RSS Feed

Tag Archives: goals

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.

 

Not Just Slacker: Sagging!

Ah, what a lousy week for my blog!  Post Christmas let-down, a fender-bender, foolish post after foolish post… and I am damn tired today!  I was going to start a new feature of Sagging Saturday when I remembered I already had one called Slacker Saturday, which is an accurate description of me today.

I had thought of making a post about my goals for 2018, although that would be inviting the scorn of people who Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions (you know who you are).  Well, why shouldn’t I set goals for myself, and since the calendar is about to turn over, why should I not call them goals for 2018?  Being the dithery, indecisive person that I am, I naturally hesitate to do so.  What if I set these ambitions for myself and fail to follow through?  How foolish will I look and feel?  I suppose no more foolish than usual.

My main goal, which I set for myself again and again throughout the calendar year, is to Write More.  On Facebook this morning, I saw a couple of videos of people who decided to do something every day for 100 days:  doing something they were scared of, going to the gym.  I thought, hey, Work on My Novel.  So when I went to the store this morning, I purchased a nice new notebook and got started.

Did I make a good start?  I can’t tell you that.  I’m sorry I told as much as I did.  It’s not so much the fear of looking foolish I mentioned earlier.  It is the fear of Once You Talk About Writing It, You No Longer Feel the Need to Write It.  So I shall say no more.

My headline now seems less apropos.  Perhaps something about Day One of a Hundred would have been better.  But I am still sagging.  Hey, it’s still a holiday week.  I’ll try to perk up and do better in 2018.

 

Turns Out Polonius Was Right

It is New Year’s Eve, although as the previous two posts may have pointed out, it will probably be dated January 1, 2016.  I can’t worry about that now.  I must make my post!  (Said with a dramatic gesture.)

It is not Lame Post Friday, my usual place for half-baked philosophy, yet what better time can there be to wax philosophical than the threshold of another year?  Oh, you can probably think of lots of times (you know who you are). Why do I even bother with these rhetorical questions? HELLO!  THAT ONE WAS RHETORICAL TOO!!!

There is some controversy about the efficacy of New Year’s Resolutions.  Many people firmly eschew them. Others embrace them with fervor.  (Look at me articulating with the E words: “efficacy,” “eschew,” “embrace!”)  I personally am of two minds here.

Part of me says, “Take any opportunity to improve yourself, you need it” (yes, I often talk to myself in the second person).  And for another reason, how can you worry about self-improvement during the holidays?  Start a diet with all those Christmas cookies and candy around?  Clean the house amidst all those decorations?  Work on that novel when you have shopping, wrapping and partying to do?  It’s madness, I tell you! (Again, with dramatic gesture.)

The other part of me says, “You’re setting yourself up for failure!  You’ll never stick to it, and then you’ll feel bad about yourself!”  Quite frankly, I think this is a spurious argument.  Say I start a diet in January then eat a pan of fudge brownies in February.  Does this mean I have to wait until next January to start another diet, thus wallowing in self-loathing for 10 months?  Well, I guess that would give me a chance to eat a lot more brownies…

My real problem is that I feel all self-conscious, like I’m doing the cliche, obvious thing, having a New Year’s Resolution. None of the cool kids are doing it.  And by “cool kids,” of course I mean the unusual, alternative, unexpected kids.

And then I come to the stunning realization:  EITHER WAY, I’M FOLLOWING A CROWD!  Some people make New Year’s Resolutions, some do not.  Whatever I do I’m wrong.

Or, whatever I do, I’m right.

Happy New Year, everybody.