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Mid-Week Run with a Stop Mid-Way

After several huge bouts of Don’t Wanna Run/Not Gonna Run, I went running.  It was not the best run, but I will attempt a Running Commentary post to avoid another Wuss-out Wednesday (is it really Wednesday? I have been in a time warp since last Friday, which did not feel like one).

I started the run late, about quarter to five.  The sun was setting.  At least, I couldn’t really tell if it was setting or not, because the sky was so cloudy.  I appreciate a cloudy day, so  that was all right.  The temperature was one degree below my cut-off for leggings and long sleeves, so that was how I dressed.  I was not worried about getting too hot while I run because of that sun going down thing.  I figured the air would only get colder.  Additionally, I had one of my long-sleeved ARMY t-shirts handy. It has a reflective decal on the back.  Safety first for Mohawk Valley Girl.

My idea was to have a long, slow run with no hills.  The slow and no hills part would make the long part possible, so I thought.  As I started out, though, I wondered if I was up to it.  I ran slow.  I did not turn toward the hills.  I felt tired.  To distract myself, I thought about what I would cook for dinner and if I would ever get to the other chores I had set for myself.  I ran a couple of errands earlier in the day, but they did not include going to Hannaford nor getting milk (we get it at Stewart’s, where members of the Milk Club, we get a gallon for half off after purchasing five).

The last reflection rendered my run even less enjoyable.  I hadn’t gotten milk!  I couldn’t have my beloved post-run recovery beverage of chocolate milk!  What was I thinking?  I reviewed my timeline in my head, including run, cool-down walk, and shower, ending in Steven’s expected arrival home.  I figured I could at least get the milk.  Maybe I could go to Hannaford as well, and get something easy for dinner, since my timeline clearly did not include time for cooking.  My body heartily applauded the idea of a shorter run.

Still, one must run a certain length of time or it isn’t worth putting on the sports bras.  I continued, looking at my watch and figuring my rout and how long each street was likely to take.

Then I ran into Nicky’s Mom.  Nicky, regular readers may recall, was a sweet little dog I always stopped and petted when I saw him.  I don’t remember if I mentioned it in the blog, but I heard from a mutual friend that Nicky had passed away.  I stopped and said, “I’m so sorry about Nicky!”  We chatted for several minutes about Nicky, and having a dog in general, and how sad it is to lose them. Nicky’s mom (how embarrassing that I cannot remember her name!) has a cat now.  She thinks it was abandoned by some people that moved out of the neighborhood.  It had been living as a stray for a while, until she said to it, “Do you want to come in?”

At some point while we talked, I clicked my watch so it stopped timing my run.  When I finally started running again, I thought I would run to the corner before turning it on again.  Then when I turned it on again, apparently I didn’t do it right, so I have no idea how long I actually ran for.  I think it was for at least 20 minutes.  I’ll tell you what, it is not the best idea to stop in the middle of a run and stand in the cold weather chatting.  My body enjoyed the last part of my run even less than the first part.

It was almost dark as I walked my cool-down.  I reflected how much more I enjoyed walking than running.  For the past two days, I have gone for walks of about a half hour.  It may be time to change over to walking.  But, a little voice in my head says, what about the Reindeer Run?  Well, that’s a problem, isn’t it?  Any advice?

 

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Sandy Start to Scattered Saturday

I actually don’t know how scattered my Saturday will be, but you know how I love alliteration.  This is actually Saturday Running Commentary, which I have been wanting to bring back for some time now.  I didn’t run far, I didn’t run fast, but I think I can get a few paragraphs out of it.

Of course I did not feel like running as soon as I got out of bed about 5:30 this morning.  No, I didn’t party hearty last night.  I fell asleep on the couch then went to bed early.  Yes, I’m old, don’t judge.  I had thought about getting right out, since I love beginning my run in the dark and ending it in the light.  I decided to have some coffee first, comforting myself with the thought that it is fall.  Days will get shorter, and I will have plenty of dark runs.

