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Tag Archives: cold weather

One Must Begin Again

I read somewhere that wintertime running is about maintenance, not necessarily improvement.  I told myself this as I finished a fairly short run this morning.  “It’s about maintenance,” I thought.  Then I thought, “My runs are about blog posts, weight-loss goals, health, and my own entertainment, not necessarily in that order.”  I had thought  doing a Sunday Running Commentary as I set out on my run.  I last ran a week ago and quite frankly did not feel like running today, but, as I said to Steven as I went out the door, “One must begin again.”  Then I thought, “That would be a good title for a blog post.”  So here we are.

We had a couple of days of spring-like weather last week, but I, perhaps foolishly, did not run then.  For one reason, my body was in its final throes of rebellion against 10-hour days.  I know, other people work longer days at more difficult jobs, and they don’t even complain.  All I can say is, that is them, this is me.  I was dead tired all week and not up to running through all the puddles which were the inevitable result of the warmer temperatures.  Today was cold, and it had been snowing.  Snow offers traction, so I thought.

Turns out I shouldn’t think so much.  I tried to run on the sidewalk and soon found there was a LOT of ice under the snow.  After my trailing foot zooped out from underneath me for the third time (luckily my weight was already established on my leading foot at the time), I went into the road, which was a little better.  And a little worse, because of traffic.  Sunday mornings are usually pretty tame traffic-wise, but I had waited till after eleven to run, hoping for a warmer temperature.  Well, the cars would just have to watch out for me; I was staying where I was.

I did not spend much time on German Street, which is one of the busier streets, but soon turned down Margaret. That was quieter, which was good, because it was also pretty snow-covered. I went for the barest part of the road and did now worry too much about staying close to the curb, except when I saw or heard a car coming.  It did not feel too bad, running along at my usual shuffling pace.  The air was cold, but you’ll have that.

My deal with myself was that I only had to run 20 minutes.  I can worry about building up when the weather is better.  If I worry about it at all. I mean, why should I worry?  Worry doesn’t burn calories or build muscle mass.  It is a quite useless activity.  I ran, I wrote a blog post.  Let’s leave it at that.  Happy Sunday, folks.

 

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Donation, Decongestant, and DVDs, It’s Scattered Saturday

I almost forgot to make my blog post today. Isn’t that terrible?  Well, I will attempt a Scattered Saturday post.

It was COLD this morning!  Zero degrees, according to my thermostat.  I felt rather ill-used, since the weather reports had said it would warm up some today.  Still, I had a good reason to leave the house by ten this morning, so I did.  My car told me it was 5 degrees by then, which I was not happy about, but at least it was above zero.

My errand was a charitable one:  the Joe “D’Con” DeJohn Poker Run was happening in Frankfort, NY.  It is a snowmobile run followed by a spaghetti dinner with Chinese auction.  That is where I come in.  Last year I donated an afghan for the auction.  I had mentioned on a Facebook post I wanted to do that again, but I did not have my act together enough to call and arrange to do so before the fact (what, me not have my act together?  SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!).  I saw they had registration at The Brass Tack at 10 a.m., so figured I could drop the afghan off then.  I figured they would still take it

They not only still took it, they were expecting it!  They had seen the Facebook comment and thought I would drop it off. The people I saw were quite happy when I did.  There was never a better reason for going out in the freezing cold on a Saturday morning!

There was less reason for staying out in the cold.  I managed to stop at the drug store to get some decongestant that I wanted to take and stop by the post office to mail a few post cards, but then I went home to some warmth.  I did not stay more than a couple hours, however.  After a nap with my heated face mask (which I believe I have mentioned here before) and some food, I saw the temperature had reached double digits, so  ventured back out.

My goal this time was Basloe Library in Herkimer, NY (where I live, as regular readers will recall).  Steven had expressed a desire to see For Your Consideration, one of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries.   We have seen it once before and did not like it as well as, for example, Best in Show or A Mighty Wind, but lately both of us have though of giving it another view.  While looking at the DVDs, I thought of the Kenneth Branagh Murder on the Orient Express.  We have wanted to see that since before it hit theatres! I was delighted to find it.  I also grabbed a couple of Agatha Christie books and a biography of Rasputin (don’t ask me why; it just caught my eye as I went by).

