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Category Archives: running

A Run to Start my Day

How about a Saturday Running Commentary to start the day?  Well, technically it does not start my day, because I had to run, then I showered and did a couple more chores… but you know what I mean (didn’t call you Shirley that time).

Full disclosure:  I had meant to be running in Liverpool this morning, from my sister Diane’s house.  But I did not have my act together to get packed and make the drive last night.  Did I mention that in last night’s post?  I’m too lazy to go back and check.  Uh, I mean I am too pressed for time.  Yeah, let’s go with the second one.

In a rare move for me, I got dressed and out running before coffee and a chance to change my mind.  I put on shorts and short sleeves before even checking the temperature.  It was 51 F, so that was OK (45 is my arbitrary and sometimes ignored cut-off for long sleeves and leggings).  It was foggy out, or “froggy” as my husband, Steven likes to call it.  He likes frogs.  I wished I was up to running up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly known as HCCC), to get a really good view of it.  Then again, the view from up there is prettier without the fog, and I am NOT up to running that hill (at least, I might make it up out of sheer stubbornness, but I sure wouldn’t feel good afterwards).  Anyways, I could see plenty of fog just looking down the street.

I turned right onto German Street.  The air felt cool on my ears and hands, but I felt secure in my wardrobe choices.  I crossed Main Street, since there was not much traffic that early, and decided to turn down the path over what used to be a hydraulic canal.  I want to walk down it with my great-nephew Sheppie sometime, because somebody painted places with certain steps:  march, jump, crab-crawl.  We used to call it crab-walk in my younger days.  It was my favorite, but I am not sure I would encourage anybody to do it on blacktop.  We used to do it in the grass.

My previous longest run was 27 minutes last Sunday (in this latest bout of getting back into running).  My runs during the week were shorter, after working all day.  Since I am not currently building up for a specific race, I decided not to worry if this was a short run.  For one reason, I was getting thirsty.  That is one advantage of pausing for coffee: I also drink water.  I just kept encouraging myself to keep going, bearing in mind that a nice bottle of water awaited me at my house.

The run ended up lasting 28 minutes. Woohoo!  I never got any of those endorphins, which quite frankly I could have used.  However, as usual, I felt good that I ran.  And now I feel good that I made a blog post.  On with the weekend!

 

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To Boil or Not to Boil?

It is time for my annual post in which I dither about whether or not to run the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY in July.  At least, I do not remember if I write a post like this EVERY year (regular readers will not be surprised I am too lazy to go back and check).  I certainly do not run the Boilermaker every year (those who do are welcome to feel smug about it; indeed, I admire their dedication).

Being me, I cannot just go ahead and make a decision of this magnitude.  It is a decision of magnitude, by the way.  For the next four and a half months (I just now counted on my fingers), I cannot slack off of running for a week here and there.  I’ll have to keep better track of how long I run and how quickly I build myself up.  Ten percent each week does add up, but I feel I must keep good track of how soon I’ll be running for how long.  I am constantly looking at calendars and doing the math.

One might argue (oh, who am I kidding?   There’s always one who WILL argue!) (you know who you are) that none of this matters a great deal.  People who do not run at all have been known to run the Boilermaker 15K successfully.  I can probably get by on sheer stubbornness.   Additionally, many people walk during the Boilermaker; I’ve seen them.  I would not bear that shame alone (and I daresay some of them do not even feel ashamed) (and who am I to judge?).

I will just explain to the ones who argue thusly, “Shut up!”  (That is a S. J. Perelman joke I often use).  I train for the Boilermaker because (1) It is fun for me.  I like to run, and I feel good about myself as I am building up and (2) I do not WANT to get by on stubbornness nor by walking part of the course.  Additionally, I do not want to feel all ate up after the run.  I want to drink a beer!  And hang out with some friends!

Hmmm… It begins to sound as if I have already made up my mind to run the Boilermaker.  Well, why not?  I’m in my mid-50’s.  How many chances do I have to be bad-ass?  It will be good for me to train for a 15K.  If I stop eating like a pig, I may even meet a few of my weight-loss goals.

Of course, the final decision will not be made today.  I will still have to register, and there is always a chance I will get shut out.  It is a very popular race.  But I thank my readers for allowing me to dither in this space.  If anybody has any input on the matter, please feel free to comment.

