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Tag Archives: Boilermaker

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.

 

Post Race Post

I was going to title this “To Dress or to Blog?”  but I did not want to invite unkind comments about how nobody wants to see me naked.  Also, it would not be clear that this is yet another post about the Boilermaker.  Which I just ran.  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (That was a triumphant laugh, by the way.)

So this is not going to be a great post.  I ran. It was not easy for an overweight woman of my age who, as it turns out, perhaps did not train enough.  However, I finished without resorting to walking.  Full disclosure:  towards the end, my run could not catch up with some of the walkers.  I will write more about the run later.  For now my purpose is merely to publish something, so I can get on with celebrating my triumph as soon as Steven gets home from work.

For anyone just tuning in, the Utica Boilermaker is the best 15K race in the nation, possibly in the world.  It seems as if the entire City of Utica as well as the surrounding area turns out to run, volunteer or cheer folks on.  Runners come from all over the world, including elite runners from places like Kenya as well as those who run for fun and fitness from places like Syracuse and Rochester.  I believe folks come from farther afield, but I did not encounter any of those today.

My challenge now is to find a cute outfit to put on such that Steven will realize that the best way to celebrate is to take me out somewhere nice.  Or I could just sit here in my bathrobe, which I put on after a delicious shower, and he will probably make me a grilled cheese sammich.  I do like grilled cheese.  It is good to have options.  Tune in tomorrow, on Mental Meanderings Monday, which I will either tell you what I wore or describe in greater detail my triumphant Boilermaker run.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Scattered Saturday Before the Boilermaker

I confess, I didn’t have a whole lot of scatter, because I mostly hydrated and rested before tomorrow’s 15K run (it’s really a road race, but since I will be far back in the pack and more interested in making silly jokes than getting a fast time, I can’t say I’ll be racing).  For those of you just tuning in, it is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, a pretty damn exciting event in the Mohawk Valley.

My plan was to go for at least one walk, so I was disappointed to hear thunder followed by torrential rain this morning.  Then it stopped.  Cool.  I wrote some post cards and walked to the post office, taking the long way back.  It has continued to thunder, rain, then stop for most of the day.  I may go for an evening walk during one of the stops but no promises.  I got a little more exercise walking from the second floor down to the basement and back doing laundry.  It is so pleasant to have most of my clothes clean so that I have a choice of what to wear (of course the perfect thing to wear in an given situation is usually the one thing that is still dirty, but you’ll have that).

In addition to doing laundry, I read an Agatha Christie book (I adore Agatha Christie), worked on my lines for The Tempest, futzed around on Facebook, and wrote a very little on my novel.

I left the house one other time so far, to get my hair cut at the Hot Spot Salon and Spa in Herkimer.  My stylist, Claire, nicely got me in, even though I did not call till yesterday afternoon.  She is way cool.  She did my hair the same as last time, very short.  She said it seems my hair likes to be short.  I thought that was a good way of putting it.  I like it short, because it is easy that way.  As another hairdresser once observed about me, I am the sort of person who cannot be bothered spending too much time on my hair (for another reason, however much time I take, I never seem to get the good results others do).  I would post a selfie of me and my new hair, but I’ve taken off my earrings, and I don’t like to appear in public without earrings.

Back home, I started dinner early, because we intend to go to bed early.  I had put eggplant in the crock pot this morning (ought I to have mentioned that earlier?  Oh well).  Now I made pesto, grated parmesan cheese, sauteed asparagus, and cooked angel hair pasta (my favorite).  My pesto is perhaps not real pesto (I don’t use a recipe), but I call it pesto, because it is fun to say “pesto pasta” (try it).  I put garlic, fresh basil, grated parmesan (I grated enough to put some in the pesto as well as some over the pasta), and oil in the blender and blend.  It turned out pretty good.

And that brings us to the present moment.  My stomach still continues knotty from Boilermaker nerves.  These will continue, no doubt, until the race actually starts.  More specifically, when I cross the starting line and am on my way.  Then it’s run for the beer!  Go me!  Happy Saturday, everyone!

 

I’m Not Hydrated Yet!

I have have Lame Post Friday in the middle of vacation, can’t I?  Of course I can; it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.  Wait a minute, that’s something else.

