers.

“There would be room for me in that stroller!” I said. “That kid could shove over!” I got a laugh, or a least a smile.

Additionally, even when I am in the best of shape, I often finish these runs feeling completely ate-up. I like to, as an admired drill sergeant used to say, leave it all on the track. I run faster than I normally go (my Garmin attests to the fact), start my final sprint too early, and run just as hard as I can at the end. it’s more fun that way! And even when it’s not, I just can’t seem to help myself.

I think I must admit that it is my own laziness and depression that are trying to talk me out of signing up for this run. I will feel really bad if I do not participate. Is the dreaded FOMO rearing its ugly head (ooh, there’s a cliche: “rearing its ugly head”) (and it is “its” not “it’s,” I’ve known that since seventh grade and with others knew it as well)? I don’t know if I am succumbing to a recently documented Facebook disease, but I know that if I do not do the Reindeer Run, I will, in fact, Miss Out.

As a Rule, I Like to Run

New rule for Mohawk Valley Girl: No more 10Ks in August.

I am sitting in my stuffy house (although the fan and open door are helping), typing on the laptop (with all ten fingers, yes!), late once again for my Friday post (Lame Post Friday, but never mind that), and I wrote the preceding sentence and the paragraphs that follow earlier this week, so I shall type them in while sipping coffee (making a few edits as I go, I add in the interests of accuracy). Then I shall return to my pre-race jitters.

One might think that as I have run the Boilermaker 15K in July more than once that hot weather running would hold no terrors for me. My first thought was to say, “That’s different.” I guess it is, since the final month of training for the Boilermaker takes place in June, which is sometimes not as hot. However, in one respect it is similar: almost every time I run the Boilermaker I vow I am not going to do it again. What does that tell you about me? Seriously, what does it tell you? It just confuses me.

My problem is that for the past week we have had one damn sticky heat wave. This puts quite the damper on my last week of preparation runs (see what I did there? Damp, because humidity is wet? Oh well, I thought it was funny). Additionally I am currently working from 5 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No cool-ish early morning runs for me.

I determinedly put on running clothes and braved the heat and humidity Tuesday. Oh, it was bad. Every step of that run was a chore. I could not remember why I ever liked running in the first place. However, I made it for two miles and even ran up a couple of hills (not big ones). I did not even finish my usual cool-down walk. A voice in my head said, “Nobody said you had to walk for ten minutes.” I felt that was a good point.

I duplicated the effort on Thursday, minus the hills. I admit it was marginally less heinous.

And here I am on Saturday morning, feeling as usual that coffee is heaven, up in time to eat something nutritious and let it digest before the run (probably a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter). Today we are supposed to get relief from the heat and humidity. Yay! My 10K is in Little Falls, part of their Canal Days festivities. I hope after running 10Ks I have enough oomph leftover to enjoy some of them. It would make a good Scattered Saturday Post (which we all know I may be typing in Sunday morning). As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

Rocked the Run, Not the Post

I know from reading my Facebook “On This Day” that I can rock down to 10 degrees. At least, I read that I once posted, “Turns out I can rock down to 10 degrees.” I would not post such a thing if I had not in fact rocked 10 degrees on a recent run. I thought about that as I shuffled through yet another cold run.

You must not judge me for shuffling. In the best of conditions my middle-aged shuffle is the best pace for my middle-aged chest, even with the best of sports bras (do NOT say “TMI!”). When there is ice on the road, the shuffle is an important safety precaution.

Today was one of those runs where, when I started out, I thought it was too cold, a 20 minute run would suffice. But I ran for 34 minutes. Additionally, I do not require myself to run hills on bad roads (I recently wiped out walking up an icy sidewalk). However, I ran up two minor hills. Best of all, I ran by four signs that said “Do Not Enter” and entered.

Only there was snow.

This is an earlier picture of one of my “Do Not Enter” signs. I like to feel like a rebel. I know, I know, they mean cars not middle-aged shufflers. Let me enjoy my small triumphs.

