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Category Archives: running

Can I Rock That Run?

I decided about twelve times today that I would or would not run the Falling Leaves 14K in Utica, NY, on Sunday.  I quite amused one of my co-workers with my dithering.  One problem I had was that I was not feeling well today.  How can I run a 14K when my legs feel like overcooked macaroni, I whined.  Another co-worker told me there was nothing wrong with me and I should run the race.  How would he know?

In any case, I knew it would be a good idea to go running after work.  For one reason, I succumbed to the temptation to eat a candy bar.  Somebody’s kid was selling them to raise money for some school thing.  One must support youth and education, after all.  I know, I could have donated the dollar and left the candy bar.  In fact, I did not eat the first candy bar I purchased but saved it in my lunch box for Steve.  Later on I got another and ate 3/5 of it (it had five little sections).

This is a long introduction to a Running Commentary post,  but that is all right, because the run was really short.  After some difficulty getting dressed (missing bicycle shorts, inadequate sports bras, you know how it goes), I set out with no great hopes of a good run.

Oh, don’t go lecturing me about how we can control our lives if we just think positively.  I have started plenty of runs with sky high hopes that ended up in the metaphorical toilet.  Likewise, I have started out grumpily and had a lovely time.  In this case, all I can say is I did my best.

I never reached the I Can Rock This stage.  However, I kept going for 22 minutes as well as my usual 10 minute cool down walk.  I am thinking this is not the run of a body that is ready for a 14K.  Of course I will feel differently on a weekend morning,  especially if I carb up and don’t tie one on the night before.  But still.  When I have run the Boilermaker 15K, my body has felt better a week before the event.  Could I be getting old? SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

Before making this post, I went on Facebook and onto the Falling Leaves page.  I have till Thursday to register online.  I could still register Saturday at the Sneaker Store in New Hartford or Sunday in Utica before the race.

Full disclosure: I looked at pictures of the starting line from previous years and wanted to cry.  Can I drive to Genesee Street, find a place to park, figure out where to go, deal with running in a crowd (although it would not take long for the crowd to leave me far behind), etc., etc.?

It is difficult to properly assess my feelings on Tired Tuesday.  Then again, are my feelings the important thing here?  I’m afraid that whatever I decide, I will wish I had gone the other way.  On the brighter side, there is always next year.  In the meantime,  I dither, I dither.

 

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Who, Me? Run?

So I went for a run this afternoon, describing the way I move in a most generous fashion. I am still dithering about the Falling Leaves 14K,  and today’s exercise did not further incline me to take the challenge. However, one must take the bad runs to get to the good ones.  I do not despair.

After work I got myself into running clothes and out the door before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.  Earlier I had entertained wild thoughts of running up to Herkimer College.  After all, I am running over an hour on the weekends.  Surely I can handle more of a challenge during the week (I am calling myself Shirley in this context).

A few steps down the sidewalk I thought I was not up to any challenge whatsoever.  I wondered if I was even up to a lousy 20 minute run.  Nevertheless, when I had the chance, I crossed German Street.  This put me on the path to a few different hills. I thought I could manage a hill. A small hill.

I ran up the hill by Valley Health.  As I ran up it, in fact, on the last few times I have run up it, I reflected that it is not an inconsiderable hill. I really must take a walk with my Tablet and take some pictures of these hills.  My readers will either say, “Why, yes, that is a hill,” or “What a wuss!  That’s no hill!”

When I got to the top of the hill, my legs felt like overcooked macaroni!  And I was less than eight minutes into the run!  Crap!  I continued, hoping to avoid any more major upslopes.  There are some really good hills in that area.  I hope to run them again but was not into it today.

As I ran on, eventually my legs started to feel a little better.  I reminded myself of how I sometimes don’t hit the I Can Rock This stage till a good 20 minutes into the run.  I further reminded myself that I have found I can keep running for just about as long as I decide to.

Soon my body was urging me to decide on a SHORT run. I ignored it. My legs felt better or worser by turns, but I persevered and ended up running for 26 minutes.  I did not feel terrific on my cool down walk.  When I took my shower, I wished I had one of those old lady stools so I could sit down.

