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Category Archives: running

Cold Hands, Good Run

I don’t think this blog will go All Reindeer Run All The Time.  I am not running enough to warrant such a thing.  However, I did run today and will attempt to make a Running Commentary post instead of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.

I had thought it was supposed to still be kind of warm today, and sure enough, when I got home from work my thermostat said it was 45 degrees out.  That is my cut-off for shorts and short sleeves, but it was a bit windy, so I thought I would go for the leggings and long.  Leggings were easy to find (actually they were polyester long johns I like to wear instead of pantyhose), but by the time I found a long sleeved shirt I was hot flashing.  I had worn my t-shirt from the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K (remember that?)  to work today, and that is such a lovely soft cotton, I decided to run in it too.

Thus hybridly attired (what, isn’t “hybridly” a word?  It should be), I set out.  Ooh, that wind was fierce.  I was already regretting the t-shirt, but no matter.  I thought about how good it would feel to put on my sweatshirt for my cool-down walk.  I was thinking I should run a long (for me right now) time, at least 30 minutes.  My last longest run was 36 minutes.  I will increase that to 40 this weekend, which will put me right where I want to be for the 5K.   I hope.

I let myself off the hook for hills, because I hate trying to cross a busy street in the late afternoon.  In fact, traffic was so bad, I turned left instead of right at the end of my street so I would not have to run in front of the cars stopped at the STOP sign.  I made it to Caroline Street before I didn’t want to cross again, but that was OK.  This was one of my go-to runs:  German to Caroline, then down Caroline, up Margaret, down Henry…

My run was enlivened by some Christmas decorations on some houses.  I tried to make a note of where houses were that had lights, in case we go for a walk after dark one night, which I hope we will.  My legs pumped along steadily, not giving me much problem.  My breathing wasn’t too bad.  My hands were turning to stiff icy claws, but what could I do?  I just wouldn’t try to write anything as soon as I got home.  I hoped my hands would be able to turn on the faucets for my shower.  Ah, hot water would be great.  Maybe I would even have hot chocolate instead of cold chocolate milk for my recovery beverage.

By the end of my run, I was feeling quite tired, but I persevered.  I ended up running for 35 minutes instead of 36.  Sorry, folks, I was at my house and I just did not have the mental or physical wherewithal to go past the house again (I had already gone past it once, running down the opposite sidewalk, then to the corner and crossing the street).  It did feel wonderful to put my sweatshirt on.

I think I will be just fine for next Saturday’s 5K.  My only sticky widget, as I just realized, is that I don’t have anybody to meet me at the end of the race and sing “We Are the Champions” while I walk around with my fists in the air.  After a race, I like to walk around with my fists in the air while somebody sings “We Are the Champions.”

 

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Don’t Reindeer on my Parade

The Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls is looking increasingly remote.  I feel so sedentary lately!  I have managed to bestir myself to take a few half-hour walks, so I do not completely harden into a concrete slab.  Oh yeah, like I would ever be rock hard!  But heavy as a rock.  Perhaps concrete flab.  In any case, I managed to go running this morning so will attempt a Sunday Running Commentary.

Winter weather was in the forecast, and when I woke up sometime in the very early morning, I thought I heard sleet against the windows.  We woke up to rain and wind that makes an old witch like me look at the sky fearfully.  I figured a run was out of the question.  After coffee and scrambled eggs, I began to question it.  Steven said it was snowing, but when I looked out the window a few minutes later, the precipitation had abated.  After waiting for my food to digest, I got into running clothes.  Of course it started snowing again, but after I wrestle myself into two sports bras (don’t you DARE say TMI!), I run.

The snow had turned to rain by the time I got outside.  As I started to run, I questioned my determination.  I had said to Steven that a 20-minute run would not kill me.  Still, there exists a lot of discomfort short of death that I might like to avoid.  Never mind, I told myself.  I have been putting on a few pounds once again.  Running was a good idea. Presently the rain stopped.  The sun even started to peep out from behind the clouds.  This was all right.  The wind was still pretty fierce, but I had a headband over my ears and my sleeves pulled over my hands.  I could do this.

I did not run any hills, but ran up and down the sidewalks, avoiding puddles and mud.  I could keep this up for 20 minutes.  Maybe even longer.  Let’s see, how far away was the Reindeer Run?  How much longer than 20 minutes would I have to run to be in OK shape for a 5K by then?  I think the run in on the 9th of December, giving me two more weekends to increase my run time.  Then I thought I could probably run a 5K regardless.  Nobody cares how slow you go on these community runs.  No doubt I could keep moving on determination alone till I got to the finish line.  People are nice; they would still clap for the fat old lady huff-puffing along.  It might be fun.

As I walked my cool-down, I felt wonderful.  The hot shower felt even better, and my chocolate milk recovery beverage was delicious.  I am still on the fence about the Reindeer Run. Any advice from my readers?

