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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!

 

Slacker to Snapped, At Least It’s A Post

This is not going to be much of a Saturday Post, but I hope to do better than last week, when I missed Saturday entirely.  I am pretty much ignoring a DVR’d episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as I type this (one letter at a tome with the stylus, of course).  No loss on my part? I wonder.

There.  I stopped that and put on a Snapped On Demand. “They were a power couple…”   I just can’t get enough murder and mayhem.

But about my Saturday, I have not done much.  I went for a run.  I was enjoying shorter runs since they cancelled the Utica Boilermaker this year.  However, yesterday I quite abruptly and unexpectedly decided to participate in the virtual race.

My original response to the cancellation of the race was, to heck with it, I’ll just run it next year.  I thought, “I can’t run 15K without all the hoopla cheering me on!”  Then I thought, this will be a challenge.  Let’s do this!

It may have been a good idea to do a Saturday Running Commentary Post and cover all this information.  However, I feel largely disinclined toward any such effort.  It is that sort of a Saturday.

So here is my post, and it raises a question often considered in this blog:  Is a lame post better than no post at all?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

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.

 

To Fall Or Just To Leave?

I guess I’ll have to stop apologizing for making late blog posts; I’m afraid it is just going to happen.  Anyways, I thought I would take this morning’s 200 or so words to dither about the Falling Leaves 14K in Utica two weeks from today.

I have long wanted to run that.  I understand it is a beautiful and challenging course.  I need to challenge myself.  In fact, sometimes I even need to Double Dog Dare myself.  So why the hesitation?

Well, for one reason, the race is only 1K less than the Boilermaker.  That is not a distance to be undertaken lightly.  And I would not be undertaking it lightly.   I have been running all summer, slowly building myself up.  I feel that I am in pretty damn good shape (from some angles my actual shape could stand improvement, but I digress).

Basically what happens is all week I feel tired and discouraged.  I think of keeping up my running three to five days a week while working.  I think about driving to Utica and looking for a parking space after luckily finding where the race starts (I know these considerations do not bother some people, but I seem to be more easily intimidated in some respects), and I say, “I just can’t take the pressure.”

Then I go for a long run on the weekend, get all endorphinned up, and say, “This is AWESOME!   I am SO doing the Falling Leaves 14K!”  Yesterday on my cool down walk, I met a neighbor who runs and asked was he doing the race.  He has not signed up yet but has done it in the past and recommends it.  He is a younger guy in great shape.  I daresay he does not need to constantly consider the calendar and calculate how fast 10 percent per week will add up, as I do.

Right now I am in the discouraged portion of my dithering (although I do feel challenged to refute that parenthetical comment about being easily intimidated.  Me? Intimidated? SAY IT AIN’T SO! ). However, I have not gone on this morning’s run yet.  I expect I will feel differently then.  In any case, I am now over 300 words.  Quite respectable for a late post. I shall now get on with my Sunday.

 

Oh, That Band!

When I was running the Boilermaker 15K in July, I LOVED the band that was playing outside the Utica Zoo.  They were bluesy and danceable.  I dance-ran by them, a move which I am sure looks perfectly ridiculous but is fun nevertheless.  I still had not gotten around to looking up who the band was.  In my defense, I’ve been busy.

Fast forward to Chicks Along the Canal, part of Little Falls Canal Fest, last Saturday, Aug. 12.  While the cast of The Tempest (remember, that play I’m in?) waited to perform, the best band was playing!  They were bluesy!  They were danceable!  I went over to the tent and danced.

“Bands like it when you dance to their music,” I told my fellow cast members.  Another listener was dancing, a gentleman wearing an ARMY cap.  He waved at me, and  went over and dance with him.

It was while I was dancing that the band began to sound familiar.  Ooh!  Was it the awesome band from the Boilermaker?  I thought maybe!

After their set, I saw the lead singer chatting with someone, so I approached and asked if they had been in front of the Zoo during the Boilermaker.  They had!

“I LOVE you guys!”  I said.  “What is the name of your band?”