 

One Must Begin Again

I read somewhere that wintertime running is about maintenance, not necessarily improvement.  I told myself this as I finished a fairly short run this morning.  “It’s about maintenance,” I thought.  Then I thought, “My runs are about blog posts, weight-loss goals, health, and my own entertainment, not necessarily in that order.”  I had thought  doing a Sunday Running Commentary as I set out on my run.  I last ran a week ago and quite frankly did not feel like running today, but, as I said to Steven as I went out the door, “One must begin again.”  Then I thought, “That would be a good title for a blog post.”  So here we are.

We had a couple of days of spring-like weather last week, but I, perhaps foolishly, did not run then.  For one reason, my body was in its final throes of rebellion against 10-hour days.  I know, other people work longer days at more difficult jobs, and they don’t even complain.  All I can say is, that is them, this is me.  I was dead tired all week and not up to running through all the puddles which were the inevitable result of the warmer temperatures.  Today was cold, and it had been snowing.  Snow offers traction, so I thought.

Turns out I shouldn’t think so much.  I tried to run on the sidewalk and soon found there was a LOT of ice under the snow.  After my trailing foot zooped out from underneath me for the third time (luckily my weight was already established on my leading foot at the time), I went into the road, which was a little better.  And a little worse, because of traffic.  Sunday mornings are usually pretty tame traffic-wise, but I had waited till after eleven to run, hoping for a warmer temperature.  Well, the cars would just have to watch out for me; I was staying where I was.

I did not spend much time on German Street, which is one of the busier streets, but soon turned down Margaret. That was quieter, which was good, because it was also pretty snow-covered. I went for the barest part of the road and did now worry too much about staying close to the curb, except when I saw or heard a car coming.  It did not feel too bad, running along at my usual shuffling pace.  The air was cold, but you’ll have that.

My deal with myself was that I only had to run 20 minutes.  I can worry about building up when the weather is better.  If I worry about it at all. I mean, why should I worry?  Worry doesn’t burn calories or build muscle mass.  It is a quite useless activity.  I ran, I wrote a blog post.  Let’s leave it at that.  Happy Sunday, folks.

 

Second Guessing my First Run of 2019

It is important to me that Saturday Running Commentary be a thing again, even if I neglect to make my post shortly after my run, which I feel is the best way to do it (that’s not a run-on sentence) (although I suppose a run-on sentence may be appropriate for a Running Commentary  post).  Anyways, I ran this morning and I am going to try to comment about it even hours after the fact.

It is my first run of 2019. I felt too tired after my New Year’s Eve celebrations (although they were tame by many standards) (then again, why should I worry about anybody else’s standards?) on Jan. 1.  Jan. 2, 3 and 4 I was working ten-hour days and TIRED, and I believe my blog posts reflect that.  I almost did not run today.  I considered going to the Mohawk YMCA and doing 30 minutes on the elliptical, I thought about taking a long walk and saying, “good enough.”  Then I said what the hell, got into running clothes and went.

It was in the low 30’s.  Weather on the One’s on Spectrum News said some freezing was still going on, so I was a bit nervous, but I thought it was not precipitating.  True, the roads looked wet… sometimes it is best not to think too long about these things but just to get out and start running.  So I did.

I did not head toward German Street, as is my usual practice, because it was close to eight and I saw a number of cars going by and I intended to the run in the road.  A mere glance at the sidewalk confirmed me in my intention.  As I ran down Bellinger Street, I saw a runner coming towards me running on the sidewalk and felt silly.  Then I thought I was ridiculous.  Normally I run on the sidewalk and feel self-conscious seeing other runners on the road.  Do I really think these other runners are judging me?  And why should I care if they do?  I choose to run on the sidewalk.  Or, like today, on the road. Similarly, other runners can make their choices.  Oh well, at least these thoughts keep me occupied while running.

The roads were not awful, but I did not completely trust them.  I felt there could be ice, and sometimes I knew there was ice.  A couple of times I dared to go up on the sidewalk, but I did not stay there, because I definitely encountered ice eventually.  But I kept running.  I was happy to see some people’s Christmas decorations still up.  Traditionally, decorations are supposed to stay up till Jan. 6, Twelfth Night.  I always have a hard time letting go of the holiday.

My intention was not to run too long, since I had taken four days off and only gone for a long walk the day before that (go ahead and judge me, remember I am not supposed to care who does).  As I ran back towards my house, keeping an eye on my watch and wondering how long over 20 minutes I could or should do, my legs were saying, “We cool. We got this.”  I was surprised.  Are these the same legs, I asked myself, that for three days at week were whining, “We’re tired!  We’re stiff!  We ache! Sit down!”  What the hell, legs?  But there is no point in trying to figure these things out; I am not clever enough to understand them.