 

Not Quite the Run I Planned

YES!  Saturday Running Commentary is BACK!  I ran this morning and less than an hour later, I am sitting down to write my blog post about it!

I had actually planned  better blog post.  I am still unsure of my plans for the day, so I thought I  would think about what I was going to do while I ran, then I could write about the run and my plans.  Well, I thought about my run while I was running, probably because I kept changing my plans about where and even how long I was going to run.  So I am going to tell you about that.

My thermostat said it was 38 degrees out, well within my parameters for leggings and long sleeves.   A long-sleeved running shirt was handy, because I had worn it under my sweatshirt when greeting the trick-or-treaters on Tuesday.  It took a little longer to find leggings and winter running socks.  I guess I could have done without winter socks, but the leggings I found are a little short and I did not want that little half-inch of bare leg between sock and legging.  It’s the little things.

At last I was off.  Ooh, it felt cold.  And I felt a little self-conscious in my form-fitting shirt and leggings.  I usually run in very large t-shirts.  Indeed, most of my long-sleeved t-shirts are on the baggy side as well.  But one must not let these things keep one from pursuing fitness.  I kept running.  My main concern was that the cold would give me a sinus headache, as it sometimes does.  I made up my mind that if it started to I would have a short run.  I have things to do today (even if I have not planned it out yet); I can’t be down with a headache.

I ran toward Valley Health, my go-to hill when I am building myself up.  From there, I could run to the high school and over the little footbridge.  That is often my Sunday run, but it would do for a Saturday.  As I approached the hill, I could see something was going on at the school: a school bus and several cars were right where I planned to run.  I revised my plans.  I thought the sight of my lumpy body outlined in such detail by my outfit, which was not even all that warm, might traumatize high school students.   I decided to run into the residential area behind Valley Health and make my way back to German Street via Lou Ambers Drive or Maple Grove.

As I approached Lou Ambers, I thought I would go to Maple Grove, where there were sidewalks to run on.  Then as I got toward Maple Grove, I saw that it went uphill to the next street over.  A little uphill would be a good thing.  Beyond that was the back way up to Herkimer College.  I was not up to running to Herkimer College.  Then I noticed the “Do Not Enter” sign.  I felt I just had to run by a “Do Not Enter” sign.  I thought I would only run to the path that goes into Brookfield Park (previously known as The Unknown Park in this space).   This put more uphill in my run.

The path into the park added more uphill.  As I ran, I hoped I could actually get into the park.  The path leads to a picnic area, which is separated from the rest of the park by a little footbridge over the brook.   The bridge and brook are surrounded by a chain link fence.  Sometimes the bridge is blocked.  If the bridge was blocked, I would have to turn around and run back the way I came.  I did not want to do that.  I was tired of running and wanted to go home.  I made up my mind that if the bridge was blocked, I would just climb over it.

I could not tell until I was right at the bridge whether or not it was blocked.  In that length of time I was able to picture myself ripping my leggings on the fence, falling into the brook, spraining my ankle, and having to drag myself out of the brook to limp home.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just run longer than I intended.  The bridge was unblocked, so that was good.

By now I realized I MIGHT make it home in 30 minutes, the length of last Sunday’s run.  Then again, it might end up being 33 minutes, the intended length of tomorrow’s run.  I felt pretty good either way. My legs and body had warmed up nicely and I felt I could continue running with no problem.  This was all right!  I ended up running by my house to the end of the street and coming back for a 33 minute run.  Yes!

As I walked my cool-down, I felt pretty damn good about myself.  If I keep this up, I will be in great shape for the Reindeer Run 5K!  Now to get on to planning the rest of my Saturday…

 

Post Halloween Run

Note to self:  Do not take three days off running again.  I have made this note to myself before.  Come to think of it, sometimes the note says a greater number of days, so at least I kept it to three this time.  Oh well, shit happens and we do not always do the right thing, fitness-wise or otherwise.  Judge me if you are so inclined.

This by way of introduction to today’s Running Commentary post.  I guess the Turkey Trot 5K is back off the table, for the main reason that I can’t readily find one nearby.  However, I can easily find the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls, NY in December.  I wanted to do that last year but did not have my act together (long story, not very interesting).   That will give me a couple more weeks to build up.  As Fredrick Frankenstein said in Young Frankenstein:  IT! COULD! WORK!

So I felt determined to run today, even if it was raining, which it was when I left work.  It stopped by the time I got home, so I had that going for me.  After putting on my running clothes, I put a load of laundry in the washer, the other un-put-off-able chore of the day, and got going.  It had started sprinkling again, but I’m not sugar; I won’t melt.  My legs felt quite unhappy, but I ignored them.

