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Independence Day Run

When I noticed my Army t-shirt in a drawer yesterday, I made up my mind to have an Independence Day Run this morning.  I would wear the Army shirt and run up the hill to the Veterans Memorial at Herkimer College.  It was time to run up that hill again anyways, and it was the day to increase my run time to 44 minutes.  This was going to be great!

I was a little worried about how warm it was when I first got up.  We are having another muggy streak these days.  Oh well, what’s a little extra sweat compared to celebrating our country’s birthday?  I put on a wide headband in hopes of absorbing some of the sweat before it ran into my eyes and made a note to myself to look for some extra-absorbent, exercise-grade headbands for the future.

As I reached German Street, I met a lady taking a walk.  We exchanged good mornings.

“We gotta get out before the heat of the day,” I said.

“That’s what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s beautiful out!”

“Oh, it sure is!”

A short time later I was making a note to myself that I must run more hills.  I ran this one earlier this week (I don’t know when; remember that note to myself to go back to keeping a running journal?  I didn’t do it).  Today it felt as if I hadn’t run it in years!  Crap!  I was gasping for breath. But I persevered and at last I made it to the top.

It feels steeper when you’re on it, and it gets steeper after the curve.

And realized that it continued to slope upwards.  It is amazing to me how my body can detect the most subtle angles when running.  I took my mind off my troubles by continuing to ponder my plans for the Boilermaker Virtual 15K.  I hope to recruit a few friends to meet me along the way with water.  Once I figure out a route.  Various possibilities ran through my mind.

Soon I realized a slight problem.  It was taking a long time to get to the Memorial.  Would I be able to get back home in 44 minutes?  Should I run only for 44 minutes and let part of my cool-down walk take me the rest of the way home?  I would have water; I was carrying a 16 oz. bottle which I intended to refill at the spring.

At last I reached the Memorial!

It’s a lovely little area.

Going down Reservoir Road was a pleasure.  My body appreciates downslopes as much as it suffers on upslopes.  I finished my water shortly before I reached the spring.  A man was there filling a bunch of five gallon buckets, but he let me sneak in to refill my bottle.

One of my favorite spots in Herkimer!

He said he was getting water for his swimming pool.  “I’ve been drinking this water since I was nine years old!”

“I love it,”  I said.  “Thank you!”

I was getting closer to my goal but was further from home.  I ended up running 47 minutes. It is an increase of more than the recommended ten percent, but I think that will be OK.  Boilermaker,  here I come!

 

Walking Where I Run

Determined to make a better blog post today, I put my Tablet into a shoulder bag and set put on a walk.  I had an idea to finally photograph a couple of the hills I sometimes run up.  Accordingly,  I turned left onto German Street and headed towards Herkimer College (previously known as HCCC).

Would it have helped to get closer to the slope?

Out Maple Grove is what I call a minor hill.  It is a bit of an effort.  I turned up the street that Y’s off Maple (alas, I cannot remember its name), where there is a steeper hill I sometimes run.  On the way, I tried to get a better shot of Maple.

Rats! You can’t see the slope any better!

This is steeper than it looks, when you are actually on it.

I walked up the steeper way, getting a little out of breath, and headed towards Lou Ambers Drive, for a shot of a really good hill.

Around that curve, and up a little more, is Herkimer College.

I did not walk up the hill but went down toward German Street,  pausing to take a picture of some green that caught my eye.

It does my tired heart good to see green.

A little further down is the spring I take a drink from when the weather is not too cold.

This is a godsend on long runs.

On the corner of Lou Ambers and German is Salvatore’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, one of our favorite places.

We’ve been getting delivery from them lately.

I continued home, pausing only once more to take a picture of some daffodils.

They were in front of Trinity Lutheran Church.

 

It was a pleasant walk.  I shall have to run those hills again soon.

 

 

Virtual Run, Late Post

So I think I ran 5Ks on Saturday.  Regular readers may remember I was going to run the Social Distance Virtual 5K sponsored by Rock City Runners of Little Falls.  I ran something, at any rate.

I meant to write my blog post about it yesterday, but I feel sure my readers will forgive me. I was undecided as to whether or not to run right up to the last minute. One factor in favor of running was that my $10 registration would benefit Little Falls Food Pantry.  I suppose I coukd have just made a donation directly and had done with, but we all know that is not my style.

All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?

