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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?

 

Slogging Toward My Goals

I finally went running this afternoon.  It’s only been two days, but it felt like longer.  I promised myself that after this week, I will run more often.  My promise alternated with feelings of “I never want to run again!”  You’ll have that on occasion.  The best thing to do, I’ve found, is to keep running as best you can.  Sometimes that’s what you have to do when you’re making a blog post, too.

It was one of those days I spent reminding myself that I was going to run after work.  I try to do this in hopes that I’ll just get home, get dressed and go before I have a chance to talk myself out of it.  It didn’t work.  I got home moaning that I did not want to run.  I got dressed for it and got out of the house anyways.  According to  my thermostat, the temperature was 46 degrees.  The last time I ran in 46 degree weather, I rethought my cut-off of 45 degrees for shorts and short-sleeves.  I went upstairs to put on leggings.  Then I got a hot flash and put on the knee-length shorts that were handily on the drying bars.  I kept on the extra large short-sleeved t-shirt I had been wearing all day.  A headband would cover my ears and/or absorb my forehead sweat.

Earlier today, I had occasion to ask if “slog” was really a word, as in, “I am just slogging through this day.”  My co-workers said it was.  I just now looked it up in my dictionary and, sure enough, it is.  So there I was slogging through my run.  That was OK, though, I told myself, it is all part of getting into shape.  I distracted myself by noticing some flowers in somebody’s lawn.  Very nice.  The first one’s I’ve seen this year.  Most of the snow and mud were gone from the sidewalk, so that was nice, too.  I kept going as best as I could.

I said to myself that each step was a step was bringing me closer to my goals.  Closer to my Boilermaker 15K goals.  Closer to my weight-loss goals.  Closer to the end of the run when I would have a nice glass of wine with my husband.  Hey, you take what motivation you can and, you should pardon the expression, run with it.

It was really not a bad run, for being kind of a slog.  I was happy with myself for doing it.  I’m also happy I got a blog post written.  Perhaps not as good of a blog post as others, but you’ll have that.  For a Wuss-out Wednesday, it’ll do.

 

Spooky Space on Scattered Saturday

So I registered for the Boilermaker 15K.  And then I went running.  Not immediately, but soon enough.

OK, I think it is fate that I use the above sentence.  You see, earlier I typed it in, then erased it, then decided I would make my post later so exited out of WordPress.  The computer asked me did I really want to leave, as what I did might not be saved.  I looked at the blank space and hit “Leave.”  Now, returning to WordPress and wondering what I will say, I see an untitled draft saved from earlier.  It is the sentence I erased!

Could it be returning to haunt me?

The question is not an idle one.  I have been in I guess what you could call a spooky space lately.  I shared pictures of Nosferatu a couple of days ago, yesterday I wore a spider earring and Halloween socks, I am currently sipping Malbec out of my Trick Or Treat wine glass (purchased at Pumpkin Junction in Sauquoit, NY) (and, yes, I did flash on Bela Lugosi as Dracula saying, “I never drink… wine”).  OK, so now I have my headline.

There really wasn’t much to my Scattered Saturday this week.  I worked. While working, I dithered some more about whether or not to run the Boilermaker 15K (the 5K isn’t even on my radar, by the way).  I decided to run it.  Then came home and changed my mind.  Several times. And you see by my lead what my ultimate decision was.  Yes, yes, I could still opt out, transfer my registration or get a deferment (because, you know, shit happens), but I feel fairly confident that I will follow through on this.

I had meant to write a Saturday Running Commentary about my run, but such a post was not forthcoming from my brain.  It is not a well-trained brain.

I have not done much else today.  I am currently cooking supper for my dearest husband, Steven.  Perhaps a cooking post tomorrow, instead of Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  Or maybe Sunday Running Commentary?  A little uncertainty will add interest to my weekend.  Happy Saturday, everyone.

 

Left Lame for LiFT

Last night I drove to the Utica Zoo for a dress rehearsal of Much Ado About Nothing, the play I am in with LiFT Theatre Company.  We are doing a performance there Aug. 1 as part of Utica Monday Night.