Sure enough, after a little caffeine I felt more inclined to exercise.  The sun was up, but it was foggy, so I put on one of my ARMY t-shirts with the reflective decal on the back.  Additionally, I revised my plans for where to run.  I had wanted to go out Main Street and up a steep hill, coming out on Steuben Road.  I decided to go someplace with less traffic and/or a larger shoulder.  True, there isn’t always a lot of traffic on Steuben on a Saturday morning, but some people really like to gun it up that hill.  I like to give myself every advantage.  Accordingly, I ran down German Street in the direction of Herkimer College.

However, as I ran I felt not up to tackling that hill.  I have not run it since before the Boilermaker 15K.  I mostly like to run it so that I can post on Facebook that I did and impress my friends.  I thought I could save it till Sunday, when I usually increase my running time by the recommended 10 percent.  I ran up the hill by Valley Health and into the residential area I call the suburbs.  I knew I would find some major and minor hills there.  I want to start running more hills, to build myself up, but I really felt like sticking with the minor ones this morning.

I hoped to run on different streets from the last time I ran in the area, but of course I could not remember where I turned, so I just picked a street.  I saw a man in his front yard with a very cute little puppy. I think she was a yellow lab.  They were apparently having a business meeting, but the pup looked as if he wasn’t quite sure what he was supposed to do.

“Can I pet your dog?”  I asked.

“Sure,” he said.  “She might nip you; she’s only eight weeks old.  Her name is Sandy.”

Sandy jumped up eagerly while I petted her. She didn’t nip me, but she licked my hand and in general acted like a sweet, friendly pooch.  The man and I wished each other a good day, and I returned to my run.  As I did, I thought of the title for today’s post.  Just now I think maybe some of you thought I went running in the sand.  That would be nice, but I know of no handy beaches around here.

My run was not bad.  My legs felt pretty OK, with a few twinges in my knees and one bunion.  I was puzzled by the bunion’s pain, since it is not supposed to rain before next Wednesday.  I realized my breathing felt fine.  This delightful state of affairs deteriorated towards the end of the run, but I kept up for a full 36 minutes, which is how long I ran last Sunday.  I feel sure I will be up to forty minutes tomorrow, yes!

As I finished my run, I saw a neighbor and her sweet dog, Rocky, out walking.  I was happy to meet them on my cool-down walk.  Around the corner, I met and petted another nice dog.  I do love to pet a dog.  As I continued my walk, I reflected that I am now in 5K shape.  I ran for 36 minutes; I can run a 5K in 36 minutes.  And if I can’t run it in 36 minutes, by the time I am 36 minutes into a 5K, I can certainly finish.  Now, to find a 5K nearby…

 

I Didn’t Mean to be Melancholy

I had meant to make a post about one of my recent Mohawk Valley adventures, but I’m afraid today is going to be more of a Middle-aged Musings Monday, if not Melancholy Monday, or even a Memories Monday.  Oh, all right, I’ll stop alliterating and start blogging.

Today on my Facebook On This Day, I noted that one year ago today we brought our sweet Spunky home from his foster dad’s (I even wrote a blog post about it).  Regular readers may recall that we sadly lost Spunkman (as Steven liked to call him) far too soon (I wrote a blog post about that, too).  I miss having a dog, but the time seems not right to adopt another one yet.

Logging on to WordPress, I noticed a post from a blogger I follow about how she and her guy adopted a puppy, Meet Harper, the Resuce Pup!  Full disclosure:  I do not read all posts by all the bloggers I follow.  This one I read.   Rescue dogs are the best!  And people who adopt them are awesome!  Oh dear, that sounded like I was tooting my own horn, but I was not, really.  For one reason, I have not adopted another dog since losing Spunky.  I don’t know if I ever will, although as I read somewhere, pets happen.

So I am remembering our little Spunky, and our sweet Tabby, who lived with us from 2007 to 2015.  Dogs enrich our lives immeasurably, but so is the sadness immeasurable when we lose them.  I suppose I could say something profound about how you have to have the sad to appreciate the happy, and I even know such a thing to be true.  But I’m afraid it would sound glib and trite, because profundity is not my strong suit.