I took a before picture. Please note that the shirt is from the Reindeer Run 5K, also sponsored by Rock City Runners. The only 5K track I could remember was the Herkimer Dare 5K.  At least, I hoped I could remember it.  I think the last time I ran it was 2013.  That may have been the last time anybody ran it, since, alas, it is no longer a thing.

I knew it ended at my beloved Historic Four Corners.  I walked there from my house and put my sweatshirt and water bottle at the Herkimer County Courthouse.  I was pretty sure nobody would bother them, but I used my shabbiest sweatshirt and water bottle just in case.  I walked up Main Street to the starting point.

Not surprisingly,  I could not recall the exact spot, although I knew it was not all the way at German Street.  I picked a spot that looked good, and off I went, like the proverbial herd of turtles.

I knew to go down Main to Church Street, all the way out Church, around the corner to German Street and up Lou Ambers Drive to Herkimer College (or HCCC, as I usually call it).  Oh, it was not fun going up that hill!  I went up it once recently, and went up another bad hill earlier in the week.  It did not seem to matter.  However, if there is one thing I know how to do, it is to persevere.

Once I got up to the college, I realized I was not quite clear on where to turn around.  The Dare 5K has two routes.  One goes just to the college, then down the back road and through Brookfield Park (also known as the Unknown Park in this space). When that route suffered damage in the flood of 2013, they changed to run to go up through the parking lots of the college and back down Lou Ambers Drive.

I ran all the way to the parking lot by the gym.  I think that was how far the route went.  In any case, I am sure it went no further.  Better too far then not far enough, I thought.  I felt pretty awful by the time I turned around.  Oh crap, was this even going to work?

After I turned around,  I felt better.  What a difference a little downhill makes!  When the downhill got a little steeper, I didn’t like it as much.  I leaned back and kept it under control.  I thought about really making use of gravity and barreling down that hill, but I am a little leery of getting out of control.

The only problem I had once I got back into the village was that I somehow got it into my head that I should turn onto Prospect Street.  Where were those damn Four Corners?   Stupid!  I should have turned at Main Street!  A turn onto Church Street corrected the error, and I don’t think it changed the length of the run.

My hair is so pretty!

When I got home I took another selfie.  I felt pretty pleased with myself, although I also felt pretty awful.  A shower and breakfast helped.  I went for a short run on Sunday (today).  And I see I have written kind of a long blog post.  Not a bad weekend, I say.

 

A Run Worthy of a Post

Rather than my usual Tired Tuesday post,  I thought I would attempt a Running Commentary.   For one reason, I ran up the hill to Herkimer College, an accomplishment which deserves a blog post, I think.

As usual these days, I woke up NOT wanting to run at all.  I always have all kinds of good reasons: I ran yesterday, I should recruit my energies for something else, I don’t NEED to run the Falling Leaves 14K in September… etc., etc.  I usually change my mind after a cup of coffee.  Let’s hear it for caffeine!   Also in favor of running was the weather: it was not raining,  which it is supposed to do soon and for the next several days.

I set off with high hopes.  I have been thinking that longer runs were in order, and a run up a challenging hill would be an excellent idea.  Additionally,  I could post to Facebook that I had run up to HCCC, and my Facebook friends would feel impressed.  Accordingly,  I crossed to the far sidewalk on German Street and turned left.

A young man was walking a block, maybe a block and a half ahead of me.  I wondered how long it would take me to catch up to him.  It seemed to take a while.  It was actually about three blocks.  Is that a lot?  I suppose some of you could have done it in one. I am all admiration, I assure you.  The young man heard me huffing and puffing behind him as I approached.

“Good morning,” I said.  He returned the greeting as he moved over to give me room.  “You know how long it took me to catch up with you?” I added as I ran past him. “That’s how slow I run!”

” Have a good day,”  he said, turning up the next street.

“You too!” I called, running on.

The run had felt pretty good up till then.  The temperature was nice, my body was not complaining.  Then I started up the hill.  It wasn’t long before I started to feel like I Could… Not… Make… It…  I knew this was not the case.  I knew I could and would make it.  But I only knew this intellectually and logically.   I sure wasn’t feeling it!

I reminded myself of the first time I had run the hill.  I had thought I would run up till I had been running for 15 minutes (starting from when I left my house), then I would turn around and go down.  I had the idea that eventually I would make it all the way up.  Well, by the time I got to 15 minutes,  I was too close to the top to quit. So there, keep going,  I told myself

At one point I tried the trick of looking back at how far I had come.  This works best if you do it after you are halfway up, which I knew I was.  Yes, I had come far, but looking back down gave me a little vertigo.  Yikes!  At last I was all the way up and ready to go back down.