I rarely drive to Utica any more and still more rarely to that section of it, but I was fairly certain I knew my way.  I got on 5S and took the Culver Street exit.  I got a definite emotional flashback as I drove over the Boilermaker 15K Road Race Start line.  I did not run the race this year but I’m thinking I will in 2017.  I was pleased to note Boilermaker landmarks (or at least things I remember noticing the times I ran) and pictured the spectators cheering as thousands of runners surged past them.  Oh, the press of humanity!  Oh, the thought of the long run ahead!  The excitement, the nerves…  I did mention I was having a flashback, didn’t I?

I also noticed Proctor Park, a place I have only driven by.  I have often thought I would like to go for a run along that path, only I’m not sure where is a good place to park. No doubt I could find that out.  That will be something to pursue when my running routine needs a shake-up.  As I drove by the National Guard Armory, I had flashbacks to my short stint in the guard after I got out of the army.  I remember a fellow who worked for the guard full time said his kids called it The Castle.

I started to get a little nervous when I got on the Parkway.  It was not that I was having more flashbacks, but I was not completely sure where to go.  I thought the zoo was a simple left hand turn and all I had to do was look for signs, but I have been known to mess up the simplest of directions.

While stopped at a stoplight I realized I ought to be in the left lane.  Glancing to my left, I thought I recognized a fellow cast member.  Perfect!  After the light changed I got in the lane behind him. Now all I had to do was follow!  Unless I was mistaken about who it was, I reflected, second-guessing myself as usual.  I watched for signs, just to hedge my bets.  The signs were readily located, and the car carrying my suspected cast-mate turned left where I saw I was supposed to.  A large arch reading “Utica Zoo” told me I was in the right spot. Yay!

Surprisingly, the parking lots were almost full.  I later found out it was a Special Night for some employer or other, so the zoo was full of patrons.  I saw a couple of spots but continued to follow my friend.  As I pulled in next to him, I hoped it was the fellow I thought it was, and not some random young man who might think I was a cougar type stalking him.  I guess I am old enough to be one of them there cougars, although I am not at all inclined to.  As regular readers know, I have a perfectly nice husband already.

But getting back to the subject of second guessing, I am now second guessing this blog post.  Who writes an entire blog post about driving from Herkimer to Utica?  What am I thinking, that every minute aspect of my life is fascinating?  I often say that there are worse things than having an ego the size of Manhattan, but surely there is a limit to all things (and I’ll call you Shirley if I want to).

On the other hand, this is Lame Post Friday.  Maybe I can make a play on words with “lame” and “lane,” since I was talking about getting into the left lane.  I have already used “Unsafe Lame Change.”  Also, I believe I changed lanes safely in this instance.  I also believe it is time to get on with enjoying my Friday and my weekend.  I have two rehearsals.  Perhaps I could write about them and not just getting to them.  Happy Friday, everyone.

LiFT will present Much Ado About Nothing at the Utica Zoo on Monday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.  The show is free with admission to the zoo.  For more information, visit LiFT’s Facebook page.

 

Blame it on the Boilermaker

Yesterday I sat down to write a post about Why I Can’t Write a Post Today and then came up with a serviceable Running Commentary.  Today I don’t think that’s going to work out.  I don’t think my brain is in particularly serviceable shape today.  That is OK, though, because it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

In Utica, NY, it is also Boilermaker Sunday.  I ran in the Boilermaker 15K last year.  I vowed I would never run it again, but I don’t think anybody believed me.  Sure enough, what I feared would happen came to pass.  As I saw and heard all the hoopla surrounding the race as it approached, I felt sorry I was not part of it.  Today when Facebook friends posted pictures and statuses about it, I commented on them that I would run it next year.  Will I follow through?  Quite possibly I will.

Steven, Spunky and I have been having a pleasant lazy Sunday.  It has been raining on and off, but I managed a pretty good run this morning and we have taken a couple of short walks.  The main event of the day has been movies, although I fear we spent almost as much time discussing what we wanted to watch as we have spent watching them.  I also made quite a tasty dinner.

And yet it really is a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I’m glad I ran this morning, or else I fear I would be swooning on the sofa or reaching for my smelling salts (I actually don’t have any smelling salts, do you suppose regular salt would work?).  Is it really angst that I did not participate in the country’s premiere 15K?  Or is it sorrow that the only thing I can write is how I can’t write today?  Or is it a mere desire to be dramatic?  Hmm… I bet that’s it.  Hope to see you all on Middle-aged Musings Monday.

 

Blame it on the Boilermaker

I thought that would make a good headline.  I guess what we’re blaming on the Boilermaker is all the running posts I’ve made lately, because I’m making another one today.

