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Never Mind Those Petty Complaints!

Saturday Running Commentary is BACK! Yes! I ran this morning! It was awesome!

OK, it wasn’t really awesome, but it didn’t suck. That puts it in the Win column. I got up around 5:30, when I had expected to sleep in till six. I hadn’t put out running clothes but I knew right where they were. I got into them and out the door before I could talk myself out of it.

I wore my reflective vest, because sunrise wasn’t for another hour. I had on shorts and t-shirt, because my thermostat said it was 51 degrees outside. Just a couple of days ago we had frost warnings, but you’ll have that this time of year. Off I went. It didn’t feel too cold. I headed down German Street. It was the direction I most often take, but I reflected that it couldn’t feel too familiar since I had not been running in almost two weeks (HAS it been that long? I am not inclined to look at a calendar and figure it out).

The nice thing about returning to running is that you can do a short, easy run and not feel guilty about it. I know, some of you probably think I should feel guilty about returning to running and not keeping it up to begin with. I maintain that regret is a colossal waste of time. I was not there to worry about the past! I was there to further my weight-loss goals and perhaps get a blog post out of it.

And my legs were not happy with me. They have felt rather awful lately. When I took Tabby for a walk last night all my legs wanted to do was stretch out along the couch or bed and lie still. I kept it up for a decent amount of time anyways. It didn’t kill me.

I got near Valley Health and considered running up the hill. I decided against it. I would keep going for at least 20 minutes but not necessarily try for over 30. I had been running between 33 and 38 minutes the last few times I ran but I was doing the begin again thing this morning. Also, I intended to take at least one good long walk with Tabby later, so I would be getting some exercise.

About ten minutes into the run, my legs started to feel not so bad. They still weren’t happy with me, but at least they were less vocal in their complaints. I told myself I could rock this, but it was more intellectual knowledge than physical confidence. Still, I kept going and that’s the important thing.

I noticed more houses with lights on than I usually see at 3:30 in the morning, so that was nice. Still a lot of dark windows. Lucky bums sleeping in. I turned down Prospect Street rather than going to Main. I’ve mentioned Main Street’s “reputation.” I’ve never encountered anything untoward during daylight hours, though, so I will probably run down it in the dark one day soon, just to feel bad-ass.

I saw a person up ahead of me pushing a grocery cart. What was that all about? Maybe some homeless person collecting bottles and cans? He crossed the street and I thought I saw him head towards somebody’s trash can. I didn’t look too closely. I don’t need to get into a fight with a guy pushing a shopping cart. I turned down the first side street I came to. That worked out, because I entered where a sign said, “Do Not Enter.” You know how I love to be a rebel.

A glance at my watch told me I would not surpass 20 minutes if I went home from here, so I went by my street and on for a couple more blocks. I heard voices before I turned left. Who was that? Three young kids walking down the street. How to feel middle-aged and dumb: run on the sidewalk in a reflective vest while three kids (they might have been teenagers or early 20s) walk down the middle of the road three abreast wearing dark clothes. They ignored me, to which I did not take offense.

I ended up running for 26 minutes. The cool down walk around the block with Tabby felt better than the run, but my legs complained about that, too. Yes, I said they stopped complaining but neglected to mention when they started up again. I guess there’s no point in paying too much attention to petty complaints.

A Leisurely Post-DARE Run

I took a week off running following the DARE 5K, because it seemed I had a shin splint. My legs felt much better after rest and compression (I skipped the ice and elevation parts of that RICE acronym). When I found out Steven had to get up extra early for work on Tuesday, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to get back on track.

I got out the door shortly after 3:30 a.m. The temperature seemed pretty good for a run. It’s getting cooler at night, but I think it’ll be a while before I need leggings and long sleeves. I felt confident running at this early hour because I had mentioned it to a police officer during Coffee and Conversation with a Cop. He agreed with my assessment that the bad element is usually in bed by that time.