As I ran toward the back road down, I realized I had run by a Do Not Enter sign, where there was one of those triangles at a wide T intersection.   I ran back and ran by it, entering where it said not to.  It added a little more distance to my run and solidified my rebel cred.  Yes, yes, I know, by the rule Left Side Facing Traffic I should have been running there. It amuses me to enter where the sign says not to and pretend I’m a rebel.  I have to get my laughs where I can.

After running down the hill, I backtracked to Lou Ambers Drive and got a quick drink at the spring.  Then I continued on home for a 42 minute run.  I did not immediately go on my cool-down walk but opened the garage and hauled out the non-power mower.  I spent a good 20 minutes huffing and puffing behind that, once again taking advantage of the time before the rain.

Eventually I got to my cool-down walk.  Phew!  I felt that I had gotten a work out.  I think I’ll be up for the Falling Leaves run in September!

 

Not Much of a Run, Not Much of a Post, Happy Memorial Day

I ran this morning, wearing my ARMY t-shirt so I could run in honor of our fallen veterans.  I thought I might make a blog post about it. Just now I thought I couldn’t,  but let’s give it a try.

I knew it was warm.  For one reason, I didn’t get out till 7 a.m.  However,  that meant I had some coffee before running.   That sometimes helps.  It helped today.

In previous runs to honor fallen soldiers,  I ran up to the Veterans Memorial at Herkimer College.   I was not up to that today.  Still, I thought I should make an extra effort.  I decided the hill by Valley Health would suffice.  I’m sure a greater effort would have been a greater tribute,  but one does what one can.

I actually felt it was a pretty good run.   I went for 30 minutes,  which was up ten percent  from last week (full disclosure: I ran for 30 minutes yesterday).  I stopped and petted two nice dogs.

While we’re being honest (referencing that full disclosure in the previous parenthetical comment)  it is becoming evening and I have been drinking since before noon.  In my defense,  I put in great efforts in yard work.  I don’t know that I achieved great results,  but is that really the important thing?

Is not the important thing that I have made a blog post on the third day of a three day weekend?   It has not been a Monstrous Monday and it hasn’t been a Running Commentary post.   But it has been a post.

You can judge me if you are so inclined.   As always,  I try for a better post tomorrow.   I hope you are all having a delightful Memorial Day weekend.

 

Run Before G.R.A.V.E.

Good things happen all at once.  Just when this blog ought to become All G.R.A.V.E. All The Time, I find it also must become All Fireman 5K All The Time.  Yes, this Saturday, Oct. 14 I shall run a 5K in the morning and act in a murder mystery in the evening.  I know, that’s not a huge lot on my plate (I know YOU probably do more before breakfast) (you know who you are), but you know how easily I get flustered.  I just got back from running and must study my lines for tonight’s rehearsal.  However, I shall first attempt a Running Commentary post in order to avoid Wrist to Forehead Sunday later.

It was pouring rain when we got up this morning.  I was guiltily happy to postpone my run.  I even wondered if the rain would keep up enough to make an indoor run on the mini-tramp eligible.  For one reason, I never finished watching the John Barrymore silent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that I started watching the last time I ran on the mini-tramp.  However, the rain soon stopped.  When I stepped out on the front porch to get the newspaper, I noticed how muggy it was. Yikes!  I hate a muggy run, and it’s October, for heavens’ sake!  However, after Steven left for work shortly before nine, I suppressed my feelings of ill-usage and got into running clothes.

I sought out the loosest shirt I could find, which was a large, low-cut, sleeveless t-shirt I wear when I go swimming (for a bathing suit, I wear spandex shorts, a sports bra, and that shirt to cover my fat gut).  My sports bras showed, so I made sure I wore colors that didn’t clash with light pink: hot pink and grey.  I know I will never look like anything but a plodding, overweight middle-aged lady when I run, but at least my colors are coordinated.  I further decided to run with a bottle of water in my hand.  I felt desperately thirsty by the end of yesterday’s run.  Also, I planned to run to Herkimer College, which would bring me right near the spring, for a re-fill.