“The Cathie Timian Band,” was the answer.  She gave me a card.  When I got home, I looked up their website: http://www.cathietimian.com/.  I also Liked the Cathie Timian Facebook page.  I hope to hear them play again soon.  You bet I’ll write a blog post about it.

 

Too Much Detail on a Tired Tuesday Run?

I have this recurring dream where I am trying to get somewhere and my legs won’t work properly.  I can’t pick up my feet, I can’t move forward, it’s simply dreadful.  I pretty much felt this way at work today, and I worried tonight’s run would be more of the same.  However, I have not been running since July and I was determined to begin again.

I made a bargain with myself that I would only run for 20 minutes.  I could hang for 20 minutes.  This would work.  Of course it was a rigamarole getting ready to run.  I wanted to put in a load of laundry while I ran, including the pants I had worn to work today.  Since I had gotten sweaty at work, I took advantage of this.  I stayed naked while I filled the basket with laundry, then put on my running clothes (sorry if that gave you an unfortunate mental image) (then again, what are you doing picturing me naked?  Shame on you, you dirty-minded thing, you!).

Of course I was still sweaty.  I put powder on my upper body, but my second sports bra  still rolled up as I put it on and I couldn’t reach the back to unroll it.  I hate when that happens!  I got it, though, because, like I said, I was determined.  If this is too much detail, tough.  I calls it like I sees it.  I almost got out the door before I realized I had not thrown the laundry in.  Back up the stairs to retrieve the basket, then down to the basement.  I figured it could count as my warm-up.

Usually when I run, I make a left at the end of my driveway and head to German Street.  If I have not been running in a while, I head to Caroline Street, then go up and down the streets, working my way back home.  I decided to mix things up, so turned right and headed towards Meyers Park.  I even crossed the street and ran down the opposite side from my house.  The sun came out from behind a cloud, showing me that I had not picked the shadier side of the street. No matter.   It was my first run of beginning again, and I was going to persevere.

Persevere was what I had to do, because I never hit the I Can Rock This stage.  I won’t say that every step was an effort, but a goodly number of them were.  I tried to distract myself by looking around.  Mostly I noticed other people’s porches and wished I was sitting on a nice porch, perhaps enjoying a beverage.  I had told a work friend that I might reward myself with a glass of wine after my run.  Suddenly I remembered… chocolate milk!  When I was training for the Boilermaker 15K, I got in the habit of re-hydrating with chocolate milk.  I read somewhere that it is an excellent recovery drink.  I must say I enjoy it quite a bit.  I knew there was milk and chocolate in my refrigerator.  That thought sustained me for the rest of the run.

I ended up running for 22 minutes.  I felt pleased with myself that I had gone at least a little over 20, especially since the devil on my shoulder had been whispering that 15 would be just as good.  The cool shower felt wonderful, and the chocolate milk was heaven.  I probably won’t run again tomorrow, because I have rehearsal for The Tempest (no, that is not over yet, and I will no doubt write more blog posts about it), but I hope to run on Thursday.  Sooner or later, I must hit that I Can Rock This stage.

 

First Post-Boilermaker Run

Did anybody think I would just stop running after the Boilermaker 15K?  I have crashed and burned after running it in the past (I even wrote it on my calendar a couple of times:  Monday, Crash; Tuesday, Burn).  But I wanted to keep it up this time.  I had actually meant to start running again Tuesday or Wednesday, but, well, you know how it goes sometimes (and if you don’t, what planet do you live on?  I’d like to visit).  So Friday was GOING to be the day.

When I woke up around 4 a.m., I felt SO ready to run.  I was going to sleep a little more (hey, I’m still on vacation), then I was going to get right to it.  I might not need any coffee first.  I drank a little water (I always keep a bottle by the bed) and relaxed.

An hour an a half later, when Steven said he was getting up, I not only did not feel like running, I did not feel like getting out of bed.  It being my last real day of vacation (I don’t count the weekend, since I normally have weekends off) (YES, lucky me, don’t hate), I stayed under the covers for another 15 minutes or so.  This worked out, since due to a slight malfunction, coffee wasn’t ready till I got up anyways.  Additionally, it was raining.  I was off the hook!  I don’t have to run in the rain!