The run started to feel pretty OK as I went. Of course I long for bare roads and warmer temperatures, but one must make do. I’m afraid I must make do with a kind of a dull blog post as well. It was not that exciting of a run. I felt pleased with myself as I ran uphill, as it became increasingly clear that I was going to run for a decent length of time, and as I came across another “Do Not Enter” sign to thwart.

But I cannot recall any specific thoughts or moments to make this a true Running Commentary Post. Still, it is a post, and one I am not typing in at 5 or 6 o’clock Monday morning, I’ll call that a win. Happy Sunday, everyone.

Some Spring in my Step

It was a glorious day that felt like spring. Of course, I spent most it inside, wondering if the sun was living up to its promise, as it so rarely does this time of year. However, when the work day ended and I stepped outside, I was elated. It was warm! It felt good! I was totally going to go running!

Many days when I have worked all day, I talk myself right out of it, and Wednesday seemed for a moment to be going that way. I’m tired! I spent all day running around! The snowbanks are still too high; sidewalks are way too messy! Oh hell, no. Those arguments were not going to work.

I did heed the argument about the sidewalks and ran in the road. I wore my road guard vest, because safety first. Additionally, I can put tissues or a handkerchief in the zipper pocket. My sinuses are ever a problem. Of course I wore leggings and long sleeves, but I opted for a knitted headband instead of a hat, and I did not wear gloves. I was so happy to step outside and not feel freezingly cold. This was going to be great!

And it was, kind of. I have not been running after a day’s work in a while. It certainly feels different from a run on a weekend morning. My legs were soon complaining. I ignored them. I also seemed to be running very slowly. I declined to worry about it.

The real problem was all the snow. The snowbanks encroached on the road, and the puddles from their melting made it even worse. I did not encounter much ice, though, so that was good. I tried to stay on less busy streets, but I still encountered some traffic. I made sure to give the thank-you wave to everybody who slowed down and/or moved over.

I had been thinking that this was the sort of day when, back in my misspent youth, I might have been out on a porch with friends and beer. Of course it was not really warm enough for such activities, but we never let that stop us. I saw several people out running or walking. Then, closer to home, I saw a few people on a porch, their kids playing in the snow, and a fellow I know standing in the driveway with what looked like a beer in is hand. Awesome!

“It’s a great day for a porch party!” I yelled.

“It’s a great day for a run!” the guy on the porch said.

“It sure is!”

And it sure was, snow and puddles notwithstanding. I felt so happy I had run, even it was not too far and not too fast. As I type this, winter has naturally returned to the Mohawk Valley. However, I cling to the promise of yesterday. Spring is coming! Come on, Spring!

Short Run, Sunday Post

I have not gone running for two weeks. At my age, that is far too long. This morning, despite the cold, I ran. So how about a Running Commentary Post in lieu of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday? It won’t be a very long post, because it was not a very long run. What do you want from an overweight, middle-aged lady?

I had not planned on running. The roads are still covered with snow and ice, which is what deterred me all last week (it was my own laziness the week before). And it was frigid cold. Double digits, but barely. It was 11 degrees according to my thermostat, which often reads warmer than the actual outdoor temperature. I figured after two weeks it would be like starting all over anyways, so why not wait a few more days?

As the morning wore on, however, I damn well felt like it. I was, I realized, sick of not running. So I got into running clothes and went. In addition to leggings, long sleeves, a hat and gloves, I put a scarf around my neck and wore a zip-up sweatshirt.

Of course the scarf was not the miracle I was hoping for. My neck was warm, but I could not get it to properly cover my cheeks. Yes, it was face-hurting cold. Never mind, I told myself. Just go for 15 minutes. 15 minutes. Nobody could ask for more in this cold. Oh, well, I guess somebody could.

I started out running in the road but switched to the sidewalk on German Street, which usually has more traffic. The sidewalks were snow-covered rather than icy. This was excellent, I told myself. Look how much effort it takes to run in the snow. I would burn all kind of calories!