Oh, it was warm and muggy.  There were puddles to dodge around.  I had taken the precaution of wearing an older pair of running shoes, so that was all right.  Still, I don’t need all that dirty water splashing up my legs, so I dodged.  I felt tired and ploddy, so I decided to run up to the college the back way.  It is longer but less steep.  Also, it is in a wooded area, so there might be shade.  I treasure shade.  By the way, I do not care if ploddy is a word or not, it is how I felt.

As I approached the road I wanted, I noticed a new sign saying “Do Not Enter.”  Score!  I could feel like a rebel! The little sign below said, “Authorized vehicles only,”  so I figured it was only closed to vehicular traffic. I thought they would not object to a ploddy, overweight, middle-aged lady, especially on a Sunday.  As I plodded up the road, moving just fast enough that I could pretend to myself it was a run, I saw they are doing work on it.  I made a note to myself to keep running this way on occasion, so I can mark their progress.

My body was not loving this run.  However, one must persevere, especially when one has a 5K to run in less than a week (yikes!).  Actually, you can ignore that parenthetical comment;  I have no reason to “yike,”  I am in plenty good shape for a 5K.  I don’t expect to get a good time, but I feel sure I will have a good time, if you see what I mean.  As I often observe, one must push through the bad runs to get to the good ones. This run was not horrible, at least, not yet.  I continued on up Reservoir Road, which is uphill but more of a gentle slope.  I still struggled a little, but you’ll have that.  Finally I was crossing over and starting on my way down.

And that was when it got horrible.  The sun had come out and was reflecting off the wet pavement like a wide, bright beam of headache.  If I had been wearing my polarized sunglasses and wearing a hat with a brim, I’d have been fine.  As it was, yikes (here I have good reason to  “yike”)!  Still, I didn’t see anything I could do but keep going and hope for a cloud.  Twice I was able to in the grass and take advantage of the shade offered by a row of trees.  Ah, I love to go off-road on occasion (I know some people mean something different than that, and I like those runs too).  At last I got to Lou Ambers Drive, where the trees offered some shade.

Of course the shade did not last.  However, a handy cloud gave some temporary relief, and as always, I tried to count my blessings.  Another blessing is the wide shoulder on that road, because a couple of cars were coming up it.  This is why I like to run on sidewalks when possible.  Occasionally the wind would pick up, and that was another blessing.  It was not enough to dry my sweat, but I was sweating profusely.  Sorry if that gives you an unfortunate mental image (but not real sorry).

I ran for 44 minutes, which was last week’s time.  Normally I try to up it by 10 percent each week, but today I must recruit my energies for this afternoon’s G.R.A.V.E. rehearsal.  Additionally, it should take me less than 44 minutes to run the 5K, so I can feel confident about that.  If the headache the bright sun gave me goes away (can’t say the sun never gave me nuthin’), my life will be perfect.

For more information about the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K, visit their Facebook page.  For more information on A GR.A.V.E. Murder, visit its Facebook event.  And Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

One Week! Seriously?

It is one week before the Boilermaker 15K.  I hope all the flooding in Utica does not t put a — wait for it — damper on the proceedings (you must see that I had to make that pun).   I felt that I had to go for a good, long, challenging run this morning, especially since yesterday’s run was cut short.  Accordingly, I got dressed for it as soon as I got out of bed about 6 a.m.  I drank water as I got ready, stretched out a little (which I often neglect to do), and set out.

I expected a lot of mud so had put on an older pair of running shoes.   It was mostly in the gutters but parts of the sidewalk were covered and in places the whole road was awash.  I was running with a bottle of water in my hand but tried not to sip too fast and get nauseous.  It was not as warm and muggy as it was on Friday, but neither was the air fresh and clear.  I was grateful for the occasional breeze.

I headed for my go-to hill, the one up to Herkimer College (or HCCC as I used to call it) (pronounced “H-triple-C,” although real natives say  it “H-trip”).  I figured there would be less mud as I ran up.  There was plenty near the bottom of the hill.  I was surprised to run into more as I went up.  The road wasn’t coated, but there were a couple of places where a swath of stones and gravel angled across, even close to the top.  I maneuvered around these without too much problem.  Lack of traffic helped.

As I ran across the campus, I felt quite solitary.  I thought I would at least see Campus Security making the rounds, but no.  I did not run into any problems, though, so that was good.  As I was running up the steepest part of the hill, I reflected sadly that it was not becoming easier to run hills; merely, I was practicing my ability to keep going even when it sucks.  When the upslope became a more reasonable angle, it stopped sucking, so I felt better about things.  I ran all the way up, around the athletic fields, and down Reservoir Road.  I would have liked to run on the Nature Trail but feared it would be too muddy after yesterday’s rains.