I reasoned that if I ran 20 minutes, with my 10 minute cool-down walk it would be 30 minutes, the length of time I would have spent on the elliptical at the Y.  I ended up running for 23 minutes, so  I thought that was pretty good.  I was delighted with myself for running at all.  Would 2019 be the year I did not stop running in the winter but kept up running full time till next spring and summer?  Would I never again have to write “Begin again” in my running journal?  Then I thought, it is Jan. 5 and this is my first run of 2019, is that bad?  And here I am second-guessing myself again.  What the hell, me?

Next I am going to start second-guessing this blog post.  Is it really a Running Commentary?  Is it any good as a blog post?  As I have observed before, if dithering burned calories, I would have no problem meeting my weight-loss goals.

 

Running Out of 2018

Exercise is a potent but woefully underused anti-depressant.  It has an excellent effect on a post-Christmas letdown as well.  Today I try for a return of Saturday Running Commentary, even though my run was some hours ago.  I think I can remember parts of it.

I have been running at least somewhat since the Reindeer Run 5K.  Then the week before Christmas, I returned to the YMCA in Mohawk, NY.  I don’t know if I mentioned when I was going there before (OF COURSE I am too lazy to go back and check), but last winter I was going a few times a week, doing a little weight training and spending some time on the elliptical.  I have only been a few times recently and have only done the elliptical so far.  I hope to get to the weights and machines in January.  Anyways, my real love is to run outdoors.

It was raining in the night and although it got unseasonably warm yesterday, I knew it had cooled off overnight.  That could mean ice.  Still, it was above freezing by 7:30.  I decided to take a chance.

It felt warm!  Relatively speaking.  I ran in the road, noting copious icy patches on the sidewalk.  A runner in a bright orange jacket turned off German onto my street.  I was ready to say, “Good morning,” but he beat me to it.  I happily returned the greeting.  As I reached German, a lady was turning onto Bellinger.  It was my friend, whom I have seen several times running on weekend mornings.  We wished each other a Happy New Year.

“Look at us! Running in December!” she added.

“It’s awesome! I love it!” I called after her.

I headed toward the hill by Valley Health, since I have not been doing as much outdoor running as earlier in the year.  Still, I have been doing 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I thought I could run 30 minutes.  But even if I only did 20 minutes, my 10-minute cool-down walk would give me 30 minutes of exercise.  This would be great.

And it was pretty great.  I ran around in the residential area behind Valley Health.  I only saw one dog and his person, far ahead of me.  I did not think I could catch them so did not try.  For one reason, they were going up a big hill and I was not pushing myself too hard.  I did keep going for 30 minutes, though, so I’ll call it a win.

I got to pet one nice dog on my cool-down walk.  I was walking down Prospect when a young man and a lovely white dog were walking across Church Street.

“Good morning!” I called.  “That’s a beautiful dog!”  The dog immediately changed direction to walk toward me.  “Can I pet him, her?”

The young man graciously gave me permission.  “I’ve had her a year and a half,” he said.  “Every time she hears ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty,’ she heads right over.”

“She says, ‘I know you’re talking about me,’ ” I said.  I wished him a pleasant day and we went our separate ways.

As usual when I get to the end of my blog post, I remember at least four or five things I noticed on my run that might have been fun to mention.  Then again, I am over 500 words.  Perhaps you have better things to do than to read my blog post.  So I say thank you for tuning in, and I hope to see you again on Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

 

Reindeer Running Commentary

My choices today are another attempt at a Running Commentary or to write about socks.  I don’t see why I should not make the blog All Reindeer Run All The Time.  For one thing, there is not that much more time before the run. It is Saturday, the day after tomorrow.  I can save my sock tirade for another day (but if I make it on a Thursday I can still call it “Non-Sequitur Socks,” which is the title I thought of at work today).

What a surprise, I did not want to run by the end of the day.  My body is still not used to getting up at 3 a.m. and working for 10 hours.  Additionally, I was on my feet all day (except for breaks, of course; we are not barbarians around here, we get breaks).  Of course I had all kinds of good excuses:  I could rest up, I fully intended to run tomorrow, it’s only a 5K after all.  What finally decided me to run was that as I drove home I noticed the sidewalks were bare.  I had to take advantage of that.

