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Tag Archives: Falling Leaves run

Lame Thoughts Running Through My Mind

This was me! And it could be again!

So I was sitting here trying to think of something to say for my Lame Post Friday post, and I remembered something I wanted to check: the Falling Leaves 14K in Utica, NY.  Regular readers may know that I did not run the Boilermaker 15K this year, although I have run it in the past.  I have never run the Falling Leaves but have always wanted to.  In fact, there was one year when I was seriously thinking about it.  That was when I found out it was 14K, not five or ten as I had thought.  I believe I wrote a blog post detailing my chagrin.

As I have been running lately, I have been keeping the race in my mind’s eye.  During a run, I often figure in my head how soon I will be running how long if I increase by 10 percent weekly.  For one reason, doing the math distracts me from running.  For another reason, setting goals can be helpful.  I would like to set the Falling Leaves run as a goal.

But can I make it?  I missed my 10 percent increase last week.  Well, one cannot always meet the ideal (oh, I suppose YOU can?) (you know who you are).  When is this race anyways?  September, I knew. I seemed to think it was around the 14th.  The closest Sunday to that (I know it’s on a Sunday) is the 16th.  Oh dear, I have a murder mystery on Sept. 15 (at the Herkimer Elks Lodge; I’ll write more blog posts about that as I get more details) (preview of coming attractions).  I don’t want to run a major race the day after a murder mystery!  This race is only 1K shorter than the Boilermaker.  The day before the Boilermaker, I drink Gatorade, eat pasta, and go to bed early; I don’t kill anybody.  I just do not have that kind of energy at my age.

The little devil on my shoulder said, “Hey, you may be off the hook. You can just run what you feel like running and do the Falling Leaves next year.  What a good plan!  There could be no possible objection.”  So I checked.

Sept. 23.  The week AFTER my murder mystery.   Why, that even gives me another week to increase by 10 percent!  IT! COULD! WORK!  (That is a quote from the movie Young Frankenstein, for the uninitiated).  The cost of registration does not go up till Aug. 28.  That gives me plenty of time to make an irrevocable decision.  But I think it’s looking good.

Incidentally, the picture above is me running the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K Race last October.  I plan to run that one, too.  I am in fine shape to run a 5K.

 

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The Run I Almost Missed

How about a Sunday Running Commentary in lieu of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday?  I got out of bed this morning thinking I would not run but after a cup of coffee talked myself into it.  As Steven pointed out, it is a beautiful day.  I do love running in the morning and weekends are the only times I can do it (unless I run at 3 a.m., which is not the same thing).

As I ran out the end of my driveway, I saw the peonies in my front lawn were blooming.  I paused oh so briefly to sniff at them.  What a wonderful scent!  I flashed back to springs and summers of my childhood, when my Mom had a large peony bush (she still has it).  I made up my mind I would smell any peonies I encountered on the run.

I was expecting my legs to start complaining as usual, but they did not.  Score!  I crossed German Street and headed for Main, where there is a nice hill. Yesterday I ran the hill by Valley Health, so I am working my way up to the hill to Herkimer College.  My current goal is to be ready for the Falling Leaves Run in September, which is 14K and I believe has several hills.  I should make it handily, if I don’t fall off the running wagon.

At the end of Main Street I saw a sign, “Road Closed, Local Traffic Only.”  I added in my head, “And Cindy Running.”  The hill was not much fun, I admit, but I persevered till the top.  It is kind of nice to be less than seven minutes into your run and have the big hill out of the way.  As I made my way back down to German, I wondered where else to run.  Today should have been the day for me to add the weekly ten percent to my run time, making it 29 minutes.  When I talked myself into running, it was with the proviso that I would not necessarily have to do that (as Scarlett O’Hara famously said, tomorrow is another day).  I was at this point undecided.

When I got to German Street, the sight of peonies decided me:  I crossed German and ran down Harley Street.  The peonies were pink and white, several bushes stretching almost a block long.  I sniffed four or five blooms, making very short pauses to do so, nothing like the stops I make to pet dogs.  Incidentally, I did not see any dogs.  More dedicated runners may shake their heads and opine that I will never improve my run time if I stop while running, but I do not care at all.  I like to smell flowers and I like to pet dogs.

My legs felt fine but my breathing was a little ragged.  I concentrated on breathing in slowly and holding the air in for a second or two.  I heard this advice from a fellow soldier, who had heard it from a Native American drill sergeant of his.  He said it stood to reason:  you hold the air in so it has time to do your body some good.  It helped.  I started to feel thirsty so thought of running to the spring and taking a drink.  How long would that take me?  Would I run 29 minutes after all?

I turned in the direction of the spring, keeping an eye on the time.  It soon became clear that I could not make it all the way to the spring and back.  That was OK, because as usual I had a bottle of ice water waiting for me on my deck.  I figured times in my head, changed my mind a few times, going up one street and down another.  Ooh, more peonies, sniff, sniff.  It came to me that I was GOING to make it for 29 minutes and it was NOT going to be a problem!  I felt GREAT!  I could run for DAYS!  Yes!

As I walked my cool-down, I said to a neighbor, “I’ll tell you what, running four days in a row is the Way to Go.  I feel awesome!”

“There you go,” he said.

“Which I did NOT feel the last three days,” I added.  It is wonderful to prove things to yourself.  When I have to persevere through a bad run, I always tell myself, you have to get through the bad runs to get to the good ones.  Today was definitely a good run.