The back road down was not as bad as I had feared.  That road is being worked on so parts are not as well-paved as one would like.  There is one area where there are plants growing up through the gravel.  I kind of admire the plants’ perseverance.  Life, as they say, will find a way.  One little plant is even growing out of a crack in the pavement.  I can almost hear it saying, “Hey, guys, look at me!  I’m over here!”  I angled around the plant as well as some stones and mud.  I changed my mind a few times about which way to run, based on which choice was less muddy, but I got pretty dirty anyways.

I was in the latter portion of my run when I stopped by the spring to re-fill my water bottle.   The stones and board surrounding the spring had moved somewhat but I managed to get close enough with little problem.  Then I headed home, debating on if my run would be exactly an hour or a little longer.  Longer won.  Then I stopped to chat with a couple of neighbors on my cool-down walk, so I was gone long enough to make Steven wonder a little.  He had expected me to run for exactly an hour, and he had forgotten about my cool-down walk.

I felt pretty damn good about myself and more confident about running the Boilermaker 15K in a week.  I still feel I haven’t run enough, but there isn’t anything I can do about that now.  I guess now is the time to begin feeling nervous about where I’m going to park and how early I ought to get there and will I be able to find my way through the crowd after the race to get my beer.  Oh, swell, now this is turning into Wrist to Forehead Sunday!

 

A Month and Two Days till the Boilmaker

I did not run for the last two days, so I knew I must run today.  The Boilermaker 15K is a month and two days away and I do not feel ready.  I feel old and creaky.  So I went on a long, challenging run and now I feel — you guessed it — even older and more creaky.  I suppose one will have that when one is, in fact, old and creaky.  However, I planned earlier to make a Running Commentary post, so here it is.

The Mohawk Valley weather gifted us with a beautiful, sunny day today.   It is a day which calls us to spend time outdoors (I say is, because the sun is beckoning me onto the deck as I type this)  (in fact, what am I thinking, being in here?  My laptop has batteries!  I’m going to finish this post outside) (That took a few minutes.  Now where was I?).  I got home and got right into running clothes and out the door as soon as possible.

I knew it would be a good idea to run a hill or two, but all the hills are on the other side of German Street.  Would traffic allow me to cross the street?  I ran toward German and hoped.  Wow, lots of cars.  And my body was NOT in the mood to run.  Oh, my legs were tired, it was not easy to breathe, my back was sore, I was incapable of moving very fast.  However, I WAS capable of moving.  Maybe no hills today.  After all, if I couldn’t cross the street… but maybe now… no, cars kept coming.  Well, if I couldn’t cross the street, I couldn’t feel guilty for not running hills, could I?  Oh, here was an opportunity.  Damn.  Uh, I mean, good!

But which hill to run?  That sun was certainly warm.  I decided to run into Brookfield Park and down the path in the woods, which comes out on the back road up to Herkimer College (HCCC, to long-time locals).  The road goes up as soon as you go into the park.  Oh, that was painful.  It’s not even that long or steep of a hill.  Good God, I only took two days off!  What the hell, body?  It seemed to take a long time to get into the park, but soon I came to the bridge over the brook, which leads to the picnic area beyond which is the path through the woods.  I decided to go beyond it, to the end of the road, then back to it.

The stream babbled towards me, over rocks, moving rapidly and splashing busily.  The recent rains were no doubt having their effect, but it did not look in any danger of flooding.  At the end of the road is a fenced off area.  I could see a path at the edge of the fence, where apparently pedestrians bypass the fence and walk into the woods.  I,  however, did not do so. I had had the damnedest time getting this far; all I could think was that if I could go no further, I did not want to be too far from civilization.

Soon I was headed into the woods, along the path, which also took a long time.  I was not going to go the rest of the way up to the college. I would keep running.  Then I would stop.  Ooh, stopping sounded good.  But I kept going.  Finally I got back onto the road and headed down.  Then I had another idea.  There were a couple of dead end roads that went uphill.  I could run up those and still get some hills in.  I turned right onto the first one.

And realized that it was not exactly a dead end. It led up to the college by the dormitories, a way I have dubbed the kick-butt way.  Well, I did not have to run up the college the kick-butt way, just because I accidentally went on that road.  I could turn around.  I WOULD turn around.