Once again, I threw a load of laundry into the washer before I set out.  For one reason, I wanted my silver long-sleeved running shirt for Saturday.  I have a whole outfit planned.  I’ll have to get Steven or someone to take my picture.  I finally got myself out the door and set out.  I felt really good about myself that I had decided to run.

Brr, cold, but it’s been worse.  There wasn’t too much wind, so that was a good thing.  I headed down German Street in the opposite direction of the one I took Tuesday.  I thought briefly of crossing the street at Main and running up the pretty good hill that is there.  Nope, too much traffic at the four-way stop.  I turned towards downtown.  Hey, this run didn’t feel too bad.  Maybe I could go for a long run.

I went by Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners.  There was a Christmas tree in the window of Suiter House, home of the Herkimer County Historical Society.  I have to get over to their gift shop and do some Christmas shopping.  I went down Main till I got to Park Avenue, then I ran by the post office and on to Meyer Park.  I made a mental note to take a walk or drive by the park at night, to see the pavilion and tree all lit up.

By this time, I was getting tired.  Hey, body, what’s going on?  I thought we liked running!  Maybe I could catch a second wind.  As I kept running, it soon became evident that I would not.  Oh no!  I had run less than 20 minutes so far.  I can’t run a 5K in 20 minutes!  What was I going to do?  Then I said to myself, “You will not have just worked a 10 hour day.  You will have gotten a good night’s rest and had a light, healthy breakfast.”  I am also planning a nice pasta dinner Friday night, so I will be all carbed up, as the saying goes (I’m not sure exactly what the saying is, but I believe it includes the phrase, “carbed up”).

I ended up running for 25 minutes and walked my usual 10 minute cool-down.  I confess to feeling better about myself before I ran that after, but you’ll have that.  Full disclosure:  I’ve felt better about blog posts than I feel about this one.  Once again, you’ll have that.

 

Warming Up for the Reindeer Run

Could I be getting old?  SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!  In fact, I can now rub two nickels together (meaning I am 55, if that was too obscure), but that is hardly the point.  The point is, it seems that when I go running after work with the intention of making a Running Commentary post, I become too tired to actually write said post.  Then again, yesterday I was too tired to make a decent post without benefit of running.  Now I am getting bogged down when my intention was merely to write an introductory paragraph.  I did mention I am tired, did I not?

My plan is to run the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls, NY, this Saturday (Dec. 8).  I have been working up to running a greater distance than 5K’s, with some measure of success.  Sunday I ran for 50 minutes, and the longest I’ve taken to run a 5K has been, I think, 38 and change.  Mind you, I believe I can pretty much run a 5K at any time, regardless of what I have been doing, through sheer stubbornness, with which I am well supplied.  It’s a question of how slow I go, how stupid I look, and how terrible I feel afterwards.  OK, I will probably go slow and look stupid in any case, but one can only do so much with what nature has provided.  The point is, I want to enjoy Christmas in Little Falls after the run.  I think I will be good to do that on Saturday.

Sunday, when I ran so long, was an unseasonably warm day.  This Saturday is supposed to be cold: mid-20’s, I believe.  Today was about that, so I thought it would be a good idea to run.  For another reason, I wanted to do some laundry and it is just so handy to throw a load in before I start the run.  During even a 20-minute run, after my cool-down walk, the wash is usually done.  This is pretty much the extent of my ability to multi-task.

I had on leggings and a winter running top.  I added a hat and my reflective vest.  I wanted the reflective vest mostly because it is another layer and has  a handy pocket for a couple of tissues.  However, I knew it would also be a good idea if I decided to run in the road at all.  As it turned out I mostly stayed on the sidewalks, but it is best to be prepared.

Ooh, it felt cold.  I wondered if I should have added a sweatshirt to the ensemble.  No matter.  I would no doubt warm up as I went.  I did, to a point.  The other advantage of my age is that I can pretty much count on getting a hot flash sooner or later.  Usually the hot flash makes me too hot, but at least it is a change in my discomfort.  Additionally, I can laugh at myself for always having something to complain about.

I ran for 25 minutes, which I considered OK.  I felt the important thing was to run at all.  Of course, the other important thing (to me, anyways) is to make a good blog post.  I’m afraid I have not said a whole lot about this run.  I like making the kind of Running Commentary post where I give almost a blow by blow of where I ran and what I saw.  Unfortunately, today’s run was quite uneventful.  Or perhaps I was too cold to notice anything.

As a matter of fact, I still have not warmed up, after a hot shower and a warm dinner.  No matter.  I ran.  I blogged.  I made it through Tuesday.  On with the rest of the week!