Of course, I knew I COULD run in the rain.  I’ve done it before.  Also, the rain would probably stop.  I had some coffee and awaited events. After a cup and a half,  I did not see drops in the puddles, and I felt a little more ready.  After all, this was the first run after a 15K and four days off.  I decided I did not have to run more than 20 minutes.

Off I went dodging puddles and patches of mud still left from the recent flooding.  I ran down German Street and pondered where to go.  No hills, I promised myself.   Perhaps a Dead End Run.  That is where I cross German and run up and down all the dead end streets as I work my way back.  Being me, I changed my mind about that three or four times, but ended up doing it.

I did not run all the dead end streets.  That would have been a much longer run than anticipated. As it was I ended up running 33 minutes.  Again, being me, I debated about that, too.  Should I run past my house to the end of the street and back?  Continue around the block?  Make it 40 minutes?  35 minutes?  I decided 33 was a fine number, so I ran a little way past the house.

I’m thinking this is not much of a Running Commentary, since I have not offered a lot of observations and, well, comments.  However, it is Lame Post Friday and my last real day of vacation.  I’m going to call it a post.  Happy Friday, everyone.

Late Post, But Here Are Some Zombie Pictures

I am late making my Wuss-out Wednesday post (yes, I really wussed out this time).  Never mind why.  It’s a long story and makes me look bad. Instead, how about a few pictures of zombies, as suggested in comments of a recent post.  I don’t watch as many zombie movies as I do vampire movies.  However, one must acknowledge zombies as the scary monsters they are.

So that’s what happened to Veronica Lake.

I believe this is from Night of the Living Dead, which we have on DVD but rarely watch.  I find it more creepy than scary, and a little sad, especially at the end.  Still, it is considered a classic, so I pop it in when I can talk Steven into it.

I feel a little like this, only without the bright eyes. I do not feel particularly bright these days.

I found this in my search for zombie pictures, and to me it is apropos.  Of course, I believe in making Halloween last all year long.  In fact, I just set my DVR to record several scary movies on TCM, including the delightfully creepy Mad Love, starring Peter Lorre, whose horror credentials are impeccable.  Another find on my search took me in different direction.

I guess I can’t stop running after all.

I must confess, I have not gone running since the Boilermaker.  At first I felt too tired, then it got too hot.  I suppose these are lousy excuses (as most excuses are, but, hey, I’m only human) (and not an un-dead one at that).  I think I must begin running again, though, with a thought to taking part in a Zombie Run in November.  That sounds like fun.

 

Love that LiFT

How about an update on The Tempest?  For anybody just tuning in, that is the play I’m in with LiFT Theatre Company of Little Falls.   I just got back from rehearsal,  where I was mortified not to know my lines better.   Still, I’m working on it, as are we all.  The week before last, I took a few pictures of rehearsal, which I have not yet shared.  I thought today I would repair that omission (that’s an expression I love: “repair that omission”).

Here is a wide view: You can see Canal Place, Little Falls Antiques Center, and The Shops at 25 West.

Weather permitting, we rehearse at Canal Place in Little Falls, where some of the performances take place.  LiFT is something of a traveling theatre company, performing at various venues in the Mohawk Valley.  Little Falls Antique Center and The Shops at 25 West are nearby.

You could read “CANAL PLACE,” if that guy’s script wasn’t in the way.

 

There are a couple of picnic tables and several stone benches we hang out on when we’re not on stage.

Rehearsals are fun.  When we’re not on stage, we run lines or discuss blocking, characters, or costumes.  OK, sometimes we also just chat.  After all, nobody’s perfect.  When we have to use the restroom, we go into Little Falls Antique Center.  When we need refreshment, we patronize Ole Sal’s Creamery, an excellent establishment.

Stone Mill is the home of an Inn, Ole Sal’s Creamery, the Antiques Center, a Black Box theatre and more.

I guess I haven’t given you much of an update, but I think the pictures are kind of fun.  We’ll that a win on a Monday.  Regular readers will recall that today is the day after the Boilermaker 15K, which I ran.  I’m still a little tired.  Lets call this a Muddled Monday and drive on.