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Category Archives: Saturday Running Commentary

Pre-Road Trip Run

Today will be another post made in haste (posthaste?), because I must get ready to travel to Syracuse for a nephew’s graduation party (or “gragitation” as I like to call it).  We are staying overnight and must bring our doggy to the Velvet Dog, which also does pet sitting.  I haven’t packed!  I don’t know what to wear!  Was I supposed to bring wine?  It’s a wrist to forehead situation.  I don’t really feel as stressed as those words imply.   A good, hard run often has a great calming effect.

I foolishly did not run all week.  I hope to be better organized in the coming week, because I really do not like taking five days off.  However, I walked in the Doodah Parade yesterday, which was probably a couple of miles, so that was something.  And I had a good run today, so yay me.

It was almost 5:30 by the time I got on my way, but the sun is up by then this time of year.  I took a bottle of water with me and headed toward Herkimer College.  I’m thinking running with a bottle of water in one hand is the wrong thing to do, but sometimes I do not want to risk dehydration.  So I took the occasional sip as I ran and pondered my options.  Sunday I had meant to take an easy-ish run in the suburbs (that’s what I call the residential area behind Valley Health) and ended up running one of the biggest hills in the area.  I thought in comparison to that, running up to the college the front way would not be a bad Saturday run.

Being me (which is something I cannot avoid), I changed my mind several times as I headed out German Street.  Eventually I decided to go up to the college the back way.  Not as steep but longer.  Steep enough, I decided as I ran it.  It is a pleasant road, with woods on either side and a brook on one.  I could hear the brook talking to me.  It said, “What are you doing, going uphill?  Go downhill, like me!  Look how fast I’m going!”  Then the trees said, “No, no, go toward the sun, like us!  We don’t go anywhere, but look how beautiful we are!”

I knew I was being fanciful, but there was a thought:  You don’t have to run to be beautiful.  Was I running to be beautiful?  I was hoping that running would help me lose weight, which I feel will improve my appearance.  However, that was not my major motivation.  I was running to get in good shape to run the DARE 5K in August.  And I was running because I LIKE to run!  I love to run!  Running is fun!

I did enjoy my run.  I saw three deer as I headed down Lou Ambers Drive.  Pretty, and they move far more gracefully than I do.  Well, we all work with what God gave us.  I finished my water before I got to the spring so stopped for a re-fill. I did not sip too much after that.  For one reason, I wasn’t very thirsty.  Also, I like to save some of the spring water for Steven.

Our Saturday now stretches before us, no doubt to be filled with adventure (Mohawk Valley or otherwise).  Run done, blog post published.  I think I’m off to a good start.  Happy Saturday, everyone.

 

Remember Saturday Running Commentary?

You thought it would never return, didn’t you?  I confess to some doubts myself.  However, this morning I got out of bed, into running clothes and was on the road before 6 a.m. (with my weekday overtime rising hour, 5:30 is totally sleeping in).

It was cool out, which was a nice difference from my last couple of runs.  Oh, I felt good. I had gone to bed early last night after a mere two glasses of wine so was able to congratulate myself on my forethought. It was also delightful to run at at time when traffic was sparse.  I crossed German Street with no problem and headed toward Main.

I had the idea to run up Main and across to the beginning of the path over the hydraulic canal.  I’m not up to hills yet or I may have continued up Main where there is a pretty good one.  The path was more my speed this morning.  As I ran along it, I thought I must walk it one day soon so I can pause and read the plaques that tell its history.  Maybe when I get a dog.  The dog could sniff around while I read.  Dogs like to do that.

Crossing back over German to follow the path presented no problem, but I did not stay on the whole path as originally planned.  I got distracted by a dead end street I have run down before.  There is a little space at the end where pedestrians can sneak through to another street.  I went that way, for something different.

My run was going splendidly.  I could keep this up for DAYS!  I knew that wasn’t true, of course.  In fact, one is not supposed to increase one’s run time more than 10 percent per week.  But I was having fun.  Soon I found myself on the street that ended at the parking lot of the HARC building at the end of German.  Should I run there then back down German?  I looked at my watch and tried to calculate times. I could run back down German and make it a Dead End Run, running up and down all the dead end streets on the north side of German.  Good plan!

