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Too Much Detail on a Tired Tuesday Run?

I have this recurring dream where I am trying to get somewhere and my legs won’t work properly.  I can’t pick up my feet, I can’t move forward, it’s simply dreadful.  I pretty much felt this way at work today, and I worried tonight’s run would be more of the same.  However, I have not been running since July and I was determined to begin again.

I made a bargain with myself that I would only run for 20 minutes.  I could hang for 20 minutes.  This would work.  Of course it was a rigamarole getting ready to run.  I wanted to put in a load of laundry while I ran, including the pants I had worn to work today.  Since I had gotten sweaty at work, I took advantage of this.  I stayed naked while I filled the basket with laundry, then put on my running clothes (sorry if that gave you an unfortunate mental image) (then again, what are you doing picturing me naked?  Shame on you, you dirty-minded thing, you!).

Of course I was still sweaty.  I put powder on my upper body, but my second sports bra  still rolled up as I put it on and I couldn’t reach the back to unroll it.  I hate when that happens!  I got it, though, because, like I said, I was determined.  If this is too much detail, tough.  I calls it like I sees it.  I almost got out the door before I realized I had not thrown the laundry in.  Back up the stairs to retrieve the basket, then down to the basement.  I figured it could count as my warm-up.

Usually when I run, I make a left at the end of my driveway and head to German Street.  If I have not been running in a while, I head to Caroline Street, then go up and down the streets, working my way back home.  I decided to mix things up, so turned right and headed towards Meyers Park.  I even crossed the street and ran down the opposite side from my house.  The sun came out from behind a cloud, showing me that I had not picked the shadier side of the street. No matter.   It was my first run of beginning again, and I was going to persevere.

Persevere was what I had to do, because I never hit the I Can Rock This stage.  I won’t say that every step was an effort, but a goodly number of them were.  I tried to distract myself by looking around.  Mostly I noticed other people’s porches and wished I was sitting on a nice porch, perhaps enjoying a beverage.  I had told a work friend that I might reward myself with a glass of wine after my run.  Suddenly I remembered… chocolate milk!  When I was training for the Boilermaker 15K, I got in the habit of re-hydrating with chocolate milk.  I read somewhere that it is an excellent recovery drink.  I must say I enjoy it quite a bit.  I knew there was milk and chocolate in my refrigerator.  That thought sustained me for the rest of the run.

I ended up running for 22 minutes.  I felt pleased with myself that I had gone at least a little over 20, especially since the devil on my shoulder had been whispering that 15 would be just as good.  The cool shower felt wonderful, and the chocolate milk was heaven.  I probably won’t run again tomorrow, because I have rehearsal for The Tempest (no, that is not over yet, and I will no doubt write more blog posts about it), but I hope to run on Thursday.  Sooner or later, I must hit that I Can Rock This stage.

 

First Post-Boilermaker Run

Did anybody think I would just stop running after the Boilermaker 15K?  I have crashed and burned after running it in the past (I even wrote it on my calendar a couple of times:  Monday, Crash; Tuesday, Burn).  But I wanted to keep it up this time.  I had actually meant to start running again Tuesday or Wednesday, but, well, you know how it goes sometimes (and if you don’t, what planet do you live on?  I’d like to visit).  So Friday was GOING to be the day.

When I woke up around 4 a.m., I felt SO ready to run.  I was going to sleep a little more (hey, I’m still on vacation), then I was going to get right to it.  I might not need any coffee first.  I drank a little water (I always keep a bottle by the bed) and relaxed.

An hour an a half later, when Steven said he was getting up, I not only did not feel like running, I did not feel like getting out of bed.  It being my last real day of vacation (I don’t count the weekend, since I normally have weekends off) (YES, lucky me, don’t hate), I stayed under the covers for another 15 minutes or so.  This worked out, since due to a slight malfunction, coffee wasn’t ready till I got up anyways.  Additionally, it was raining.  I was off the hook!  I don’t have to run in the rain!

Of course, I knew I COULD run in the rain.  I’ve done it before.  Also, the rain would probably stop.  I had some coffee and awaited events. After a cup and a half,  I did not see drops in the puddles, and I felt a little more ready.  After all, this was the first run after a 15K and four days off.  I decided I did not have to run more than 20 minutes.

Off I went dodging puddles and patches of mud still left from the recent flooding.  I ran down German Street and pondered where to go.  No hills, I promised myself.   Perhaps a Dead End Run.  That is where I cross German and run up and down all the dead end streets as I work my way back.  Being me, I changed my mind about that three or four times, but ended up doing it.