After watching Murder on the Orient Express, we popped in our DVD of Deathtrap, and I am missing The Bad Seed as I type this.  It has been an enjoyable Saturday so far.  Not as lazy as last Saturday, not as ambitious as some.  I look forward to seeing what next Saturday will bring.  Or even tomorrow.  As always, I hope you will stay tuned.

 

I Felt Super!

Ah ha ha!  (that was a triumphant laugh)  I went running again!  I took two days off, because it was just too cold for me, but this morning it was 30 degrees when we got up, so I said, “Hey!”

I waited a couple of hours first and ate a banana with peanut butter not quite one hour before I actually went.  It was not much above 30 by then, but I thought I could rock it.  I was right.  I ran on the sidewalk instead of the road for the most part, because it was covered with enough snow to give traction.  Sometimes I thought I saw ice underneath the snow, so I exercised caution.  My middle-aged shuffle is good for that.

I had run for a half a block before I realized it was snowing. Snow?  Oh well, I could still rock it (but not rocket, if you see what I mean).  I had on leggings, a long sleeved t-shirt, a hat and gloves.  I wished I had also worn a scarf, especially when the wind picked up.  Then again, running without a scarf, I think, “Oh, if I had a scarf to cover my cold face, how nice that would be!”  Running with a scarf, it’s, “I can’t get this damn scarf to cover my face right and now I’m fogging my glasses!”

As I ran, I thought about the blog post I would write, especially the title.  It is Superbowl Sunday.  Could I work that in?  How about alliteration on Sunday?  Then I looked around at houses, feeling happy when I saw the occasional Christmas decoration still up.  I don’t really get over my post-Christmas let-down till spring.  Sometimes it lasts till it’s time to start thinking about Halloween.  When I wasn’t looking for greenery and wreaths, I was hoping the cold air would not give me a headache.

Regarding that last sentence, it was a forlorn hope. As I type this, I’m afraid I got one and it is getting worse (remember, the more you complain, the longer God lets you live). However, I see that I am over 300 words.  Short for a Running Commentary but long enough for a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I shall stop blogging and nurse my headache.  But I ran for 26 minutes, the same as I ran on Thursday, and I felt pretty damn good about it. Happy Sunday, everybody.

 

Cold Hands, Good Run

I don’t think this blog will go All Reindeer Run All The Time.  I am not running enough to warrant such a thing.  However, I did run today and will attempt to make a Running Commentary post instead of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday.

I had thought it was supposed to still be kind of warm today, and sure enough, when I got home from work my thermostat said it was 45 degrees out.  That is my cut-off for shorts and short sleeves, but it was a bit windy, so I thought I would go for the leggings and long.  Leggings were easy to find (actually they were polyester long johns I like to wear instead of pantyhose), but by the time I found a long sleeved shirt I was hot flashing.  I had worn my t-shirt from the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K (remember that?)  to work today, and that is such a lovely soft cotton, I decided to run in it too.

Thus hybridly attired (what, isn’t “hybridly” a word?  It should be), I set out.  Ooh, that wind was fierce.  I was already regretting the t-shirt, but no matter.  I thought about how good it would feel to put on my sweatshirt for my cool-down walk.  I was thinking I should run a long (for me right now) time, at least 30 minutes.  My last longest run was 36 minutes.  I will increase that to 40 this weekend, which will put me right where I want to be for the 5K.   I hope.

I let myself off the hook for hills, because I hate trying to cross a busy street in the late afternoon.  In fact, traffic was so bad, I turned left instead of right at the end of my street so I would not have to run in front of the cars stopped at the STOP sign.  I made it to Caroline Street before I didn’t want to cross again, but that was OK.  This was one of my go-to runs:  German to Caroline, then down Caroline, up Margaret, down Henry…

My run was enlivened by some Christmas decorations on some houses.  I tried to make a note of where houses were that had lights, in case we go for a walk after dark one night, which I hope we will.  My legs pumped along steadily, not giving me much problem.  My breathing wasn’t too bad.  My hands were turning to stiff icy claws, but what could I do?  I just wouldn’t try to write anything as soon as I got home.  I hoped my hands would be able to turn on the faucets for my shower.  Ah, hot water would be great.  Maybe I would even have hot chocolate instead of cold chocolate milk for my recovery beverage.

