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Category Archives: running

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.

 

Pre 5K Post?

Yes, I am making my Friday post early Saturday,morning.  I just couldn’t make  Lame Post Friday post on Good Friday.  I imagine I have done so before, but of course I am too lazy to go back and check.  Additionally rendering Lame Post Friday inappropriate,  I do not go back to work on Monday after all.  Did I mention that on Thursday?  That is when I found out (again, too lazy to go back and check).

On the not so lazy side, after I publish this, I shall go running.  I hope to do a virtual 5K, sponsored by Rock City Runners of Little Falls, NY.  I may have mentioned this before:  I register  on Run Sign Up Dot Com, pay $10, which benefits Little Falls Food Pantry; run 5Ks all on my own, and upload my results… somewhere.

The uploading is what mystifies me.  Upload what where?  Type 38:52 into… some website?  I pulled that number out of the ambient air as a guess as to how long it will take me to run 5Ks.  I feel quite foolish and ignorant,  but that’s me,  an ignorant  fool.

Never mind.  I am approaching 200 words and the bottom of my coffee cup.  Let’s get this dog and pony show on the road (of course I do not run as fast as either of those nice animals).  I may not know how to upload results, but I can write a blog post about them. As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

Great Run on a Gloomy Day

Here is the Running Commentary post I should have made yesterday!   I knew I had to run; I had not run for two days, and the Reindeer Run 5K is a week and a half away.  Additionally, I LIKE to run!  And I like best to run when I am in good shape to do so.  That means running on a regular basis even when I do not feel particularly inclined to do so.

As I left work, however, I did feel inclined to run.  For one reason, it was a grey, gloomy day, whereas yesterday had been bright and sunny.  I love a grey gloomy day.  Steven says I am part Addams (Morticia, not Ansel, of course).  It was not overly cold, either.  The roads and sidewalks were just as much of a mess, but one must deal with these things.

I wore my road-guard vest (that’s a reflective vest, for you civilians), because I knew I would be running in the road where the sidewalks were not plowed, blown or shoveled.  I made sure I was on the left side, facing traffic.  I like to give myself every advantage.  As I started, I remembered the good thing about running on snowy roads and sidewalks:  it takes more effort.  That mean it burns more calories!  Of course I mostly run for entertainment and general health reasons, but a little help towards my weight-loss goals is always welcome.

The run was great.  I was able to spend most of my time on the sidewalk, but I kept mostly to the lesser traveled streets just in case.  I had told myself that 20 minutes would be an acceptable run, then caught a second wind and decided to go for 25.  Then I got confused and ended up running for 26 minutes.

Hmm… this is not the most entertaining blog post I could have written. On the other hand, it isn’t overly long.  I think I’ll chalk it up to Wuss-out Wednesday and drive on.  I hope you are all have a swell mid week!

 

So I Ran Today

I thought I would attempt a Running Commentary post in lieu of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.  For one reason, I knew it would be a really good idea to run, with the Reindeer Run 5K a mere three weeks away.  For another reason, I enjoyed my weekend runs SO MUCH, I wanted more. I knew, however, that I was not guaranteed more.  Mid-Week runs are often less fun.  And yet, they are an evil that must be endured.

Originally I had thought to do what I often do during these runs:  put a load of laundry in the washer, run, then put it in the drier before my shower.  Unfortunately,  I felt too tired to do both laundry and run.  Run won.  I could not and did not promise to run very far.  Twenty minutes would be good, fifteen would be acceptable,  less might be settled for.

Right away it was not a fun run.  My body did not want to participate.  As usual in these cases, I persevered.  I reminded myself that I had taken two days off, never the best idea.  I turned left instead of right onto German Street as I had planned. I most often turn left and thought an unfamiliar route would feel less onerous.

My strategy worked.  I was narrating in my head as I ran, always a helpful technique for me. For one reason, I mentioned in my narration how the run got easier as I went.  I knew I could make 20 minutes, and I soon felt I could do more.

I made it for 25 minutes, which I felt pretty good about.  And now I have a blog post. Phew!  Happy Wednesday,  everyone!

 

Running Commentary Interrupted

I made a doctor’s appointment, so maybe I can stop having Blogger’s Sick Days.  In the meantime,  I will try to make some semblance of a post.

Yesterday I did not mention it, but I had intended to make a Running Commentary post.  I started the day feeling better than I had on Saturday, and I am still hoping to participate in the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls next month. I donned leggings and a long sleeved running shirt, added a hat and gloves, and off I went.

And it was a pretty good run.  My legs felt OK, my breathing was good, I was pleasantly surprised.  Another thing I forgot to mention was that I had not gone running since last Saturday (judge me if you are so inclined).  This was all right!

So there I was, calculating how long I felt I could continue,  then adding 10 percent per week, picturing the calendar… the usual mental mathematics in which I often indulge while on a run. Then it happened.

I don’t know what I tripped on, but down I went!  One knee, then the other, then both hands at once.  Ow!

I stood back up, saying, “Ow, ow, ow,”  briefly considered started to run again, realized this was not going to happen, started limping towards home, puncturing each step with a pathetic “Ow.”  I looked around, hoping for a passing car or pedestrian.  If the latter, I would have asked them to call my husband to come get me.  If the former, I may have asked for a ride home.

Of course, no such helpful bystanders were available at that time on a Sunday morning.  It’s just as well, because my knee stopped being so painful after a block or two.  I guess walking it off is really a thing.

One knee was just a little skinned, but the one I came down on first had a big bloody spot.  However, it was not dripping blood, so I counted my blessings.  I had a bandage big enough to cover it, so the blessings continued.

I posted my mishap on Facebook, nobly refraining from taking a picture (I never like looking at other people’s bloody pictures), in what I admitted was a pathetic bid for sympathy.  I got some.  People are nice.

My knee still hurts today, and partway through the day I realized my arms and shoulders were aching.  This is what happens when middle-aged ladies wipe out on the sidewalk!  I’ll try to be less of a klutz in the future.

In the meantime,  I see I have a blog post of over 400 words.  Let that encourage me for future posts.  Happy Monday, everyone!

 

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.

 

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.