So, yes, I can be a big baby about these things.  I comfort myself by reflecting that (a) I did so run and (b) I made a blog post about it.  Perhaps I can improve on the run and the blog in the future.

 

To Fall Or Just To Leave?

I guess I’ll have to stop apologizing for making late blog posts; I’m afraid it is just going to happen.  Anyways, I thought I would take this morning’s 200 or so words to dither about the Falling Leaves 14K in Utica two weeks from today.

I have long wanted to run that.  I understand it is a beautiful and challenging course.  I need to challenge myself.  In fact, sometimes I even need to Double Dog Dare myself.  So why the hesitation?

Well, for one reason, the race is only 1K less than the Boilermaker.  That is not a distance to be undertaken lightly.  And I would not be undertaking it lightly.   I have been running all summer, slowly building myself up.  I feel that I am in pretty damn good shape (from some angles my actual shape could stand improvement, but I digress).

Basically what happens is all week I feel tired and discouraged.  I think of keeping up my running three to five days a week while working.  I think about driving to Utica and looking for a parking space after luckily finding where the race starts (I know these considerations do not bother some people, but I seem to be more easily intimidated in some respects), and I say, “I just can’t take the pressure.”

Then I go for a long run on the weekend, get all endorphinned up, and say, “This is AWESOME!   I am SO doing the Falling Leaves 14K!”  Yesterday on my cool down walk, I met a neighbor who runs and asked was he doing the race.  He has not signed up yet but has done it in the past and recommends it.  He is a younger guy in great shape.  I daresay he does not need to constantly consider the calendar and calculate how fast 10 percent per week will add up, as I do.

Right now I am in the discouraged portion of my dithering (although I do feel challenged to refute that parenthetical comment about being easily intimidated.  Me? Intimidated? SAY IT AIN’T SO! ). However, I have not gone on this morning’s run yet.  I expect I will feel differently then.  In any case, I am now over 300 words.  Quite respectable for a late post. I shall now get on with my Sunday.

 

Short and Thunky

I had two wonderful long runs this past weekend.  Did I write a Running Commentary post about either one? NO!!!  I had a short, thunky run this afternoon.  Get ready for a short, thunky running commentary post.

The easiest thing to do after working all day is to talk yourself put of running.  However, I did not indulge in such craven behavior today but went straight upstairs to put on running clothes as soon as I got home.  I was going to run my usual weekday run: left on German Street to Caroline, then down Caroline, up Margaret, and down Henry for as long as I can stand it before going up Bellinger to home.  I confess that sometimes I do not get very far down Henry at all.

I really did want to run today,  because Saturday’s and Sunday’s runs had felt SO good.  I thought I had my running mojo back and everything was going to be great.  In fact,  I was not particularly surprised to find out I was wrong about that. What do I think I am, a gazelle?  Of course not. I am an overweight middle-aged lady with creaky bones and a bad attitude.

However, one thing I can do is persevere.  At least for a while.  Right away my run felt thunky.  I felt chunky.  And not very spunky.  Sorry, folks, I just felt like throwing in a couple of rhymes just then.

As I reached Caroline,  I realized I did not want to do the run I had set out to do. Traffic was with me, so I crossed Caroline.  I would run to the end of Caroline, which loops around. I would follow the loop.  Full disclosure:  I did not know how long I would be able to persevere.  I had not set out with a definite goal of how long to run. Naturally I hoped that I would hit the I Can Rock This stage and enjoy a medium or even a long run.  I do not ask myself for miracles.

And I did not get miracles.  I did not even get to rock this.  However, by virtue of making a couple of strategic turns, I managed to run for 22 minutes.  I call that not bad for a Tired Tuesday.  And I am over 350 words.  I call that not bad for a Tired Tuesday post.

 

I Ran, Can I Complain?

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You are SO RIGHT!” I answered.

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

 

 

A Run Worthy of a Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You too!” I called, running on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Running Update

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

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

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

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

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

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