It did not take long for that to get old, and I switched back to the road when I turned down a side street. I went back and forth between sidewalk and road, snowy and bare, as the opportunity offered. Other than my face and my hands, I didn’t feel too bad. It was worse for my hands when I would take off my gloves to pull a tissue out of my pocket and blow my nose. Sometimes, I pulled my fingers into the palms of the gloves and made fists. That’s an old army trick to get warm.

I ended up running 16 minutes, 17 seconds, 1.22 miles, according to my Garmin. I tracked my cool down walk with the Garmin, too: 9 minutes, 46 seconds, .46 miles. I walked through more effort-inducing snow on the cool down. It felt pretty good, and my recovery beverage of chocolate mild tasted really good.

For the rest of tne day, I proceeded to eat like the huge honking hogger I am, thus negating the calorie-burning benefits of the run, but let us not dwell on such negativity. I ran. I wrote a blog post. It is a good Sunday.

Oh, Deer!

Subtitled: Interrupted Run. This morning I started to run at least 34 minutes, to fulfill the penultimate day of my 34 day challenge for diabetes awareness. It did not go well.

I started out in the dark, as I like to do, wearing my road guard vest, along with leggings, long sleeves, and gloves. Things were fine for the first three or four minutes, then I saw a young deer in a yard up ahead of me.

“Hello, deer,” I said but stupidly did not stop. Of course the deer ran way across the road.

And there were cars coming in both directions! One was far enough away, but the other had to slam on his brakes, which he (or she) fortunately did. I saw the deer make it up into another yard and away. The car paused for a minute or two, no doubt making sure of the same thing.

You would think I would be relieved the poor deer had escaped death, but apparently that is how my mind works. I was traumatized by the thought of what might have happened and the knowledge that it would have been my fault. In my defense, I am having a very emotional time these days, for various reasons with which I will not burden you at this time. Additionally, I have long suffered from depression and anxiety.

Be all that as it may, I started having the worst attack of vocal chord dysfunction (VCD) that I have had in a long time. VCD, in case you did not know, is a breathing problem in which muscles in one’s throat tighten in a most uncomfortable fashion. It sounds like an asthma attack, and it feels pretty awful.

So there I stood on the sidewalk, gasping for breath and making the most hideous noises. How I longed for somebody to stop and say, “Are you all right?” Then they would have said something like, “Calm down, it’s all right. Everything is fine.” I kept saying that to myself, but I didn’t believe me. For heavens’ sake, the deer did NOT get hit! What the hell, me?

Eventually I got my breathing under control, but I still wanted to cry. I tried to start running again, but my body did not want to, even less did my mind. Finally I started to walk back home, feeling really stupid but trying to be gentle with myself.

Then I saw the skunk.

This is the second time I have encountered a skunk while walking in the early morning. The first time, the animal was in a stance, legs spread out, hunkered down, looking like he meant business (although it was dark, so perhaps I exaggerate his air of intimidation). This one was just standing there. I sprinted across the street, and he moseyed on in the other direction.

So that was pretty funny. I walked back to my house, took off my road guard vest and put on my sweatshirt, picked up my water bottle, and proceeded to continue my walk till the desired 34 minutes was accomplished.

Diabetes is a serious problem for many. And exercise is a good idea for everybody! I am not nominating anybody, but I am encouraging all my friends and family to challenge themselves! Even if you don’t do the full 34 minutes or days, do some exercise and make a post about it! Let’s all encourage each other to be a little healthier!

34 Days, 34 Minutes of physical activity for the 34 MILLION diagnosed with Diabetes in the USA.Let’s bring awareness to this issue that plagues our nation.According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes and of those, 90-95% have been diagnosed as type2. “You May be able to manage diabetes with healthy eating and being physically active.”