By the time I got to the HARC building I realized there was no way I could run up and down all the dead end streets in the amount of time I wanted to run.  That was OK. I would keep my eye on the time and run up some of them.  I got around the building and looked toward Route 28.  A big dump truck was coming.  That was OK; he was going straight, not down German.

Just before I crossed the street, I saw a penny and stopped to pick it up.  It might be a penny from Heaven!  Two steps into the street I realized a car had turned onto German and was stopped to let me cross the street.  Yikes!  I waved and yelled, “Sorry!” then darted across the street and kept going up Lake Street.  I had not intended to go up Lake, thinking it might make my run too long.  However, since the car had nicely allowed me to cross the street, I didn’t feel right going on the sidewalk in the same direction.  After all, if I had only wanted to run on German Street, why hadn’t I stayed on my own side and no bothered the car?

I almost never run on Lake Street so I enjoyed to look at the houses. They run the gamut from newly worked-on to seen better days.  I especially like to see the flowers.  The street seemed long, but I ran all the way to the end.  Well, not quite the end, because at the very end some branches hung down from a tree and blocked me.  But almost the end.  Back on German Street I realized I would probably run more than 10 percent longer than my last run.  I’m sure that is all right, especially considering that I am returning to running and not building myself up for the first time.

The run was 28 minutes.  I did not run past the house.  I felt SO GOOD as I walked my cool down.  Why in the world do I ever stop running?  It is so silly of me!  Anyways, now I think I have a new Saturday run. Every week I can add another dead end street.  Then when I’m in really good shape and feeling bad-ass, I can end with a run up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly known as HCCC).  That will be something to blog about!

 

Back on the Road

I got up this morning with no plans at all, except for the already executed plan to sleep in.  We made it to almost 6:30, and that felt good.  We had been up a few hours.  I had eaten breakfast, written post cards and noodled around on Facebook for a while when I suddenly made the decision to go running.

The decision came about because my sister, Victoria, commented that I would probably like yoga because of the spiritual aspect of it as well as the “just you” time, although she supposed running did that for me “but with fewer distractions”.  I commented back that running was ALL about distractions.  A drill sergeant in Army Basic Training told me that was the secret to running: you just kept finding things to distract yourself from how much it sucked (I further learned that the other secret was to keep going despite the suckiness, but right now we’re talking about distractions).

Isn’t it funny how one minute you’re talking about how much a thing sucks and the next minute you’re hustling up the stairs to get properly dressed and do it.  The fact is that there are great periods of time during which running does not suck.  In fact, it is pretty enjoyable.  I hoped for one of those periods today.

One reason for my hope is that it was warmer than it has been.  It was almost warm enough for shorts and short-sleeves, although I set a lower temperature for that outfit than many others.  I went with leggings and long-sleeves because it was borderline and I have not been running outdoors.  I still wore my toque. I do like my toque.

Before I left the driveway I was questioning the wisdom of my decision.  Quite icy.  The sidewalks did not look much better.  I had taken the precaution of wearing an older pair of sneakers, because I was certain there would be puddles.  It turns out things were still pretty frozen.  It was only about 9:20 a.m.  No matter, I was outside in my toque.  I was running.

I took the nearly unprecedented step (get it, running, step?) of running in the road.  I’ve addressed this issue before. I do not like running in the road myself and I do not approve of it in others (yes, yes, I know, my approval is not necessary for anybody, so you needn’t get all hoity-toity and self-justifying).  At least I was on the left side facing traffic.  Perhaps traffic would not be too harsh at 9:20 on a Saturday morning.

And it wasn’t too bad, even on German Street.  I ran all the way down to the traffic light next to the high school.  I had originally had some thought of running up the hill by Valley Health and into the residential area beyond (what I call the suburbs).  After all, there were no sidewalks in that area, so I did not have to feel self-conscious about breaking my own rule.  Then I decided I would did not want to take such a long run.  After all, I am easing back into it.  The only runs I have taken in the past few weeks have been in place on the mini-tramp.

I was happy to get off German and into the quieter streets.  Here traffic was light enough that I could run closer to the center of the road, which was the place where I was least likely to encounter any ice.  It was kind of annoying when a car would be coming and I would have to get over to the edge of the road where there would be ice, a puddle, or an icy puddle.  However, I did not meet with any mishaps.