I did not run all the dead end streets.  That would have been a much longer run than anticipated. As it was I ended up running 33 minutes.  Again, being me, I debated about that, too.  Should I run past my house to the end of the street and back?  Continue around the block?  Make it 40 minutes?  35 minutes?  I decided 33 was a fine number, so I ran a little way past the house.

I’m thinking this is not much of a Running Commentary, since I have not offered a lot of observations and, well, comments.  However, it is Lame Post Friday and my last real day of vacation.  I’m going to call it a post.  Happy Friday, everyone.

Post Race Post

I was going to title this “To Dress or to Blog?”  but I did not want to invite unkind comments about how nobody wants to see me naked.  Also, it would not be clear that this is yet another post about the Boilermaker.  Which I just ran.  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (That was a triumphant laugh, by the way.)

So this is not going to be a great post.  I ran. It was not easy for an overweight woman of my age who, as it turns out, perhaps did not train enough.  However, I finished without resorting to walking.  Full disclosure:  towards the end, my run could not catch up with some of the walkers.  I will write more about the run later.  For now my purpose is merely to publish something, so I can get on with celebrating my triumph as soon as Steven gets home from work.

For anyone just tuning in, the Utica Boilermaker is the best 15K race in the nation, possibly in the world.  It seems as if the entire City of Utica as well as the surrounding area turns out to run, volunteer or cheer folks on.  Runners come from all over the world, including elite runners from places like Kenya as well as those who run for fun and fitness from places like Syracuse and Rochester.  I believe folks come from farther afield, but I did not encounter any of those today.

My challenge now is to find a cute outfit to put on such that Steven will realize that the best way to celebrate is to take me out somewhere nice.  Or I could just sit here in my bathrobe, which I put on after a delicious shower, and he will probably make me a grilled cheese sammich.  I do like grilled cheese.  It is good to have options.  Tune in tomorrow, on Mental Meanderings Monday, which I will either tell you what I wore or describe in greater detail my triumphant Boilermaker run.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Last Long Run Before Sunday

It may be time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time.  I went for my last long run before the big race.  The big race, for anybody just tuning in, is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, the premier 15K race in the country (I say it with confidence, although I confess I have not researched 15K races), which takes place this Sunday, July 9, 2017.  There is also a 5K on Sunday, a 3-mile walk on Saturday, an Expo Friday and Saturday, and many other events and attractions.  I know I’m not mentioning everything; after all, this blog is mostly about ME (I say it with no apology for my egotism) (although I confess to having a good laugh at myself).

Where was I?  Ah yes, about to do a Running Commentary post about my last long run till Sunday (hey, is that a good title for the post, or is it too obvious?).

It was excellent running weather: not too hot, not too humid, sunny and pretty.  As I ran, I felt the sun was perhaps brighter and hotter than my own personal ideal, but running in the shade was fine.  I decided to run in the residential area behind Valley Health, what I refer to as “the suburbs.”  This took me up the hill by Valley Health as a kind of a warm-up hill, and I knew I would find a long, challenging hill as I went.

As I ran toward Valley Health, along German Street which gradually slopes upward, I realized I did not want to run any hills.  My body felt like it could keep going perfecly well on level ground but would be utterly defeated by gravity if I tried to push it.  Well, naturally on my Last Long Run Before The Boilermaker, I was inclined to push it.  I remembered of what I thought on a recent run: running hills does not become easier for me; I merely learn to keep going longer while it sucks.  I wondered if that was strictly true. Most probably it sucks less as I go.  Today I tried a new tack:  I told myself that going up hills was a psychological trick;  I just had to stop NOTICING how much it sucked.  This is an extension of a trick I heard about in the army:  just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill.

I took a wrong turn and ran down a perfectly level street that turned at a right angle then ended in a cul-de-sac.  Then I found the correct corner, when down a small hill then up, up, up.  I passed a lady walking down and said good morning.

“Boilermaker!” I added, fists in the air.  “Three days and a wake-up!”

“There you go!” she encouraged.  “Good luck!”

A short while later, I saw a fellow runner, headed down the hill.

“Boilermaker!” I called to her.  “We got this!”   She laughed.

I passed a few other walkers, including a very nice couple who let me pet their dog.  Yes, I stopped running long enough to pet the dog.  I like to pet a dog.

