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Tag Archives: Boilermaker 15K

I Get My Butt Kicked

I started to make a Running Commentary Post this morning but had a headache.  I wonder if I can do it now.  We shall see.

It was raining when I got up,  around 4:30 (I went to bed early last night), so I turned on the coffee and relaxed for a while.  That also gave me time to drink water.  Water and coffee, it should have been an awesome run!

Of course it was not.  When do things ever go the way I expect them to?  NEVER!  As soon as I started running, my legs started complaining.  What the hell, I had to ask.  I HAVE been running on a regular basis.  I had had it in my head to run the kick-buttest hill in my area.  As I ran toward it, I questioned my intentions.  Never mind, I told myself, just keep going.

On the way to said hill, I went up the hill by Valley Health.  It was hard!  I thought, this is it for me.  I would keep running a long run, but no more hills.  I ran on toward the kick-butt hill but intended to take the last possible turn to avoid it.  Naturally I second guessed myself about this.  How could I train properly if I did not run challenging hills?  Then again, I have plenty of time before my Virtual Boilermaker 15K to run hills.  Then yet again… if dithering burned calories, I would have no problems meeting my weight loss goals.

As I approached the hill and the avoiding turn, I observed a couple of pick-up trucks with some workmen near a house.  I thought I would greet them.  I like to greet people when I run.  The avoiding turn was right before the house they were at.  Oh, heck, I thought to myself, let’s get our butt kicked.

“Good morning, fellas,” I said.  One man turned around and returned the greeting.

“I is about to get my butt kicked,” I said.  He laughed.

And I proceeded to do just that.  This hill goes on and on and up and up.  Yikes!  I have done it a few times in recent memory.  They are not good memories.

However, I persevered and made it to the top.  Yay, me!  What a pleasure to go downhill after!  I went up a couple shorter hills before the end of my run.  I laughed at them.  When I am running with others and we come to a hill, I like to say, “Hill schmill, this ain’t no hill, we got this stinkin’ hill!”

So I ended up being happy I ran the kick-butt hill.  I went on to run for a total of 57 minutes, which is my current longest time (set this past Sunday).  Then I felt tired and headachey for the rest of the day.  What’s that all about?  I thought exercise was supposed to make you feel better!

No matter.  I ran.  I blogged.  I wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

 

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!

 

Late Post, Good Run

I begin my Thursday with  Running Commentary Post.  For one reason, I never posted on Wednesday, and this way there is an off chance I will make two blog posts today.  Additionally, I got back from my run less than an hour ago.  IT! COULD! WORK! (That was a quote of Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein)

I was ready to get up shortly after five.  Steven was still blissfully asleep, so it was a good day to start with a run.  When I looked out the window at the fog, my mind was made up.  I got ready quietly and off I went.

I have been running for several days in a row.  I really must go back to keeping a Running Journal so I can keep track of these things.  Yesterday I went for a long run up the hill to Herkimer College (previously known as HCCC), so I thought a shorter, easier run would be acceptable.

For most runs, I turn left out of my driveway and head toward German Street.  Today for something different, I turned right, going the way I go when I walk to the post office.  I went through Meyers Park, another familiar route for me.  When we first moved here and I started running again (after several sedentary years and gaining over 30 pounds), I made it a habit to always run through the park.  I went on really short runs in those days, but you have to start somewhere.

After the park, I headed toward Main Street.  I decided to keep going in roughly that direction till I had run for ten minutes then head home.  It would probably take me more than ten minutes to get home, what with following a different route, so that would be a good plan.

The plan worked fine.  I went on a couple of streets I don’t often go on (the village is too small for there to be many I’ve NEVER seen).  I admired several flower beds and envied a few screened porches.  I ran by my beloved Herkimer Historic Four Corners.  I ran for 23 minutes.  To put that in perspective,  I ran 40 minutes yesterday,  33 the day before.

I still don’t have a plan for running my Virtual Boilermaker 15K,  but my training seems to be going  well.  I’m feeling pretty good about it.  Now to work on my writing!

 

Will Running Commentary Return?

I love it when my runs get up to 40 minutes, because about 22, 23 minutes in, my body goes, “Oh, yeaaah!”  This does not happen to me during shorter runs.  Your results may vary.

I have not said much about my plan to run in the Virtual Boilermaker 15K for the simple reason that I do not have a plan.  I don’t know how to make a plan for that sort of thing!  The only virtual run I have done so far was a 5K sponsored by Rock City Runners to benefit the Little Falls Food Pantry (perhaps you read my blog post about it).  I am thinking a 15K will be at least proportionally more complicated, if not moreso (why is my Tablet underlining “moreso”?  That’s a word, isn’t it? ).

Be all that as it may, I have been running incrementally longer runs (or do I mean increasingly?  Am I being unnecessarily verbose?  Say it ain’t so!).  I thought it might be nice to make more Running Commentary Posts.  Unfortunately,  I make my best Running Commentaries soon after the run.  Yes, I ran this morning, but I just don’t remember all that much about it.