By the end of my run, I was feeling quite tired, but I persevered.  I ended up running for 35 minutes instead of 36.  Sorry, folks, I was at my house and I just did not have the mental or physical wherewithal to go past the house again (I had already gone past it once, running down the opposite sidewalk, then to the corner and crossing the street).  It did feel wonderful to put my sweatshirt on.

I think I will be just fine for next Saturday’s 5K.  My only sticky widget, as I just realized, is that I don’t have anybody to meet me at the end of the race and sing “We Are the Champions” while I walk around with my fists in the air.  After a race, I like to walk around with my fists in the air while somebody sings “We Are the Champions.”

 

Not Quite the Run I Planned

YES!  Saturday Running Commentary is BACK!  I ran this morning and less than an hour later, I am sitting down to write my blog post about it!

I had actually planned  better blog post.  I am still unsure of my plans for the day, so I thought I  would think about what I was going to do while I ran, then I could write about the run and my plans.  Well, I thought about my run while I was running, probably because I kept changing my plans about where and even how long I was going to run.  So I am going to tell you about that.

My thermostat said it was 38 degrees out, well within my parameters for leggings and long sleeves.   A long-sleeved running shirt was handy, because I had worn it under my sweatshirt when greeting the trick-or-treaters on Tuesday.  It took a little longer to find leggings and winter running socks.  I guess I could have done without winter socks, but the leggings I found are a little short and I did not want that little half-inch of bare leg between sock and legging.  It’s the little things.

At last I was off.  Ooh, it felt cold.  And I felt a little self-conscious in my form-fitting shirt and leggings.  I usually run in very large t-shirts.  Indeed, most of my long-sleeved t-shirts are on the baggy side as well.  But one must not let these things keep one from pursuing fitness.  I kept running.  My main concern was that the cold would give me a sinus headache, as it sometimes does.  I made up my mind that if it started to I would have a short run.  I have things to do today (even if I have not planned it out yet); I can’t be down with a headache.

I ran toward Valley Health, my go-to hill when I am building myself up.  From there, I could run to the high school and over the little footbridge.  That is often my Sunday run, but it would do for a Saturday.  As I approached the hill, I could see something was going on at the school: a school bus and several cars were right where I planned to run.  I revised my plans.  I thought the sight of my lumpy body outlined in such detail by my outfit, which was not even all that warm, might traumatize high school students.   I decided to run into the residential area behind Valley Health and make my way back to German Street via Lou Ambers Drive or Maple Grove.

As I approached Lou Ambers, I thought I would go to Maple Grove, where there were sidewalks to run on.  Then as I got toward Maple Grove, I saw that it went uphill to the next street over.  A little uphill would be a good thing.  Beyond that was the back way up to Herkimer College.  I was not up to running to Herkimer College.  Then I noticed the “Do Not Enter” sign.  I felt I just had to run by a “Do Not Enter” sign.  I thought I would only run to the path that goes into Brookfield Park (previously known as The Unknown Park in this space).   This put more uphill in my run.

The path into the park added more uphill.  As I ran, I hoped I could actually get into the park.  The path leads to a picnic area, which is separated from the rest of the park by a little footbridge over the brook.   The bridge and brook are surrounded by a chain link fence.  Sometimes the bridge is blocked.  If the bridge was blocked, I would have to turn around and run back the way I came.  I did not want to do that.  I was tired of running and wanted to go home.  I made up my mind that if the bridge was blocked, I would just climb over it.

I could not tell until I was right at the bridge whether or not it was blocked.  In that length of time I was able to picture myself ripping my leggings on the fence, falling into the brook, spraining my ankle, and having to drag myself out of the brook to limp home.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just run longer than I intended.  The bridge was unblocked, so that was good.

By now I realized I MIGHT make it home in 30 minutes, the length of last Sunday’s run.  Then again, it might end up being 33 minutes, the intended length of tomorrow’s run.  I felt pretty good either way. My legs and body had warmed up nicely and I felt I could continue running with no problem.  This was all right!  I ended up running by my house to the end of the street and coming back for a 33 minute run.  Yes!

As I walked my cool-down, I felt pretty damn good about myself.  If I keep this up, I will be in great shape for the Reindeer Run 5K!  Now to get on to planning the rest of my Saturday…