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Rocked the Run, Not the Post

I know from reading my Facebook “On This Day” that I can rock down to 10 degrees. At least, I read that I once posted, “Turns out I can rock down to 10 degrees.” I would not post such a thing if I had not in fact rocked 10 degrees on a recent run. I thought about that as I shuffled through yet another cold run.

You must not judge me for shuffling. In the best of conditions my middle-aged shuffle is the best pace for my middle-aged chest, even with the best of sports bras (do NOT say “TMI!”). When there is ice on the road, the shuffle is an important safety precaution.

Today was one of those runs where, when I started out, I thought it was too cold, a 20 minute run would suffice. But I ran for 34 minutes. Additionally, I do not require myself to run hills on bad roads (I recently wiped out walking up an icy sidewalk). However, I ran up two minor hills. Best of all, I ran by four signs that said “Do Not Enter” and entered.

Only there was snow.

This is an earlier picture of one of my “Do Not Enter” signs. I like to feel like a rebel. I know, I know, they mean cars not middle-aged shufflers. Let me enjoy my small triumphs.

The run started to feel pretty OK as I went. Of course I long for bare roads and warmer temperatures, but one must make do. I’m afraid I must make do with a kind of a dull blog post as well. It was not that exciting of a run. I felt pleased with myself as I ran uphill, as it became increasingly clear that I was going to run for a decent length of time, and as I came across another “Do Not Enter” sign to thwart.

But I cannot recall any specific thoughts or moments to make this a true Running Commentary Post. Still, it is a post, and one I am not typing in at 5 or 6 o’clock Monday morning, I’ll call that a win. Happy Sunday, everyone.

Cold Sunday Run

I did go running this morning, and oh was it ever cold! I thought I would make a Sunday Running Commentary Post to make it worth my while.

I have not been running during the week lately, which is very bad of me. I walked to and from work three days this past week, but that is only eleven or twelve minutes each way (yes, I look at my watch and check). Well, one does what one can. I strive always for improvement. Hence, running both weekend days and beginning the week with hope.

My thermostat said the outdoor temperature was 17, which is practically 20, so I hoped for the best. At least I found both mittens. They are really good mittens, which I accidentally stole from my sister Diane some years ago.

As it turned out, my hands were my only warm parts. And they got cold when I took off the mittens to blow my nose, which I obvious had to do a lot. Why oh why, did I have to be running into the wind? Why oh why did the wind have to change direction every time I did?

I had told myself I only had to run for 15 minutes. I ran for 20 on Saturday. There is no harm in doing short runs when I have not been running much. I have plenty of time to build up for this year’s Boilermaker 15K.

The cold was really my only problem. My legs, my back, my breathing all felt fine. I was quite discouraged by the weather, because I could not enjoy the run very much. At least the roads were mostly bare.

I kept it up for 18 minutes, which I felt was pretty good. I see this blog post is approaching 300 words, which also ought to feel pretty good. Unfortunately I fear they have been dull words, but I can’t seem to help that. Maybe the cold froze my brain. On the other hand, I can always count this as a Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I hope to see you all again on Monday.

At least I Put a Title on This One

I just realized I never put a title on yesterday’s post. What was that all about? I was trying to think of one then took a break to add categories and tags, and apparently I just forgot. What a silly head.

Regarding my vow to write better blog posts, I am not doing so well. I started to write something while at work but left the notebook it was in at work.

I put my cell phone in my pocket while I walked home, thinking I could get some snowy pictures for a Pedestrian Post. Unfortunately, it was a little too snowy. We had some semblance of a blizzard (nothing too bad for Central New York). The wind blew sharp, cold flakes into my face and eyes (note to self: wear a scarf) (even if it didn’t help so much when I was running). Additionally, I was afraid all that snow would get my phone wet.

So I guess this is another dull little post about the difficulties of daily blogging. But I am determined to do better. I have had these stretches before: one foolish post after another. Then I do better. I can and shall do better.

In the meantime, I am going to call this a Tired Tuesday Post and drive on. I hope my local readers (and anyone else who needs to) is staying warm.

Short Run, Sunday Post

I have not gone running for two weeks. At my age, that is far too long. This morning, despite the cold, I ran. So how about a Running Commentary Post in lieu of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday? It won’t be a very long post, because it was not a very long run. What do you want from an overweight, middle-aged lady?

I had not planned on running. The roads are still covered with snow and ice, which is what deterred me all last week (it was my own laziness the week before). And it was frigid cold. Double digits, but barely. It was 11 degrees according to my thermostat, which often reads warmer than the actual outdoor temperature. I figured after two weeks it would be like starting all over anyways, so why not wait a few more days?