I also feel I should apologize for intruding sadness into my silly blog, especially when the occasion for sadness is sometime past.  Then again, who can explain emotions and why apologize for them?  I like to say, sometimes you just have to feel that way until you don’t feel that way any more.  I’ll try for a better post tomorrow.

 

Not a Wrist to Forehead Run

I will probably be doing a lot more Running Commentary posts for the next month and a half (or so), as I continue to prepare for the Utica Boilermaker 15K.  I thought I was in excellent shape for it already, having run just over an hour yesterday.  My feeling is if you can run one hours, you can run two; just don’t stop.  And I have run the Boilermaker in under two hours each time I have run in.  Then again (second guessing myself is apparently my favorite indoor sport), I took a three hour nap yesterday afternoon.  Maybe I’m not in such great shape (although I still maintain that round and puffy is a shape).

Today I have a few things I would like to get done, and I will not have time for a three-hour nap, so I thought I would run less than one hour.  This is not my normal M.O.  Usually I make long runs on both weekend days, when I don’t have to work.  However, this is a three day weekend.  I can go for a long run on Memorial Day.  I will wear an army t-shirt and run in honor of fallen soldiers.  So today could be a shorter, easier run with no hills.

I made this plan while I was still in bed, knowing it would be a good idea to get up but really wanting to sleep some more.  I finally talked myself into rising and immediately started drinking water from the bottle I habitually keep next to the bed. I got right into running clothes and was out the door before I had decided which direction to run in.  I turned the opposite way from what I usually take, toward State Street instead of German.  I had only gotten a block when somebody called a greeting.  It was the owner of Chico and Bear, two neighborhood dog buddies of mine.

She was dressed for church and taking the pups for a business meeting.  I stopped my watch and went over to pet the pups and chat with the person. I told her I had thought of going to church yesterday but woke up from my nap twenty minutes after mass started.  When we finished our chat, I reset my watch to zero and started again.  This time I ran down Church Street toward Main.  I still had no idea where I would go but knew I could figure it out as I went.  The sun was in my eyes, so I turned up Prospect and headed toward German.

On German, I turned left, so the sun was behind me.  I decided to run up the hill by Valley Health.  Yes, I had thought “no hills” but one hill was not so bad, especially compared to what I ran yesterday and what I hope to run tomorrow.  As I got to Valley Health, I mixed things up a little by going around the building the opposite way I usually do.  It’s the little things that add interest to my runs.  Running in front of the building as I was, I realized I was on an upslope.  I had never noticed it being a downslope when I ran on it in the opposite direction.  And isn’t that a metaphor for life, I thought.  We don’t always notice when things are a little easier, but, boy, let them get the least bit harder and wham!

I did not mind the upslope, nor yet the steeper hill.  Soon enough I was running down the side I usually run up.  The view is much better the other way, but I appreciated seeing something a little bit different.  I ran down to the Jr/Sr High School, eventually going over the little footbridge.

I ended up running for 37 minutes, and I felt pretty damn good about it.  I got tired by the end but concentrated on my breathing.  I know how getting a VCD (vocal chord dysfunction) attack can rack me up later in the day.  I felt truly awesome on my cool-down walk.  I feel pretty pleased with myself that I have made my blog post already too.  It looks as if I am not going to have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I hope everybody else’s weekend is going as well.

 

Getting Some Sugar at the Shack

I usually give shout-outs to Mohawk Valley businesses, but once in a while I like to mention favorite destinations when I travel.  One of the best is The Sugar Shack in Arlington, Vermont.  They are a country store selling Vermont products including maple syrup, cheese, baked goods and more.  You can also buy all sorts of touristy items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, glasses, post cards and other things.

Additionally, the store is home to a Norman Rockwell exhibit which was previously housed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Arlington.  When the museum closed, the Sugar Shack gave a home to the displays.  My husband Steven and I were  so happy when this happened.  We used to stop at that museum whenever we were in Vermont and were very disappointed when it closed. We love Norman Rockwell!  We have several framed Rockwell prints on our walls as well as a few coffee mugs featuring his work.