Seeing as I was recovering from an injury, I did not plan on running very far nor on running any hills. This would be a leisurely jaunt, just to ease back into things. It did not take me long to realize that my legs felt fine and my breathing was no problem. Then I pointed out to myself that I had just barely started running. I might feel differently as the run progressed.

I waved to my paper deliverers as they drove by. I couldn’t see if they waved back, but I feel sure they did. I saw another car at the three-way stop where Caroline Street meets German. That was unusual, seeing two vehicles so close together at that hour.

As usual I looked for lights in houses to feel less lonely. Hmmm…. that looked like a bathroom light, maybe a hall light. There was an upstairs light. Insomnia? Up early? Or just a night owl? These are the speculations that add interest to my early morning runs. I saw several basement lights but felt they didn’t do me any good. A basement light is the most common light to leave on accidentally (although I have not actually compiled any statistics on the subject).

I saw a glow in the sky in the direction of State Street. Probably businesses. It was nowhere near dawn and I didn’t think that was the east anyways. Of course I don’t know. I have a dreadful sense of direction. Later on in the run I noticed fog in the distance. That accounted for the glow, I thought. Wouldn’t the light reflect off the water droplets that make up the fog? Or am I full of beans? I knew I should have paid more attention in science class.

The fog was coming further into Herkimer as I neared the end of my run. I started seeing it in the lights from street lamps. Cool. I like fog. It looks mysterious.

I ran for 32 minutes, which I thought was pretty good. I felt sure it would help me reach my weight loss goals. Yeah, I know, not eating like a huge honking hogger would help too. Let’s not expect miracles.

When I got to work I was yawning my head off (not literally) (although that makes for an interesting mental picture). Too much of a run after almost 10 days off? Merely the result of too early out of bed? No matter. I felt better as the morning progressed and I knew that Wednesday I could sleep in till the leisurely hour of five.

Early Morning Accomplishment

Steven had an early shift on Monday, so I seized the opportunity for an early run. I was, of course, less enamored of the idea when it was time to actually get out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, but one must put up with these things.

It was a lovely temperature for a run. I later found out Monday promised to be the hottest day of the week with a high of 85. I congratulated myself on getting my run out of the way before the heat of the day.

I bypassed the hill to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC). For anyone just tuning in, that is the killer hill featured on the DARE 5K this Saturday, for which I am registered (I believe I have mentioned it a few times, but you never know who missed it). I intend to run the hill one or two more times before Saturday, but I prefer to do it during daylight hours. Yes, I ran it before dawn last Saturday, but that day the sky was lightening even as I reached the top of the hill. Monday’s run was a full hour earlier, plus I had a whole day of work to get through.

I ran up the hill by Valley Health instead. I like to run by Valley Health on these early early runs. I find it comforting to think of the people on the night shift going about their business. At least there are lights on.

The hill turned out to require a bit of effort from me. In fact, the run started out to be not much fun at all. My legs were complaining. I had not run two days in a row in a few weeks and this was my third day in a row. I told myself that after feeling wonderful on Saturday’s and Sunday’s runs I was due to feel a little miserable. Miserable is an exaggeration anyways. In fact, I felt like I pretty much expect to feel on a Monday.

Things got better as I continued to run. My legs settled into it and stopped complaining. My breathing was fine. In short, I could rock this. If only I could see a few lights on so I would not feel so alone, I thought, my life would be perfect. I know, another exaggeration but since this one’s on the positive side, let’s let it slide.

I saw a few lights on, but I had to debate with myself: was it on because somebody was up or had it been left on all night for bathroom navigation purposes? Sometimes you just can’t tell. At one point I smelled skunk. Yikes! Well, a skunk was unlikely to bother me if I left him alone, right? I kept an eye out to avoid startling the stinker if I did encounter him.

As usual my legs were pretty happy with me on my cool-down walk. Tabby was happy with me too, because I let her stop and sniff plenty. I needed the pauses to drink water. I felt pretty happy with the run too. There’s nothing like accomplishing something first thing on a Monday.