As the morning wore on, however, I damn well felt like it. I was, I realized, sick of not running. So I got into running clothes and went. In addition to leggings, long sleeves, a hat and gloves, I put a scarf around my neck and wore a zip-up sweatshirt.

Of course the scarf was not the miracle I was hoping for. My neck was warm, but I could not get it to properly cover my cheeks. Yes, it was face-hurting cold. Never mind, I told myself. Just go for 15 minutes. 15 minutes. Nobody could ask for more in this cold. Oh, well, I guess somebody could.

I started out running in the road but switched to the sidewalk on German Street, which usually has more traffic. The sidewalks were snow-covered rather than icy. This was excellent, I told myself. Look how much effort it takes to run in the snow. I would burn all kind of calories!

It did not take long for that to get old, and I switched back to the road when I turned down a side street. I went back and forth between sidewalk and road, snowy and bare, as the opportunity offered. Other than my face and my hands, I didn’t feel too bad. It was worse for my hands when I would take off my gloves to pull a tissue out of my pocket and blow my nose. Sometimes, I pulled my fingers into the palms of the gloves and made fists. That’s an old army trick to get warm.

I ended up running 16 minutes, 17 seconds, 1.22 miles, according to my Garmin. I tracked my cool down walk with the Garmin, too: 9 minutes, 46 seconds, .46 miles. I walked through more effort-inducing snow on the cool down. It felt pretty good, and my recovery beverage of chocolate mild tasted really good.

For the rest of tne day, I proceeded to eat like the huge honking hogger I am, thus negating the calorie-burning benefits of the run, but let us not dwell on such negativity. I ran. I wrote a blog post. It is a good Sunday.

Cold Run! Warm Post?

I have not done a Saturday Running Commentary Post in a while, although I usually do run on Saturday. I thought I would attempt one today.

I have been watching the weather with some measure of attention (regular readers know I rarely pay much attention to anything) so knew it was likely to be cold. Accordingly, I put on long sleeves and leggings. I found an extra warm hat and mittens in the closet (which I recently cleaned, so that wasn’t too hard). I found my one pair of actual mittens, which I accidentally stole from my sister Diane some years ago, because I figured mere gloves would not be sufficient. I debated wearing a sweatshirt for the run and something warmer for the cool-down walk, but decided my road-guard vest would add another layer. I clicked “Outdoor Run” on my Garmin and waited for it to stop saying, “Wait” (I have not completely figured out this Garmin thing yet).

Off I went and immediately noticed I had forgotten my mittens. I hate stopping a run so pulled my sleeves down over my hands and drove one. It was not long before I regretted leaving the sweatshirt and not putting on a scarf to cover my face. It is a sad truth that the Mohawk Valley is one of those places where at certain times during the year, the air makes your face hurt. Never mind, Cindy, just keep running.

And run I did. Not very far, not very fast, but I was out there trying! I seriously considered running up the hill to Herkimer College. First I turned up Maple Grove (oh dear, is that what that street is called? I don’t know how to Google that) and turned onto Pine (I’m purely guessing here), where there was a short but fairly steep section. This was going pretty well, although my body was not warming up at all.

By the time I had turned a corner and was headed towards Lou Ambers Drive, still debating about the hill to the college or some smaller hills in the residential area I call “the suburbs” in my head. Steven had told me there was little wind, but he was mistaken. Damn it was cold! How long was I going to run, anyways? I did not have to do a super long run in this cold, did I? Then it occurred to me: it is windier at the tops of hills. I turned down Lou Amber Drive and headed back to the village proper.

Oh, this was much better. My body felt… not warm, but not as freezing cold. That continued on and off for the rest of the run, as the wind picked up and died down according to its own caprice. Lately I have been running just to keep in the game, not to build up or meet lofty goals. There is plenty of time for that after I register for the Boilermaker 15K. What, did I say I was never going to run the Boilermaker again? Quite possibly I did. Was it a lie? When I do it, it is called fiction.

I see I am over 500 words. That is the beauty of Running Commentary Posts. Before I know it, I have gone a long way. I wish the runs themselves were like that, but you can’t have everything. Now I must get ready for the rest of my Saturday. My friend Kim messaged me wondering if we were to continue our, as she puts it, reign of terror in the Mohawk Valley. I’m up for that. First a little house cleaning? Let’s not go crazy over here! Happy Saturday, everyone.

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!

 

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.

 

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.”