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Tag Archives: Boilermaker 15K

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.

 

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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.

 

Labor Day Run

I had been going to call this one “Labored Run,” but that began to seem a trifle melodramatic.  The humidity is up, up, up, and I am still not back in shape.  I simply must remember that at my age, one’s body slips backward FAST.  But never mind that, I had a few good things happen on this run, so here is a Monday Running Commentary for our holiday.

I almost did not run again today, because I slept in till after six, then enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee.  Even after seven years at my current place of employment (how the time flies!), Monday holidays still feel like a big deal to me.  Shortly after seven, I changed my mind and got into running gear.  I wore my Big Sur Marathon t-shirt, for encouragement.  I did not run the marathon; I have the t-shirt because I volunteered back in 1998 (what did I say about time flying?).  I really would like to run a marathon one day.  Maybe I can make that happen in 2019.

To begin with, it was not much fun.  As I said earlier, it was humid. Oh, the humidity! (I love that joke.)  Still, one must persevere.  I ran up German Street to Valley Health and up the hill on the far side of that building.  I felt this was a necessary effort if I am ever to get back into shape (that is, a shape other than round and puffy).  I ran into the residential area I refer to as The Suburbs, knowing there were some very good hills there but making up my mind to avoid them.  I would turn right here not there… oh no, there was a couple walking along with a cute little dog.  I love to pet a cute little dog.

“Can I pet your dog?” I asked.

“You sure can,”  the lady picked him up.  “He’s a scaredy cat.”

I let him sniff my hand and petted him gently.  “I love dogs.”

We wished each other a good day and I ran on.  Soon I was feeling a little better about the run.  My legs were not complaining at all, and my breathing was really not that bad. I saw a lady running toward me wearing a bright green Boilermaker t-shirt. Regular readers may recall that I have run the Boilermaker 15K.  I thought it was cool that we were both wearing running shirts.  She called a friendly good morning.

“Good morning,” I returned.  “We’ve got to get out while the gettin’s good!”

“It’s still hard!” she said.  I felt a little better to think she was having a hard time too, because she looked to be in marvelous shape.

My run ended up going better than I expected.  I ran for 22 minutes on Saturday and missed Sunday (because I wanted to sleep in AND go to church), and did not intend to go a whole lot further than 20 minutes.  Then I thought I could go a little further than 20 minutes.  I would see how far I went.  As I approached my street, I started thinking I could actually go for 30 minutes.  All I would have to do is go past my house.  It! Could! Work! (That’s a line from Young Frankenstein.)

On my street, I heard footsteps behind me.  It was my new friend in the Boilermaker t-shirt!

“You’re faster than me!” I said.

“It doesn’t feel like it!”

“At least we’re out here! That’s the important thing!”

“That’s right, we get 100 percent for that!”

“Eat some ice cream later!” I called as she went past me.  She agreed wholeheartedly.

As I walked down the street for my cool-down, I saw her walking towards me with a man and two dogs.  I used to always walk my cool-down with Tabby.  How I miss that!

When they got close enough I said, “I have got to get a dog so I can walk with him after my run!”

“Yes, the cool down!” she said.

“Get a rescue!” the man said.  “Always a rescue!”

“Definitely!” I said.  I WILL get a rescue.

I kept going straight down my street instead of around the block, because I saw another man walking a dog and thought I might be able to pet her (it turned out to be a her).  He pulled the dog up a handy driveway and told her to sit as I approached.

“Can I pet your dog?” He said I could, and she nicely sat while I petted her.  What a good dog!

So it was a not bad run.  I petted two dogs, exchanged remarks with another runner, and went further than I thought I would.  And I’ve already written my blog post for the day.  I say it’s a good start to my holiday Monday.

 

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?

 

A Month and Two Days till the Boilmaker

I did not run for the last two days, so I knew I must run today.  The Boilermaker 15K is a month and two days away and I do not feel ready.  I feel old and creaky.  So I went on a long, challenging run and now I feel — you guessed it — even older and more creaky.  I suppose one will have that when one is, in fact, old and creaky.  However, I planned earlier to make a Running Commentary post, so here it is.

The Mohawk Valley weather gifted us with a beautiful, sunny day today.   It is a day which calls us to spend time outdoors (I say is, because the sun is beckoning me onto the deck as I type this)  (in fact, what am I thinking, being in here?  My laptop has batteries!  I’m going to finish this post outside) (That took a few minutes.  Now where was I?).  I got home and got right into running clothes and out the door as soon as possible.

I knew it would be a good idea to run a hill or two, but all the hills are on the other side of German Street.  Would traffic allow me to cross the street?  I ran toward German and hoped.  Wow, lots of cars.  And my body was NOT in the mood to run.  Oh, my legs were tired, it was not easy to breathe, my back was sore, I was incapable of moving very fast.  However, I WAS capable of moving.  Maybe no hills today.  After all, if I couldn’t cross the street… but maybe now… no, cars kept coming.  Well, if I couldn’t cross the street, I couldn’t feel guilty for not running hills, could I?  Oh, here was an opportunity.  Damn.  Uh, I mean, good!

But which hill to run?  That sun was certainly warm.  I decided to run into Brookfield Park and down the path in the woods, which comes out on the back road up to Herkimer College (HCCC, to long-time locals).  The road goes up as soon as you go into the park.  Oh, that was painful.  It’s not even that long or steep of a hill.  Good God, I only took two days off!  What the hell, body?  It seemed to take a long time to get into the park, but soon I came to the bridge over the brook, which leads to the picnic area beyond which is the path through the woods.  I decided to go beyond it, to the end of the road, then back to it.

