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Category Archives: running

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?

 

Independence Day Run

When I noticed my Army t-shirt in a drawer yesterday, I made up my mind to have an Independence Day Run this morning.  I would wear the Army shirt and run up the hill to the Veterans Memorial at Herkimer College.  It was time to run up that hill again anyways, and it was the day to increase my run time to 44 minutes.  This was going to be great!

I was a little worried about how warm it was when I first got up.  We are having another muggy streak these days.  Oh well, what’s a little extra sweat compared to celebrating our country’s birthday?  I put on a wide headband in hopes of absorbing some of the sweat before it ran into my eyes and made a note to myself to look for some extra-absorbent, exercise-grade headbands for the future.

As I reached German Street, I met a lady taking a walk.  We exchanged good mornings.

“We gotta get out before the heat of the day,” I said.

“That’s what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s beautiful out!”

“Oh, it sure is!”

A short time later I was making a note to myself that I must run more hills.  I ran this one earlier this week (I don’t know when; remember that note to myself to go back to keeping a running journal?  I didn’t do it).  Today it felt as if I hadn’t run it in years!  Crap!  I was gasping for breath. But I persevered and at last I made it to the top.

It feels steeper when you’re on it, and it gets steeper after the curve.

And realized that it continued to slope upwards.  It is amazing to me how my body can detect the most subtle angles when running.  I took my mind off my troubles by continuing to ponder my plans for the Boilermaker Virtual 15K.  I hope to recruit a few friends to meet me along the way with water.  Once I figure out a route.  Various possibilities ran through my mind.

Soon I realized a slight problem.  It was taking a long time to get to the Memorial.  Would I be able to get back home in 44 minutes?  Should I run only for 44 minutes and let part of my cool-down walk take me the rest of the way home?  I would have water; I was carrying a 16 oz. bottle which I intended to refill at the spring.

At last I reached the Memorial!

It’s a lovely little area.

Going down Reservoir Road was a pleasure.  My body appreciates downslopes as much as it suffers on upslopes.  I finished my water shortly before I reached the spring.  A man was there filling a bunch of five gallon buckets, but he let me sneak in to refill my bottle.

One of my favorite spots in Herkimer!

He said he was getting water for his swimming pool.  “I’ve been drinking this water since I was nine years old!”

“I love it,”  I said.  “Thank you!”

I was getting closer to my goal but was further from home.  I ended up running 47 minutes. It is an increase of more than the recommended ten percent, but I think that will be OK.  Boilermaker,  here I come!

 

Surprise! It’s Running Commentary!

How about a Running Commentary Post in lieu of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.  I surprised myself by actually running.  Let’s see if I can further surprise myself by writing a decent blog post about it.

Full disclosure:  it was running only by the most generous definition of the act.  Of course this is always the case with me, but today was an especially egregious example.

I did not get out as soon as I got home.  First I talked myself out of it, which is what I did yesterday (Monday I counted mowing the lawn with the non-power mower as my exercise, so did not need an excuse).  I sat and checked my email, looked at Facebook, got hungry, wondered what to eat.  Then I changed into running clothes, put a load of laundry in the washer, and off I went.

Like the proverbial herd of turtles.

Oh, I thunked.  I clunked.  I huffed and puffed.  But I kept going.  I had a deal with myself that I only had to run for 20 minutes.  That, with my ten minute cool-down walk, would bring me home just about when the washer finished.  Surely I could rock 20 minutes (I’ll call you Shirley if I feel like it)!  I was running more up to 45 minutes on the weekend.  Come on, me!

I did not rock anything.  However, I kept going.  I looked at the grass, I looked at the trees.  I ran in or across the street when I saw other pedestrians, because, you know, social distance.  I called a greeting or waved to many of them.  I saw other people’s irises which had already bloomed (mine are still buds, as pictured in yesterday’s post).

I’m thinking this is a short, and I am afraid rather dull Running Commentary Post.  So I did not surprise myself twice.  I must say that does not surprise me.  Does that mean if I had surprised myself with a terrific blog post, I would have been surprised three times today?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

Virtual Run, Late Post

So I think I ran 5Ks on Saturday.  Regular readers may remember I was going to run the Social Distance Virtual 5K sponsored by Rock City Runners of Little Falls.  I ran something, at any rate.

I meant to write my blog post about it yesterday, but I feel sure my readers will forgive me. I was undecided as to whether or not to run right up to the last minute. One factor in favor of running was that my $10 registration would benefit Little Falls Food Pantry.  I suppose I coukd have just made a donation directly and had done with, but we all know that is not my style.

All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?

I took a before picture. Please note that the shirt is from the Reindeer Run 5K, also sponsored by Rock City Runners. The only 5K track I could remember was the Herkimer Dare 5K.  At least, I hoped I could remember it.  I think the last time I ran it was 2013.  That may have been the last time anybody ran it, since, alas, it is no longer a thing.

I knew it ended at my beloved Historic Four Corners.  I walked there from my house and put my sweatshirt and water bottle at the Herkimer County Courthouse.  I was pretty sure nobody would bother them, but I used my shabbiest sweatshirt and water bottle just in case.  I walked up Main Street to the starting point.

Not surprisingly,  I could not recall the exact spot, although I knew it was not all the way at German Street.  I picked a spot that looked good, and off I went, like the proverbial herd of turtles.

I knew to go down Main to Church Street, all the way out Church, around the corner to German Street and up Lou Ambers Drive to Herkimer College (or HCCC, as I usually call it).  Oh, it was not fun going up that hill!  I went up it once recently, and went up another bad hill earlier in the week.  It did not seem to matter.  However, if there is one thing I know how to do, it is to persevere.

Once I got up to the college, I realized I was not quite clear on where to turn around.  The Dare 5K has two routes.  One goes just to the college, then down the back road and through Brookfield Park (also known as the Unknown Park in this space). When that route suffered damage in the flood of 2013, they changed to run to go up through the parking lots of the college and back down Lou Ambers Drive.

I ran all the way to the parking lot by the gym.  I think that was how far the route went.  In any case, I am sure it went no further.  Better too far then not far enough, I thought.  I felt pretty awful by the time I turned around.  Oh crap, was this even going to work?

After I turned around,  I felt better.  What a difference a little downhill makes!  When the downhill got a little steeper, I didn’t like it as much.  I leaned back and kept it under control.  I thought about really making use of gravity and barreling down that hill, but I am a little leery of getting out of control.

The only problem I had once I got back into the village was that I somehow got it into my head that I should turn onto Prospect Street.  Where were those damn Four Corners?   Stupid!  I should have turned at Main Street!  A turn onto Church Street corrected the error, and I don’t think it changed the length of the run.

My hair is so pretty!

When I got home I took another selfie.  I felt pretty pleased with myself, although I also felt pretty awful.  A shower and breakfast helped.  I went for a short run on Sunday (today).  And I see I have written kind of a long blog post.  Not a bad weekend, I say.