I ran for an hour and one minute, which is how long I ran yesterday.  In training for previous Boilermakers, I have been up to an hour and a half.  However, I feel an hour is good.  I tell myself, if you can run for an hour, you can run for two; just don’t stop.  I plan shorter runs tomorrow and Friday, and a couple of long walks on Saturday.  And in between, I hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Boilermaker, here I come!

 

One Week! Seriously?

It is one week before the Boilermaker 15K.  I hope all the flooding in Utica does not t put a — wait for it — damper on the proceedings (you must see that I had to make that pun).   I felt that I had to go for a good, long, challenging run this morning, especially since yesterday’s run was cut short.  Accordingly, I got dressed for it as soon as I got out of bed about 6 a.m.  I drank water as I got ready, stretched out a little (which I often neglect to do), and set out.

I expected a lot of mud so had put on an older pair of running shoes.   It was mostly in the gutters but parts of the sidewalk were covered and in places the whole road was awash.  I was running with a bottle of water in my hand but tried not to sip too fast and get nauseous.  It was not as warm and muggy as it was on Friday, but neither was the air fresh and clear.  I was grateful for the occasional breeze.

I headed for my go-to hill, the one up to Herkimer College (or HCCC as I used to call it) (pronounced “H-triple-C,” although real natives say  it “H-trip”).  I figured there would be less mud as I ran up.  There was plenty near the bottom of the hill.  I was surprised to run into more as I went up.  The road wasn’t coated, but there were a couple of places where a swath of stones and gravel angled across, even close to the top.  I maneuvered around these without too much problem.  Lack of traffic helped.

As I ran across the campus, I felt quite solitary.  I thought I would at least see Campus Security making the rounds, but no.  I did not run into any problems, though, so that was good.  As I was running up the steepest part of the hill, I reflected sadly that it was not becoming easier to run hills; merely, I was practicing my ability to keep going even when it sucks.  When the upslope became a more reasonable angle, it stopped sucking, so I felt better about things.  I ran all the way up, around the athletic fields, and down Reservoir Road.  I would have liked to run on the Nature Trail but feared it would be too muddy after yesterday’s rains.

The back road down was not as bad as I had feared.  That road is being worked on so parts are not as well-paved as one would like.  There is one area where there are plants growing up through the gravel.  I kind of admire the plants’ perseverance.  Life, as they say, will find a way.  One little plant is even growing out of a crack in the pavement.  I can almost hear it saying, “Hey, guys, look at me!  I’m over here!”  I angled around the plant as well as some stones and mud.  I changed my mind a few times about which way to run, based on which choice was less muddy, but I got pretty dirty anyways.

I was in the latter portion of my run when I stopped by the spring to re-fill my water bottle.   The stones and board surrounding the spring had moved somewhat but I managed to get close enough with little problem.  Then I headed home, debating on if my run would be exactly an hour or a little longer.  Longer won.  Then I stopped to chat with a couple of neighbors on my cool-down walk, so I was gone long enough to make Steven wonder a little.  He had expected me to run for exactly an hour, and he had forgotten about my cool-down walk.

I felt pretty damn good about myself and more confident about running the Boilermaker 15K in a week.  I still feel I haven’t run enough, but there isn’t anything I can do about that now.  I guess now is the time to begin feeling nervous about where I’m going to park and how early I ought to get there and will I be able to find my way through the crowd after the race to get my beer.  Oh, swell, now this is turning into Wrist to Forehead Sunday!

 

Happy Friday Run

How about a Running Commentary post instead of my usual Lame Post Friday?  For one reason, I ran.  For another reason, the Utica Boilermaker 15K is one week and two days away; it is just about time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time.

It was dreadfully warm at work today.  When I left the building at lunch time to pick up a prescription (at The Medicine Shoppe in Ilion, a great place to do business with), it was even more oppressive outdoors.  Yikes.  But I had only run Sunday and Wednesday this week (don’t judge me).  It would be a really good idea to run.  Rumor had it there would be a terrific storm right about the time I was scheduled to leave work.  Of course I don’t believe everything I hear.  Anyways, if there was thunder and lightning, I could run in place on the mini-tramp while watching my DVD of Nosferatu (regular readers may remember how I am obsessed with that silent vampire movie from 1922).

When I left work, it was raining a nice, gentle rain, which had cooled things off nicely.

“This is great,” I said to the co-worker I walked out with.  “I can totally run in this!”  My plan was made.