The stream babbled towards me, over rocks, moving rapidly and splashing busily.  The recent rains were no doubt having their effect, but it did not look in any danger of flooding.  At the end of the road is a fenced off area.  I could see a path at the edge of the fence, where apparently pedestrians bypass the fence and walk into the woods.  I,  however, did not do so. I had had the damnedest time getting this far; all I could think was that if I could go no further, I did not want to be too far from civilization.

Soon I was headed into the woods, along the path, which also took a long time.  I was not going to go the rest of the way up to the college. I would keep running.  Then I would stop.  Ooh, stopping sounded good.  But I kept going.  Finally I got back onto the road and headed down.  Then I had another idea.  There were a couple of dead end roads that went uphill.  I could run up those and still get some hills in.  I turned right onto the first one.

And realized that it was not exactly a dead end. It led up to the college by the dormitories, a way I have dubbed the kick-butt way.  Well, I did not have to run up the college the kick-butt way, just because I accidentally went on that road.  I could turn around.  I WOULD turn around.

I did not turn around.  Instead, I got my butt kicked.  It is a good idea to get your butt kicked a month and two days before the Boilermaker 15K, I think.  When I ran down the hill from the college, I stopped at the spring and got a drink.  As I ran onto my street, I passed two ladies and a baby on a front porch.  The baby was crying piteously.

“That’s exactly how I feel right now,” I said.  One of the ladies laughed.

I tell you, it was a lousy run, but I ran and I’m glad I did.  Tomorrow I am scheduled to donate blood at a blood drive at my work, so I will probably not run or walk.  And the Boilermaker 15K will be a month and one day away.  Yikes!

 

Run Before Lots of Running

I have not done an out of bed, out the door kind of run in a long time.  And it has also been a long time since I made my Running Commentary post so soon after said run.  Well, I have an extremely busy day planned, so getting my blog post done and out of the way is a good idea.

I thought it was supposed to be cold last night and this morning (I confess, I did not pay a great deal of attention to the weather), but our thermostat said 51 degrees.  Excellent running temperature!  It was just past 5:30; the sun was up but the world was not fully lit, so I put on one of my ARMY t-shirts with the reflective decal on the back.  Safety first for Mohawk Valley Girl!

During my last couple of runs, I have been wondering when they were going to stop sucking.  Then I told myself, wait for the weekend.  Running first thing in the morning is DIFFERENT from running after a full day’s work, I thought.  And for once I was right!  Yay me!  It was a great run!

I crossed German Street and ran down the sidewalk towards Main Street.  I had it in mind to run at least up the first part of the hill beyond the “Dead End” sign, up to where part of the road collapsed but pedestrians can still get through.  I saw a car way ahead of me with the emergency flashers on.  Now what was that all about?  Was it broken down?  I remembered hearing how if on the highway you see somebody broken down waiting for help, you should NOT be a good Samaritan and stop, because they might be bad people, decoying you over there to rob you.  I could not imagine anybody doing that in the middle of the village of Herkimer.  Anyways, I didn’t think I was going to run by the car.  Eventually it moved and turned onto Main Street, in the direction I intended to go.  Oh, it was probably somebody delivering papers.  Silly  me and my bad guys with the decoy broken down cars!

I did not see the car again, so I’m not sure where it went, but soon I was on that steep hill and had other things on my mind.  The first part of it wasn’t too bad.  Not fun, of course, but not too bad.  I decided to continue on up, maybe go all the way out Highland Avenue.  That is a good Saturday morning run.  There are no sidewalks, but it is a quiet road.  Steuben Hill, which Highland leads to (oh dear, I think I mean Steuben Hill; how can I possibly check these things?  Google continues to mystify me) is a little busier, but this early in the morning that should not be a problem.

On the second part of the hill, things got a little more difficult.  Just keep going, I told myself.  I remembered an old piece of advice I heard while in the Army, “just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill.”  I made it.   The road continues with some downhill but mostly uphill, but the slope is more doable as you go.  I looked around at all the houses I had not seen since I last ran that hill, sometime in 2016.  Finally I reached the end and was headed back to town.

It was not till I saw the sign reading “Village of Herkimer” that I remembered this run goes outside village limits.  Hello, Herkimer, I thought.  Did you miss me?  I don’t think anybody did.  Houses got closer together.  I encountered a couple of vehicles before I got to the sidewalk.  The truck that went by going downhill seemed to be trying to slow down, but the one on my side of the road (I run left side, facing traffic, as one is supposed to do) was speeding up.  Of course you must trounce on your gas as you go up a hill, or you may not make it, I thought.  I try not to judge.

When I got to Dorf Street and turned onto it, I noticed the “Do Not Enter” sign.  Why did I not remember that sign?  I LOVE to enter where it says “Do Not Enter,” just to be that way.  Oh, I know, they mean vehicles not shuffling middle-aged ladies.  Just let me enjoy the moment, please.

Soon I realized I was quite thirsty.  What to do?  The spring is way on the other end of German Street!  I did not think I could make it there without extending my run well beyond the recommended 10 percent more than last week.  When I got to German I turned in that direction (which is the direction of my house anyways).  I kept looking at my watch, figuring minutes, and turned around before I got to the spring.  I had, as usual, left a bottle of water on my deck for my cool-down run, so I did not suffer from dehydration for long (yes, I am one of those self-dramatizing types that say “dehydrated” for “thirsty.”  I thought you knew that about me).

I felt awesome at the end of my run and quite delighted that it had been a long, challenging run.  I WILL be ready for the Boilermaker 15K!  And now, on to the rest of my challenging Saturday.