I often crash and burn after the Boilermaker.  In fact, that is how I mark it on my calendar:  Sunday: Boilermaker; Monday: Crash; Tuesday: Burn.  What I do not write is Wednesday: start running again, but that is what I did.

All day at work I reminded myself that I was going to run.  And all day I wished I had run Monday or Tuesday (when I was crashing and burning), so I would have an excuse not to run.  But isn’t that always the way it is?  I reminded myself that I do not like to take three days off.  I was going to run.

It’s been stinking hot for two days, but today was nice. Gloomy and almost cold this morning (which is the way I like it).   Sunny this afternoon.  It was quite warm in my vehicle driving home from work, but I did not despair of a moderately comfortable run.

Predictably, it was not comfortable.  For that, perhaps I can blame the Boilermaker (another good reason for the headline!).   I ran slowly.  My legs expressed indignation at having to run.  What, did they think 15 Ks and they were done?  Nonsense!

The sun was bright enough to be hot.  A breeze only occasionally blew. I greatly enjoyed what shade I could find.  I had promised myself a short, easy run.  I shuffled along, hoping I could make it for 20 minutes.

It really was not too bad.  I shuffled along, not worrying too much about speed (do I ever?).  I actually did manage to speed up then sprint it out at the end, so bonus.  I did 22 minutes. 22 has always been my favorite number.  Walking around the block for my cool-down felt really good.

I was glad I had at least gotten back out there. I’ll have to get out for some real runs soon, though. After all, the DARE 5K is only a month away.   Maybe I can write some better blog posts about them.

 

What? Me, Stop Running?

Now that I’m done running the Boilermaker 15K  (for this year, anyways),  my thoughts turn to my real favorite run: the Herkimer DARE 5K.  I bet you thought I was going  tosay my thoughts turn to the beer.  Well,  I thought about the beer pretty much all through the Boilermaker.  That’s the way it works sometimes:  When you’re running you think about other things; when you stop running, you think about your next run.

The DARE5K is a fundraiser for the DARE program, which of course aims to keep young people away from drugs.  So right away one has the frisson of virtue that comes from supporting a worthy cause.

The most distinctive feature of the HerkimerDARE5K is that we run up the hill to Herkimer College.  For the uninitiated, I assure you, it is some hill.  Once I’m in running shape, I like to run up it at least once a week, so I can feel like I’m bad ass.  Another reason to run up the hill is that you are rewarded with some beautiful views at the top.  I suppose you could still enjoy the view if you drove up to the top, but what fun is that?

What I really enjoy about the DARE 5K is that it is so much more relaxed than the Boilermaker. I suppose it is not a fair comparison.  After all,  the Boilermaker is a premier road race attracting world class runners and utilizing many resources.   It is Utica’s own local claim to fame.   However, I feel it lacks the small-town appeal of Herkimer’s little run.

When I register for the DARE, I walk down to the police station with the form and check. Last year I was able to ask a few questions about police work, for the novel I have been working on.  On the day of the race, things are very conveniently located for me.  I walk to Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street to pick up my race packet. The year my nephew ran with me (actually, quite a ways ahead of me), I was able to pick up his as well.

The race begins and ends at Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners, one of my favorite spots.  Before the 5K is the Jr. Fun Run for ages 12 and younger, which goes around the block. I’ve seen 5K runners do the Fun Run with their kids as a warm-up.  I keep trying to get my youngest niece to do the Fun Run, but no luck so far.  Perhaps when my great-nephew learns to walk he’ll be into it.

After the race there is an awards ceremony and post-race party with refreshments and a DJ.  I’ve never stayed to see the awards given, but I usually grab a quick bite to eat.  This year’s DARE 5Ktakes place on Saturday, August 15 with the Jr. Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m.  I’m trying to recruit an entourage to cheer me on,but even if I have no luck with that, I expect I will still enjoy the run.

I wrote the preceding on Monday (yesterday), the day after the Boilermaker, before beginning my shift at work.  When I got home, I found I had received my Official Entry Form in the mail.  How apropos! I shall register soon, so I will have an excuse to keep writing blog posts about running.

For more information about the DARE 5K and Jr. Fun Run, or about the Herkimer DARE program, you can e-mail dareherkimer@yahoo.com or visit Herkimer DARE on Facebook.   Come on!  Run up the hill with me!