I have spent all day having Boilermaker Butterflies (I think I once wrote a blog post of that title).  I mean serious, stomach-churning nervousness.  I don’t know why.  All my problems will resolve themselves at the proper time.  I will run the race.  There is no reason to think I will not have fun.  Yet here I sit, trying to drink more water and worrying.

I went for one final run today (is it bad that I have begun the last three paragraphs with “I”?  Just something else to worry about), 30 easy minutes.  It didn’t feel too bad.  I found the shirt I wanted to run in, a large yellow tee with a Superman logo which Steven purchased for 50 cents at a church thrift store some years ago.  It is a little wrinkly, and I am considering ironing it.  I rather like the thought of running the Boilermaker in a freshly pressed t-shirt.

This morning I had several errands to run: an afghan to drop off, a trip to the post office, a visit to the library to print out my Boilermaker registration confirmation.  By 11:30 I was headed to Utica to Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) to pick up my race number and goody bag.  What a crowd scene!  However, people were nice and numerous volunteers kept things running smoothly.

For dinner I had a London broil in the crock pot.  Some time ago, a nice young man at The Sneaker Store told me I should have a steak dinner on Friday and pasta on Saturday.  I substituted roast beef in the crock pot then as I did now.  I plan to use fresh basil from my container garden to make pesto for tomorrow’s pasta.  Yum!

What I am mostly worried about now is that this is a truly lame blog post.  Can I possibly expect tomorrow’s to be any better as the 15K race looms ever closer?  I should probably have an in-depth conversation with myself about whether the race is worth all this anguish I put myself through, with perhaps a side discussion about why I put myself through such completely useless worry.  Don’t worry, any minute now I will move on to the point where I start to laugh at myself.  Happy Friday, everyone!

 

Last Long Run Before Sunday

It may be time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time.  I went for my last long run before the big race.  The big race, for anybody just tuning in, is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, the premier 15K race in the country (I say it with confidence, although I confess I have not researched 15K races), which takes place this Sunday, July 9, 2017.  There is also a 5K on Sunday, a 3-mile walk on Saturday, an Expo Friday and Saturday, and many other events and attractions.  I know I’m not mentioning everything; after all, this blog is mostly about ME (I say it with no apology for my egotism) (although I confess to having a good laugh at myself).

Where was I?  Ah yes, about to do a Running Commentary post about my last long run till Sunday (hey, is that a good title for the post, or is it too obvious?).

It was excellent running weather: not too hot, not too humid, sunny and pretty.  As I ran, I felt the sun was perhaps brighter and hotter than my own personal ideal, but running in the shade was fine.  I decided to run in the residential area behind Valley Health, what I refer to as “the suburbs.”  This took me up the hill by Valley Health as a kind of a warm-up hill, and I knew I would find a long, challenging hill as I went.

As I ran toward Valley Health, along German Street which gradually slopes upward, I realized I did not want to run any hills.  My body felt like it could keep going perfecly well on level ground but would be utterly defeated by gravity if I tried to push it.  Well, naturally on my Last Long Run Before The Boilermaker, I was inclined to push it.  I remembered of what I thought on a recent run: running hills does not become easier for me; I merely learn to keep going longer while it sucks.  I wondered if that was strictly true. Most probably it sucks less as I go.  Today I tried a new tack:  I told myself that going up hills was a psychological trick;  I just had to stop NOTICING how much it sucked.  This is an extension of a trick I heard about in the army:  just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill.

I took a wrong turn and ran down a perfectly level street that turned at a right angle then ended in a cul-de-sac.  Then I found the correct corner, when down a small hill then up, up, up.  I passed a lady walking down and said good morning.

“Boilermaker!” I added, fists in the air.  “Three days and a wake-up!”

“There you go!” she encouraged.  “Good luck!”

A short while later, I saw a fellow runner, headed down the hill.

“Boilermaker!” I called to her.  “We got this!”   She laughed.

I passed a few other walkers, including a very nice couple who let me pet their dog.  Yes, I stopped running long enough to pet the dog.  I like to pet a dog.

I ran for an hour and one minute, which is how long I ran yesterday.  In training for previous Boilermakers, I have been up to an hour and a half.  However, I feel an hour is good.  I tell myself, if you can run for an hour, you can run for two; just don’t stop.  I plan shorter runs tomorrow and Friday, and a couple of long walks on Saturday.  And in between, I hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Boilermaker, here I come!