What does that say about me?  Nothing good, I suppose.  Then again, why should I go out of my way to say good things about me?  Readers will think I have a tremendous ego.  Yet again, I have long maintained that there are worse things than having an ego the size of Manhattan.

Well, that is enough of that circular argument.  But it gives me an idea:  I am going to call this a Monday Mental Meanderings, hit Publish, and drive on.  I hope I can go running again tomorrow.

 

Was There a Spring in my Step?

I felt myself incapable of writing a blog post earlier.  Go ahead and judge me if you are so inclined.  I had a headache and was battling a down mood.  Oh, stop playing that miniature violin (you know who you are); I was not asking for sympathy, I was just giving you the picture.  Anyways, I thought it would be all right, because I planned to go running and could make a Running Commentary post.

It was not a particularly eventful run, but I did it, so I give myself credit for that.  It was grey but not precipitating, cold but not freezingly so.  In fact, at times I almost thought it could be March.  I felt some indefinable hint of spring in the air.  I kept asking myself why I felt that way, since it was in fact cold.  I suppose it could have been the feeling of 30 degrees instead of ten.  Or it could have been the mud.

I spent most of the run in the road, because I kept encountering ice on the sidewalk.  I stayed on the left side facing traffic, and I was wearing my road guard vest (reflective vest, to you civilians).  I would have been better served to stay on the quieter streets but unfortunately wound up on German Street for a few blocks. That was where I encountered most of the mud, because I kept as close as I could to the curb.

My legs felt pretty content to be running,  and my breathing was fine.  I am SO going to rock the Boilermaker 15K in July!  I may even be writing better blog posts by then.

 

Happy New Year Anyways

Can I treat New Year’s Day like a Wrist to Forehead Sunday?  I had a very nice time last night and took a pretty good run this morning.  OH!  I do have one major bit of news:  I registered to run the Boilermaker 15K in 2020.  They did a special early registration deal starting at midnight.  I was asleep at midnight (don’t judge), but I got online and registered as soon as I got up.

Well, that paragraph took an unexpected turn.  I thought I had logged on merely to pose dramatically and swoon.  You know, Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  Even though it is not Sunday, it feels like one.  New Year’s Day often does.  Not like a holiday, mind you, just a run of the mill Sunday, hence, the Wrist to Forehead aspect.

I will share with you at this point that I fear I may be coming down with a cold.  I keep coughing, and I can kind of feel it down in my chest. Dammit, I can’t deal with that now!  For one reason, I don’t want to go using up my precious paid days off in January!  People say you should not go to work if you are sick with something contagious, but employers are notoriously unsympathetic. Oh well, maybe it is a false alarm.

So I guess this turns out to be Yet Another Post about Not Being Able to Make a Blog Post.  What a way to start the new year!  But I hope you will all stay tuned.  In addition to the Boilermaker,  I have one or two other projects in the offing that I hope to write about soon.

 

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.

 

Walk to Wuss, it’s Wednesday

I had such high hopes for today.  I was going to walk to the post office, to mail something.  I was going to take my Tablet and take pictures along the way.  Alas, the sun defeated me.  I couldn’t see the screen for the glare.  I tried to get one shot.  I haven’t even checked yet if it turned out.

It does not look as striking in photo as it did in person.

Why, look, here it is.  I got my Tablet and found it.  It took me a minute, being me.  This was just a little way down my street.  A block or so later I saw a tree with some buds on it and thought, Score!  Well, I still couldn’t see the screen but was pretty sure it was in Selfie mode, and I couldn’t get it out. Just now I confirmed it WAS in Selfie mode, so at least I did not take a stupid picture of myself.  Anyways, I said to hell with it and took my walk.  I will have to do the walk and picture thing on a more gloomy day, which is my preferred kind of weather in any case.

In the meantime, blog posts must be made (because they are not there) (see what I did there?).  In the spirit of Wuss-out Wednesday, which I am indeed having, I will take this opportunity to announce that I have decided I will NOT be running the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY this July.  I just don’t have time to run as much as I need to with all these rehearsals.  Perhaps I would have time if I trained really hard after the play, but I can’t take that pressure.  I like to start early and build up slow.  This way, I can run purely for my own exercise and entertainment, which is what I like.  I’ll think about Boilermaker 2020 next year.

I somehow feel that I should have more than one picture.  Hmmm….

A toast to Wuss-out Wednesday?

This is a rehearsal shot from A Trivial Murder, the murder mystery we presented this past Saturday to benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society.  I think they are actually toasting a dead guy, but let’s pretend they are toasting me.  Now I think my Wuss-out Wednesday is veering into Non-Sequitur Thursday territory, which is ironic, since I am actually posting this on Wednesday (by my own clock if not my WordPress timestamp).  I’d better quit while I’m ahead.