RULES:*Once nominated, your 34 days begin the following day.*Post a “selfie” of your post workout sweat everyday for 34 days*please nominate a friend you think will FOLLOW THROUGH with this challenge. WE ARE COUNTING ON YOU TO HELP SPREAD THE AWARENESS.*HAVE FUN, work on you for the next 34 days for 34 minutes!!!! BE CREATIVE!!!

Run for a Reason, Selfie to be Silly

A little crazy eyes, I admit.

This is a selfie of me after a run. For the past 23 days, I have been running (except for one day when I walked) at least 34 minutes, then posting a selfie on Facebook, because of the Diabetes Challenge. Every few days, I add the following:

Diabetes is a serious problem for many. And exercise is a good idea for everybody! I am not nominating anybody, but I am encouraging all my friends and family to challenge themselves! Even if you don’t do the full 34 minutes or days, do some exercise and make a post about it! Let’s all encourage each other to be a little healthier!

34 Days, 34 Minutes of physical activity for the 34 MILLION diagnosed with Diabetes in the USA.
Let’s bring awareness to this issue that plagues our nation.
According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes and of those, 90-95% have been diagnosed as type2. “You May be able to manage diabetes with healthy eating and being physically active.”

RULES:
*Once nominated, your 34 days begin the following day.
*Post a “selfie” of your post workout sweat everyday for 34 days
*please nominate a friend you think will FOLLOW THROUGH with this challenge. WE ARE COUNTING ON YOU TO HELP SPREAD THE AWARENESS.
*HAVE FUN, work on you for the next 34 days for 34 minutes!!!! BE CREATIVE!!!

You can just about see Harold Ghoul in the background.

I have been having fun with my selfies by including various Halloween friends.

This is a new friend from Casler Flower Farm.

I keep thinking I am going to do a Running Commentary Post then don’t do it. However, I thought sharing a few of my silly selfies might be equally as entertaining. Additionally, I encourage all my readers to take the 4 day challenge, or at least to get a little exercise, with or without Halloween friends.

Mookie Wilson is Halloween friend who stays out all year long.

Remember That Mini-Maker?

I never wrote about running the Mini-Maker at Copper City Brewing in Rome.  This was a 15K organized by the Roman Runners as an opportunity to run our Virtual Boilermaker.   I have started this post several times but cannot seem to do the event justice.  Under the heading A Bad Blog Post Is Better Than No Post At All, I will share the pictures I took that day and hope that will give an idea of what a wonderful event it was.

Volunteers Kelly and Kevin at the registration table.

The event took place Sunday, Sept. 13.  I was among the first to arrive.  I had said I would volunteer, since I had already run my official 15K, but when the day came, I definitely wanted to run.  I thought I should accept the invitation to start early, since I could not guarantee how fast I would go.  Kevin helped me out by getting me my own personal bicyclist to make sure I did not get lost.

My bicycle guy Scott was awesome. I’m sure he was a big reason I went as fast as I did.

When I started running, I soon realized I was running faster than I had on any of my training runs.  What the hell, me?  I did peter out the last few miles as my back started to hurt and my breathing got a little ragged.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the run.  It went through some scenic areas along the canal and through Griffiss Air Force Base (I guess it’s not an air force base any more; it’s been a while since I lived in Rome).

Carrie and Steve Klepadlo of Broasters.

Before the race I enjoyed a cup of cold brew courtesy Broasters Coffee Company.  It is single origin and yummy.  They currently operate a wholesale business not open to the public.  However, they do events and farmers’ markets.  I wonder if it was extra caffeine boost that helped me run so fast.  I’ll have to get some more of that coffee!

Christina at the bar.

After the race, everybody had a great time, drinking beer, Bloody Marys and more.  I drank some Fallin’ For Pumpkin Ale, which I enjoyed very much.  I also enjoyed a free hot dog.

I liked the scene behind the bar, too.

 

Our most gracious host.

I had been to Copper City Brewing before.  I hope to go again soon.  Roman Runners are holding a 5K this Saturday.  Do you think I should go?