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Tag Archives: Herkimer County Community College

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!

 

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Fourth Time the Charm?

I am hoping some of the readers of Monday’s post are curious to know if I once again found that running four days in a row is the Way to Go. I’m afraid I’m still on the fence, but I ran and thought I’d make a Running Commentary post.

The weather reports said it was cooler out today, you’ll need a jacket.  I didn’t go that far, but I did put a sweatshirt on my deck to wear on my cool-down walk if needed, and I made sure to wear a headband to cover my ears.

Right away it did not feel terrific. My legs were not happy and my knees hurt.  What the hell, body? I thought.  However, as long as I had gotten that far, I would continue.   I could make it a short run.  You can do those things when you run a few days in a row.

Kids were walking to school.  Maybe I’ll try leaving earlier next time.  We don’t usually  get in each other’s way, but I feel a little self-conscious,  especially when I am headed in the same direction as them and it takes me forever to catch up. I saw a young woman cross German Street, which was what I wanted to do, since I had it in my head to run up the hill by Valley Health.

My good time to cross made me practically run into her.  She looked amused (I probably do look comical) and wished me a good morning.  As I ran on, I heard behind me a car stop and offer the woman a ride.  From her grateful “Yes, please,” I hypothesized that she was headed up the hill to Herkimer College. I may be running that hill myself later this week.

For today,  however, I contented myself with the smaller hill.  It was enough of an effort at the time.  I continued on into the residential area, avoiding the hills and working my way back in the direction I came from.

As I went, it became not a bad run.  I don’t think I got a dose of endorphins,  but I did feel some of the antidepressant effects of exercise.  My legs settled into things, even my knees,  and my breathing felt OK.

I ended up running for 25 minutes.  As I started my cool-down walk,  I said good morning to a neighbor sitting on her front stoop.

“Good morning,” she answered.  “Do you feel good after your run?”

“I sure do,” I said.  “And the best part is the walk around the block after.”

I did feel good.  I wonder how running five days in a row would feel.  Maybe I’ll see how many days I can go.  As always,  I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

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.

 

A Run to Start my Day

How about a Saturday Running Commentary to start the day?  Well, technically it does not start my day, because I had to run, then I showered and did a couple more chores… but you know what I mean (didn’t call you Shirley that time).

Full disclosure:  I had meant to be running in Liverpool this morning, from my sister Diane’s house.  But I did not have my act together to get packed and make the drive last night.  Did I mention that in last night’s post?  I’m too lazy to go back and check.  Uh, I mean I am too pressed for time.  Yeah, let’s go with the second one.

In a rare move for me, I got dressed and out running before coffee and a chance to change my mind.  I put on shorts and short sleeves before even checking the temperature.  It was 51 F, so that was OK (45 is my arbitrary and sometimes ignored cut-off for long sleeves and leggings).  It was foggy out, or “froggy” as my husband, Steven likes to call it.  He likes frogs.  I wished I was up to running up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly known as HCCC), to get a really good view of it.  Then again, the view from up there is prettier without the fog, and I am NOT up to running that hill (at least, I might make it up out of sheer stubbornness, but I sure wouldn’t feel good afterwards).  Anyways, I could see plenty of fog just looking down the street.

I turned right onto German Street.  The air felt cool on my ears and hands, but I felt secure in my wardrobe choices.  I crossed Main Street, since there was not much traffic that early, and decided to turn down the path over what used to be a hydraulic canal.  I want to walk down it with my great-nephew Sheppie sometime, because somebody painted places with certain steps:  march, jump, crab-crawl.  We used to call it crab-walk in my younger days.  It was my favorite, but I am not sure I would encourage anybody to do it on blacktop.  We used to do it in the grass.

My previous longest run was 27 minutes last Sunday (in this latest bout of getting back into running).  My runs during the week were shorter, after working all day.  Since I am not currently building up for a specific race, I decided not to worry if this was a short run.  For one reason, I was getting thirsty.  That is one advantage of pausing for coffee: I also drink water.  I just kept encouraging myself to keep going, bearing in mind that a nice bottle of water awaited me at my house.

The run ended up lasting 28 minutes. Woohoo!  I never got any of those endorphins, which quite frankly I could have used.  However, as usual, I felt good that I ran.  And now I feel good that I made a blog post.  On with the weekend!

 

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.