At a few points I noticed stretches of sidewalk that were perfectly clear.  I felt a little bad about that.  I really do prefer to run on the sidewalk.  Then again, it seemed silly to switch back and forth.  Then again, a little detour often burns more calories.  I saw a clearish patch and ran up a driveway to the sidewalk.  So far so good.  Then my foot slipped and I said, “To hell with that,” and got back on the road.

It was not a super long run, but I felt it was long enough to count as a run.  I also took a cool-down walk almost all the way around the block.  As I walked, I felt elated.  I did not think I had run hard enough or long enough to get any of those endorphins I keep hearing about, but a joyous voice in my head declared, “This was a GOOD idea!”  As I cut through the parking lot of the apartment building on the end of my street (remember, I said almost all the way around the block), I realized that running in the road had been a good idea too.  If I had tried even a shuffley jog there I would have landed on my tuckus or a less padded  part.

I felt pretty bad-ass after my run.  I felt, as I often do, “Yeah, I’m back.”  I hope I stay back this time.  For me, it’s a good idea to keep running.

 

Running from Post-Christmas Letdown

Yes! Yes! On my last chance before 2015, I have returned to Saturday Running Commentary! I am the woman!

How’s that for not having a post-Christmas letdown (yet)? Well, when you are feeling down, there is nothing like physical activity. And if you get to the physical activity before the blues really kick in, so much the better.

Steven and I got up at a ridiculous hour this morning, because he had to work at 6:30. The weather report promised mid to upper 40s later in the day, but I wanted to get my run done so left shortly after Steven did, 6:27 by my watch.

My thermostat said it was 34 degrees, so I had on leggings, long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt, winter running socks, a hat and mittens. Also my reflective vest, because it was still dark out. That had the advantage of having a zipper pocket in which I placed two tissues and my house key. I reminded myself to be careful of the key when I took the tissues out to blow my nose. Losing the house key that way is just the sort of thing I would do.

I had thought that by running while it was dark out I might see some Christmas lights still up. I knew I might not see many. For one reason, some people around here seem to feel the need to puritanically haul down all lights and decorations immediately their calendar turns to December 26. For another reason, some people turn their lights off at bedtime and might not turn them back on in the morning. Steven turns our lights off but we turn them back on in the morning till the sun comes up.

Regular readers may have noticed that I have not been running since November. I know, how dreadfully remiss of me. It was with some trepidation that I set out. However, a few steps down the street and I was thinking, “This is EASY! I can do this!” I quickly noticed some lights on houses on German Street, which made me feel even better.

I ran to the hill by Valley Health. Normally at my first run after a long pause I do not require hills of myself. However, I felt I should make an effort. As I ran by the hill up to Herkimer County Community College, the streetlights mocked me. It will be a while before I am ready to take that hill again, but I vowed to myself that it will happen (I’ll probably write a blog post about it).

I stopped feeling that running was easy by the time I reached to the top of the hill I did run. Now my legs felt like macaroni, breathing was less than fun, and I wanted to stop. However, I persevered. The Christmas tree I could see in the lobby of Valley Health cheered my up.

Back down the hill and into the residential streets, I began looking also for lights that would indicate other people were awake thus early on a Saturday. I saw a few. After all, it wasn’t four in the morning. Between 6:30 and 7 is a perfectly normal time to be up, even on a weekend. I saw several houses with Christmas lights on but no other lights. A couple of houses with lights but no Christmas lights. How depressing. One house had only the basement lights on. Probably a mad scientist’s laboratory. The flowered curtains were a dead giveaway.

There was just a little bit of light appearing in the sky as I approached the end of my run. I only require 20 minutes of myself when returning to running but thought I might possibly manage a little more this morning. My body had returned to the “I can rock this” stage, but I didn’t want to push too hard. After all, I do have the rest of the day to get through.

I ended up going for 24 minutes, which is how long I went the last time I ran. As Tabby walked my cool down with me the sky lightened even more. I admired the bare trees against the blue grey. When Steve, Tabby and I took a walk yesterday, I kept saying how much I love to walk. However, I don’t know if anything really feels as good to my legs as the cool down walk after a good run. So it looks as if I’ve kept that post-Christmas letdown at bay for a little longer.