 

Back on the Running Wagon

I fell off the running wagon this week.  Judge me if you must, but I had my reasons.  OK, there were no reasons and if there was they were probably a stupid reasons.  Never mind that.  I ran this morning, and it felt pretty darn good.

Yesterday I counted shoveling the driveway as my exercise.  I thought a half hour of walking back and forth carrying shovelfuls of snow was exertful enough (what do you mean, “exertful” is not a word, computer? Damn!).  In fact, I tried to take a walk later but only made it for 15 minutes, because my body was tired.  But that was then, this is now, and this morning, I decided to try a run.

It was almost 8:30 when I set out, because I had eaten around 7:20 (I checked my watch, knowing I wanted to wait an hour after eating).  It was only a banana with peanut butter and raisins, but I like to give myself every advantage.  It was below 30 degrees, so I wore leggings and long sleeves.  I added my road guard vest, because it made another layer and because I knew I would be running in the road.  Also, it gives me a pocket for my tissues.

There is more traffic than I like on a Saturday morning, but not as bad as weekday mornings or any afternoons.  I got to German Street and took my chances.  I had an idea to run up the hill by Valley Health.  As I ran, I rethought that plan.  I hadn’t run since last Sunday, I reminded myself.  Running at all was good.  I didn’t need to do hills yet.  I had spent a little time earlier in the week looking at a calendar and over-thinking my training plans vis-a-vis the Boilermaker 15K in July.  I should be fine, as long as I keep at it.  Then again, it is a good idea to be better than fine, because, as we all know, shit happens.

My last run was 25 minutes.  After taking too many days off, I did not think I would increase my time by the recommended 10 percent.  In fact, if I only did 20 minutes, I could still be in fine shape by July.  Well, just keep going, I thought.  See what happens.

It was cold.  My butt was cold.  My legs were cold.  My hands were cold.  But I kept going.  After a while my head got hot.  Fancy that!  I am not usually a hot-head.  I rounded the V corner at the high school and turned down Marion Street. I was tired.  After a while, I noticed I was running at a faster rate than my usual middle-aged shuffle.  I could slow down!  Then I wouldn’t feel so bad.  My body didn’t want to slow down.  How weird was that?  Eventually  I managed it, and it helped.

Almost 20 minutes into the run, I started to feel good.  Damn!  I could go 25 minutes!  I could go 28!  This was awesome!  I ended up running 25, to equal my last time.  After all, I didn’t want to be racked up for the rest of the day.  I felt pretty wonderful during my cool-down walk (the irony is not lost on me of having a “cool down” at 28 degrees Fahrenheit).  As it happened, I did spend a good portion of this day feeling tired. However, that might be due to the Sudafed I took for my stuffy sinuses.  No matter.  I ran, and now I’ve blogged (silly verb, that).  Happy Saturday, everyone!

 

To Boil or Not to Boil?

It is time for my annual post in which I dither about whether or not to run the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY in July.  At least, I do not remember if I write a post like this EVERY year (regular readers will not be surprised I am too lazy to go back and check).  I certainly do not run the Boilermaker every year (those who do are welcome to feel smug about it; indeed, I admire their dedication).

Being me, I cannot just go ahead and make a decision of this magnitude.  It is a decision of magnitude, by the way.  For the next four and a half months (I just now counted on my fingers), I cannot slack off of running for a week here and there.  I’ll have to keep better track of how long I run and how quickly I build myself up.  Ten percent each week does add up, but I feel I must keep good track of how soon I’ll be running for how long.  I am constantly looking at calendars and doing the math.

One might argue (oh, who am I kidding?   There’s always one who WILL argue!) (you know who you are) that none of this matters a great deal.  People who do not run at all have been known to run the Boilermaker 15K successfully.  I can probably get by on sheer stubbornness.   Additionally, many people walk during the Boilermaker; I’ve seen them.  I would not bear that shame alone (and I daresay some of them do not even feel ashamed) (and who am I to judge?).

I will just explain to the ones who argue thusly, “Shut up!”  (That is a S. J. Perelman joke I often use).  I train for the Boilermaker because (1) It is fun for me.  I like to run, and I feel good about myself as I am building up and (2) I do not WANT to get by on stubbornness nor by walking part of the course.  Additionally, I do not want to feel all ate up after the run.  I want to drink a beer!  And hang out with some friends!

Hmmm… It begins to sound as if I have already made up my mind to run the Boilermaker.  Well, why not?  I’m in my mid-50’s.  How many chances do I have to be bad-ass?  It will be good for me to train for a 15K.  If I stop eating like a pig, I may even meet a few of my weight-loss goals.

Of course, the final decision will not be made today.  I will still have to register, and there is always a chance I will get shut out.  It is a very popular race.  But I thank my readers for allowing me to dither in this space.  If anybody has any input on the matter, please feel free to comment.