I dodged around puddles and a few pedestrians, pondering how long I was going to run.  On these mid-week runs, I only require 20 minutes of myself, although I usually run at least a little further.  I ran along German Street and turned down Main, looking for houses that still had Halloween decorations.  I saw a ghoul looking out the door of an enclosed front porch and felt comforted.  A few Jack-o-Lanterns rotting from the inside out leered at me.  I admired a couple extra large ones with smaller ones in their mouths.

I ran a large rectangle and ended up back on German Street.  I heard sirens and saw flashing lights turn on my street.  Yikes!  I was certain I had not left anything on in my house to cause a fire.  I ran by my street to go around another block, just to add a few steps to the run.  I peeked down the street as I passed and saw the police and an ambulance outside the apartment building at the end of the street.   That was another reason to go another block: so as not to run too close and bother the first responders.

My legs had been feeling better but by the end of the run, they were tired again.  You’ll have that at the end of the day, especially at my age.  My run ended up being 27 minutes, three minutes less than I did on Sunday, the same length I was doing last week.  This is good.  I can run 30 on Saturday, up it by 10 percent to 33 on Sunday and stay on track.  I hope I can find my “Dashing” t-shirt for the Reindeer Run (get it?  Dashing through the snow…).

 

Tricks and Perseverance

I reminded myself all day to go running and to make a Running Commentary post.  Regular readers may recall, that is one of my tricks to get myself to run after a long, tiring day at work: remind myself all day to do it so it will be automatic and I won’t talk myself out of it.  Sometimes I have to ask myself, how can I keep saying I love to run when it is so damn easy to talk myself out of it?  One day perhaps I will take a whole blog post to discuss the matter.  For today, let us just accept it as true.

So I accomplished the first part of my plan: I ran. Now I am attempting to accomplish the second.  As I type this, it is more than two hours after I finished my run.  Ideally, I do not wait that long.  In fact, after I finished the run, I thought, “That was a dull run.  I’m not going to write about that run.”  Well, two hours later and no other blog post in sight, I am going to write a little bit.

I am slowly working back into running after my week-long pause following the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K (just thought I’d plug them again).  When I ran on Saturday, I managed 27 minutes.  Here is how I decided to run 27 minutes:  I seemed to remember that there is a Turkey Trot 5K somewhere around here on Thanksgiving Day.  I thought I might like to run it.  I further thought, to be really comfortable running it, I would like to run for 40 minutes the previous Saturday.  Then I counted backwards from Saturday Nov. 18, if I was adding 10 percent to my run time each week, what I should run Oct. 21 to get to 40 minutes by then?

I often figure simple math in my head when I run.  It is another trick I use.  Back in Army Basic Training, when I learned to run, Drill Sergeant Dillinger told me that the secret to running is to distract yourself, so you don’t think about how much it sucks to run.  I later found out that it does not always suck to run, something I never would have learned without the distract yourself trick.

Getting back to today’s run, part of it was fairly sucky.  I have been working on my feet for the past two days; my legs and feet are TIRED.  However, as I have mentioned many times: I know how to persevere.  Eventually my leg muscles began to feel more supple. My feet were still not best pleased with me, but you’ll have that.  I reminded myself that I do not have any place I have to go nor anything I have to get done this evening.  No need to recruit my energies!  I could just go ahead and BE tired!

And, yes, obviously I did have one thing to get done this evening:  make my daily blog post.  And, look at that.  I just did.  Ha! In your face!  I say that to my inner critic, not my dear readers.  To my dear readers I say, thank your tuning in.

 

Run Before G.R.A.V.E.

Good things happen all at once.  Just when this blog ought to become All G.R.A.V.E. All The Time, I find it also must become All Fireman 5K All The Time.  Yes, this Saturday, Oct. 14 I shall run a 5K in the morning and act in a murder mystery in the evening.  I know, that’s not a huge lot on my plate (I know YOU probably do more before breakfast) (you know who you are), but you know how easily I get flustered.  I just got back from running and must study my lines for tonight’s rehearsal.  However, I shall first attempt a Running Commentary post in order to avoid Wrist to Forehead Sunday later.

It was pouring rain when we got up this morning.  I was guiltily happy to postpone my run.  I even wondered if the rain would keep up enough to make an indoor run on the mini-tramp eligible.  For one reason, I never finished watching the John Barrymore silent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that I started watching the last time I ran on the mini-tramp.  However, the rain soon stopped.  When I stepped out on the front porch to get the newspaper, I noticed how muggy it was. Yikes!  I hate a muggy run, and it’s October, for heavens’ sake!  However, after Steven left for work shortly before nine, I suppressed my feelings of ill-usage and got into running clothes.