I did not turn around.  Instead, I got my butt kicked.  It is a good idea to get your butt kicked a month and two days before the Boilermaker 15K, I think.  When I ran down the hill from the college, I stopped at the spring and got a drink.  As I ran onto my street, I passed two ladies and a baby on a front porch.  The baby was crying piteously.

“That’s exactly how I feel right now,” I said.  One of the ladies laughed.

I tell you, it was a lousy run, but I ran and I’m glad I did.  Tomorrow I am scheduled to donate blood at a blood drive at my work, so I will probably not run or walk.  And the Boilermaker 15K will be a month and one day away.  Yikes!

 

Memorial Day Musings on a Run in the Rain

I said yesterday I was going to do a hard run today, in honor of fallen soldiers for Memorial Day.  When I got up it was pouring rain, and I was tired.  I don’t usually run in the rain, and it was raining quite heavily.   I really felt too sluggish to do anything.  At last I bestirred myself and went upstairs to put on running clothes with the intention of running in place on the mini-tramp.

As I sought out proper attire, I felt I must run outside in the rain.  Was this a tribute to fallen soldiers or was it not?  How could I justify making things more comfortable for myself?  Maybe I wouldn’t make it for an hour and a minute (the length of my last longest run), but dammit, I was going to run in the rain.  I put on an ARMY t-shirt with a reflective decal on the back.  ARMY for the soldiers, reflective decal for me.  Headlights would catch the decal even in broad daylight, wouldn’t they? Cars should have their headlights on in the rain.  I would be fine.

I headed in the direction of Herkimer College, thinking up that hill would be a good, tough run.  I dodged around and jumped over puddles, eventually landing in one so that my shoes went squish, squish.  I expected that.  I wondered if my plan was a good one.  For one reason, I think the hill I ran up the last time I ran in the suburbs was a longer, steeper one than the one to HCCC (can’t get out of the habit of calling Herkimer College by its old name).  For another reason, I did not think there would be any people up at the college. I like to run where there are people, in case I run into problems.  Suppose I got cramps or sprained an ankle?  I like to think somebody would notice.

“Hey, there’s a crazy old lady, out running and came to grief.  I’ll call 9-1-1.  Better not get to close, though; I hear they’re dangerous when wounded.”

Halfway up the hill, I remembered Campus Safety would probably still be around.  Anyways, I’ve never come to grief running.  I think it’s something my body tells my brain to think about in hopes I will decide to stop running. Soon I was happy for the lack of traffic, because I went out almost to the middle of the lane to avoid a deep puddle.  I didn’t want any more squish in my shoes than I had to have.

Soon I started second guessing my whole “Run for the soldiers” theme.  Who did I think I was, anyways?  Wasn’t I just glorifying myself:  “Oh, look how tough I am, running up the hill in the rain.”  Of course I did not feel particularly tough. I felt wet and old, but oddly good about myself.  Naturally I become suspicious when I start to feel good about myself. I feel I am not the best judge of what I ought to feel good about.

Oh, it took a long way to get to the top.  Did I think this hill was easier than the others I run?  I must be crazy!  But I knew I could make it.  I was running with a bottle of water in one hand but did not feel inclined to take a sip on the steep incline. When I got to the top, I promised myself.  When I got to the top, I kept going across the campus, which I have not done yet this year.  After all, you can cover a lot of ground if you want to keep going for an hour.

Campus was almost deserted.  I saw one car moving and a few empty ones parked. Nobody told me to get off campus, and I enjoyed the solitude.  Things look kind of interesting when they are grey and soggy.  I was pretty grey and soggy myself, and not just my hair; the t-shirt was grey and by now it was soaked through.  I ran all the way around behind the athletic fields to Reservoir Road, which quite frankly seemed a lot longer than the last time I ran it.

I continued my run, moving back and forth between feeling I was making a respectful tribute and wandering what the hell I was thinking.  I also ran the gamut of “this really sucks” to “I LOVE running.”  Sixty-one minutes is a pretty long run.  I finished my water and re-filled the bottle at the spring.  Then I saved the spring water for my husband Steven.  I had left another bottle of tap water on my deck to drink during my cool-down walk.

And that is how I remembered and honored our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.

 

I Implemented My Plan

I had a plan today.  I was going to come home from work, put a load of laundry in the washer, fold laundry while it washed, then go running while it was in the dryer. Then I would make a Running Commentary blog post.  I boldly typed in the headline, “I Implemented My Plan,”  but in fact, I have not accomplished the last part of my plan, the blog post.  We’ll see how that goes.