First I had a couple of stops to make.  As I got to them, the rain began to pour down in a most torrential fashion.  I was drenched before I entered the first stop.  Of course, due to my odd personality quirk, I laugh at such weather, so it was really no problem getting drenched.  I bet the cashier at the second store that it would stop raining by the time I got home.  And, what do you know, it did. I happily put on my running clothes and got going.

The first thing I noticed was that the lovely coolness I had enjoyed as I left work was gone.  The sun was hot and the humidity was back.  Never mind that, I told myself.  Just run.

I took off down German Street, turning right, because I had turned left on Wednesday’s run.  I headed toward the HARC building, because I wanted to check out the new playground behind it.  They had their grand opening recently, but I have not been there since it was a work in progress.  It seemed to take a long time to get to the end of German Street.  I persevered, dodging around the puddles and trying to ignore the humidity.  I concentrated on running smoothly and taking deep, full breaths.

The playground looks pretty good.  I entered through the archway and started around the blacktop path that surrounds it.  There are a few exercise stations.  Cool!  I’ll have to come back and try them. I’ve been meaning to incorporate different exercises into my workout.

I was able to continue a slow, steady pace without too much discomfort.  I did not reach the “I Can Rock This” stage, but neither was my body crying out for me to for the love of God stop running.  I made it for a full half hour.  Perhaps a longer run, with a few hills, would have been a good idea, especially given the proximity of the Boilermaker.  However, I plan to run again first thing in the morning.   I’ll see how bad-ass of a run I can do then.

After my run, a shower felt great, and a glass of chocolate milk tasted delicious.  Now I have finished my blog post, so that is another chore done.  I think it is time to commence celebrating my weekend.  Maybe I’ll watch Nosferatu.  Happy Friday, everyone.

 

Feeling Creaky, Not Friday

How about some Friday Running Commentary?  For one reason, I went running.  For another, I’m just not feeling Friday today.  For a while I even thought I had to work tomorrow, which would have made this a real non-Friday.  Unfortunately, that fell through, so I was left with a Friday that did not feel like a Friday for no good reason.  However, I do not repine.  Instead I went for a long run and now I intend to write about it (yes, yes, I know, Truman Capote said, “That’s not writing, that’s typing,” but I don’t think he was talking about me).

Today was cooler than yesterday and overcast, much better running weather.  I put on sunscreen, though, because I know you can still burn on a cloudy day.  I had a vague idea that I would take a long run.  When I had thought I was working tomorrow, I thought I would make it the run where I upped my time by the recommended ten percent, in case I did not run tomorrow.  Since I do not have to work tomorrow, no doubt I will run.  Still, a long run seemed like a good idea.  Accordingly, I took a bottle of water with me, to sip at while I ran then re-fill from the spring.  That gave me a direction to run in.

To re-cap my recent runs:  Last weekend I ran for an hour and 14 minutes both Saturday and Sunday, hills on Saturday, none on Sunday.  I ran again on Wednesday for 42 minutes with a couple of small hills.  That was a painful run; I felt like I was barely going to make it.  Running more hills than I managed seemed quite out of the question.  So I was not sure how I would feel about running long or running hills today.  But I was going to try.

Well, I did not do as well as I had hoped but neither was it as heinous as I had feared.  I ran a few minor hills.  There were moments where I felt grim and hopeless, when I questioned my choices, and I felt fat, old and creaky.  There were other moments when I believed what I always say to myself, that I can pretty much keep going for as long as I decide to.  I had wild thoughts of upping my run time, as I had thought to do earlier.  Then I had daring thoughts of equaling my longest time so far.  Then I wondered what the hell I was thinking.

I finished my water and made it to the spring.  I decided to do what I did Saturday, that is, run by my house, drop off the full bottle, and finish the run empty-handed.  I still didn’t know how long the run would ultimately be.  A little suspense adds interest to my runs.

By the end of the run, I had changed my mind several times:  “I’ll run here… no, here…  oh wait, there’s that ‘Do Not Enter’ sign, I have to go here!”  I ran up Bellinger Street, across the street from where I live.  I usually run all the way up to German Street then down my side of the street home. Today I was directly opposite my house as my watch ticked the last seconds to the one hour mark.  So I stopped at one hour.  I thought that was pretty good.

I can’t say I felt marvelous as I walked my cool-down, but I felt pleased enough with myself.  I had a glass of chocolate milk after I showered, because I had read recently that this was a good recovery drink.  It was pretty tasty.

Just over three weeks remain till the Boilermaker.  I confess, I am questioning the fitness of my knees.  Then again, what are a few creaks on my way to 15K glory and beer?