Speaking of coffee mugs, one of our favorites is one from the Sugar Shack featuring the owner’s lovely dog Shack.  They have two dogs now, and the last time Steven and I were at the store, Steven noticed there is now a mug available with both dogs.  Our kitchen cabinet is quite full of coffee mugs.  Still, we might find room for a mug with both Sugar Shack dogs.

We follow the Sugar Shack on Facebook. We don’t need a reminder to visit when we are in the area, but it is nice to hear about fresh cider donuts and see pictures of the dogs.  The Sugar Shack is located at 29 Sugar Shack Lake, Rt. 7A, Arlington, VT, phone number 802-375-6747.  For more information you can visit their website at http://sugarshackvt.com/.  And you should definitely Like them on Facebook.

 

Wrist to Non-Sequitur Monday

Sometimes after you indulge in a Wrist to Forehead Sunday, the very next day you experience a Wrist to Forehead Monday.  And then what do you do?

Well, if you’re Mohawk Valley Girl (that is, me), you go ahead and post something anyways.  But what to post is the question?  I suppose I could go to my other standby: posting pictures.  What have we downloaded lately?

I like dogs.

Have I used this picture before?  It was in my Media Library here on my WordPress dashboard.  I have to appreciate a rebel.  I wonder what else I can find?

Isn’t he wonderful?

From dogs to cats, here’s Felix.  My husband Steven likes Felix the Cat.  I do, too.

One sacrifices one’s yarn basket to a sweet pooch.

 

Doggy buddies.

Back to dogs!  The top picture is our recently departed Spunky.  When I thought my yarn basket was still my yarn basket, Spunkman had other ideas.  He looked so sweet in it, I gave it up to him. I haven’t been using it as a yarn basket again yet, even though I suppose I could.  The second picture was taken at my sister-in-law’s house.  It is her husky, Sapphire, and our schnoodle, Tabby, both sadly passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

I see I am over 200 words, so I end on a sad note, thinking of our dear, sweet doggies.  Still, one must take the sadness of losing them after enjoying the joy of having them.  I suppose that is a trite, obvious thing to say, but it is the best I can manage.  I guess I’m kind of all over the place today, which gives me an idea for today’s headline.  I hope you will all tune in again tomorrow, when I will probably have a Tired Tuesday post.

 

Lame Me! I Guess.

I have mentioned this before but I repeat it now for reasons which will become obvious:  in one of the Georgette Heyer Regency Romances I adore, the heroine, during a time of great stress and exertion, has a glass of wine with dinner and feels “fresh as a nosegay.”  I feel sure it will be obvious to even new readers that I am currently sipping a glass of wine in hopes of experiencing a similar rejuvenation.  It seems to be working, which I can only suppose is placebo effect, which I do not scorn.

I got the bottle at Ilion Wine and Spirits.  I had stopped in to The Medicine Shoppe to pick up a prescription, and the two businesses are located very close to each other.  Additionally, I wanted to support Ilion Wine and Spirits, because they are a supporter of Ilion Little Theatre AND they are a sponsor of Who Shot JS? the murder mystery benefit for Herkimer County Historical Society.

This was not my only stop before going home.  I also had to go get certain feminine supplies, a couple of props for the murder mystery, and milk.  I thought with all this running around, it would be OK to not go running.

And then I went running.  Yay, me!  I guess.  It was not a great run or even a particularly good run, but it was a run.  On my cool-down walk, I met up with the doggy Mama of a couple of neighborhood dogs, and we walked a block or so together.  I had not talked to her in a while, so I told her about the sad passing of Spunky.  She shared with me the equally sad news that Nicky, another of my doggy friends, had died over the winter.  I was devastated.  I love Nicky!  I pretty sure I have mentioned stopping to pet him while running.

So now I am trying to finish my Friday Lame Post before Steven gets home.  Thank goodness for Lame Post Friday when I am so tired!  The nosegay effect only lasted for the first couple of paragraphs.  No matter.  I am over 350 words and my self-imposed word-count for a respectable post is 200.  Once again, Yay me!  I guess.