There were three laundry baskets plus a pile of clean laundry in our second bedroom, waiting to be folded and put away.  I know some of you industriously fold your laundry as soon as it emerges from the dryer.  I don’t need to hear about that, nor about how easy it really is to do so, how much better it would be for the clothes and my self-esteem, these benefits could be mine if only I exercised the slightest bit of self-discipline… I guess I get a little defensive about these things.

Where was I?  Ah yes, out on the road, running, while my laundry dried. I had not gotten all the clean stuff folded, but I made a good enough dent in it to feel I had accomplished something.  Now for a good long run, to progress toward my Boilermaer 15K and weight loss goals.

It was a warmer day than the last couple of times I ran.  Additionally, I worked a full day.  I have learned that running after a day at work is not nearly as fun as running first thing on a day off.  However, one cannot always run under ideal circumstances.  I made do.

I thought I should run some sort of hill, since I had not run a good one on Sunday’s run (I took Monday off).  But would I be able to cross German Street and get to a good hill?  Traffic was against me.  I immediately felt tired (it is Tired Tuesday, after all) and started thinking of all kinds of good reasons to make it an easy, no-hill run.  Then I found a break in traffic.  Woo-hoo!  Hills it is!

After considering the hill I ran Saturday (immediately rejected that idea), the hill by Valley Health, the hill up to Herkimer College, I thought perhaps the back way up to the college would be OK.  However, as I approached Brookfield Park (previously known in this space as the Unknown Park), I decided to run through the park and into the path in the woods.  I would come out on the back road to the college.  Once I got to the college, if I really felt ambitious by then, I could continue up Reservoir Road, thus going uphill for a very long time.  On the way back down, I could stop at the spring and get a drink.  Now I had another plan I could implement!

Immediately on entering the park I started uphill.  Oof.  I tried to distract myself by composing my blog post in my head.  This is where I had that argument with the imaginary readers who fold their laundry right away.  I think I was a little more articulate in my head, demolishing their logic and putting them firmly in their fussy, tidy, self-disciplined little place.  Of course I don’t remember my words, but let’s pretend they were brilliant.  We’ll pretend some of your words you can’t remember are brilliant too.  It’ll be fun.

I thought briefly of modifying my plan and running into the grassy fields, to see if there was a path up there.  I ran up there one day.  It’s pretty steep.  Running on grass might feel good, since my running shoes have lost much of their gush (I MUST get the the Sneaker Store in New Hartford, NY, and get new ones ) (just to sneak in a shout-out to a local business).  However, I decided to stick to the plan.

Soon I heard faster footsteps coming up behind me.  I felt old, slow and shuffly, but you’ll have that.  A younger woman trotted by me.  We did not greet each other. She had some device strapped to her arm with a chord going to an earphone.  I know some people love to run with their tunes in their ears, but I prefer to be aware of my surroundings.  She soon left me far behind.  When I got to the little bridge over the brook, which leads to the path in the woods, I could not see her at all.  Then I saw her on the path, disappearing around a corner.  Fine.  Maybe she would stop later and walk.  I could catch up with her and feel vindicated. That did not seem likely.  This is why it is a bad idea to compare yourself with others.

It was nice running down the path.  I saw a couple standing in the woods near the water.  Were they fishing?  I didn’t think my puffing and panting would scare the fish.  I didn’t see fishing poles.  Then I saw they had a couple of dogs.  I waved as I went by and the lady waved back.  I did not call out, because I did not want to make the dogs start barking.

At last the road started to slope up, which I knew meant I was almost at the end of it.  Then it went on longer than I remembered.  Isn’t that always the way?  Finally I was on the road to the college.  And not nearly as far along that as I had pictured.  That road was not only longer than I thought, it was steeper.  And I was not in nearly as good shape as I thought I was. Never mind, just keep going.  Every step is a step that will be easier on the Boilermaker, I told myself.  What will I tell myself after the Boilermaker?  Every step is another sip of beer, I answered.  That worked.

I did not continue up Reservoir Road. Finally I was headed back downhill!  I got my drink.  I finished my run.  And look at this blog post!  It is over 1,000 words!  Are they 1,000 good words?  I DON’T KNOW!!!  But it’s Tired Tuesday.  I’ll give this a quick proofread, but I will not edit for length.  If you have stuck with me to the end of this, I thank you. I hope to see you all on Wuss-out Wednesday.