I sought out the loosest shirt I could find, which was a large, low-cut, sleeveless t-shirt I wear when I go swimming (for a bathing suit, I wear spandex shorts, a sports bra, and that shirt to cover my fat gut).  My sports bras showed, so I made sure I wore colors that didn’t clash with light pink: hot pink and grey.  I know I will never look like anything but a plodding, overweight middle-aged lady when I run, but at least my colors are coordinated.  I further decided to run with a bottle of water in my hand.  I felt desperately thirsty by the end of yesterday’s run.  Also, I planned to run to Herkimer College, which would bring me right near the spring, for a re-fill.

Oh, it was warm and muggy.  There were puddles to dodge around.  I had taken the precaution of wearing an older pair of running shoes, so that was all right.  Still, I don’t need all that dirty water splashing up my legs, so I dodged.  I felt tired and ploddy, so I decided to run up to the college the back way.  It is longer but less steep.  Also, it is in a wooded area, so there might be shade.  I treasure shade.  By the way, I do not care if ploddy is a word or not, it is how I felt.

As I approached the road I wanted, I noticed a new sign saying “Do Not Enter.”  Score!  I could feel like a rebel! The little sign below said, “Authorized vehicles only,”  so I figured it was only closed to vehicular traffic. I thought they would not object to a ploddy, overweight, middle-aged lady, especially on a Sunday.  As I plodded up the road, moving just fast enough that I could pretend to myself it was a run, I saw they are doing work on it.  I made a note to myself to keep running this way on occasion, so I can mark their progress.

My body was not loving this run.  However, one must persevere, especially when one has a 5K to run in less than a week (yikes!).  Actually, you can ignore that parenthetical comment;  I have no reason to “yike,”  I am in plenty good shape for a 5K.  I don’t expect to get a good time, but I feel sure I will have a good time, if you see what I mean.  As I often observe, one must push through the bad runs to get to the good ones. This run was not horrible, at least, not yet.  I continued on up Reservoir Road, which is uphill but more of a gentle slope.  I still struggled a little, but you’ll have that.  Finally I was crossing over and starting on my way down.

And that was when it got horrible.  The sun had come out and was reflecting off the wet pavement like a wide, bright beam of headache.  If I had been wearing my polarized sunglasses and wearing a hat with a brim, I’d have been fine.  As it was, yikes (here I have good reason to  “yike”)!  Still, I didn’t see anything I could do but keep going and hope for a cloud.  Twice I was able to in the grass and take advantage of the shade offered by a row of trees.  Ah, I love to go off-road on occasion (I know some people mean something different than that, and I like those runs too).  At last I got to Lou Ambers Drive, where the trees offered some shade.

Of course the shade did not last.  However, a handy cloud gave some temporary relief, and as always, I tried to count my blessings.  Another blessing is the wide shoulder on that road, because a couple of cars were coming up it.  This is why I like to run on sidewalks when possible.  Occasionally the wind would pick up, and that was another blessing.  It was not enough to dry my sweat, but I was sweating profusely.  Sorry if that gives you an unfortunate mental image (but not real sorry).

I ran for 44 minutes, which was last week’s time.  Normally I try to up it by 10 percent each week, but today I must recruit my energies for this afternoon’s G.R.A.V.E. rehearsal.  Additionally, it should take me less than 44 minutes to run the 5K, so I can feel confident about that.  If the headache the bright sun gave me goes away (can’t say the sun never gave me nuthin’), my life will be perfect.

For more information about the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K, visit their Facebook page.  For more information on A GR.A.V.E. Murder, visit its Facebook event.  And Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Firefighters, Here I Come!

I thought I’d open with this catchy logo.

I ended Sunday’s Running Commentary post wondering if I could find a nearby 5K any time soon.  Ask and you shall receive!  Just a couple of days later, my husband Steven showed me an article on Facebook about a new 5K right here in Herkimer, NY. It is the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K, a new race. I said LET’S GO!!!!!  It got even better.

It is to benefit East Herkimer Fire Department.  I LOVE fire departments!  They save lives and property. During the flooding in 2013, fire departments traveled from across the state to Herkimer to help pump out people’s basements.  Three different departments cheerfully pumped us out three different times.  I think firefighters are GREAT!

The run will take place Saturday, Oct. 14.  Steven is on vacation, so he can attend and cheer me on.  Later that day, we will participate in A G.R.A.V.E. Murder, the murder mystery dinner theatre we are doing to benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society.  That will make for an entire fun day!

Run, then murder. Life is full for Mohawk Valley Girl!

Then I noticed that registration is through RunSignUp.  I love those guys!  It is so simple and straightforward to register through them, and they don’t try to sell you anything.

So, feeling all happy and determined to participate in this 5K, what did I do but take three days off running.  In my defense, it has been hot and humid, and my body has not been in the best of health (but you already know that; I spent my other posts this week whining about these things).  I went running today.  In fact, my intention was to make a Running Commentary post.   However, I see I am approaching 300 words, so how about a Registration Commentary post?  We’ll call it a win for Non-Sequitur Thursday.