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Running to be Ready

It was a little faster than a Tuesday Trudge but not fast enough for a Tuesday Trot, but this is my Running Commentary Post. I often say that what I do is called running only by the most generous definition of the term.

I was quite determined to run today, despite the heat and humidity, because I am gearing up for the Pride Stride 5K in Little Falls this Saturday, June 12. It is part of the Little Falls Pride event hosted by Little Falls Community Outreach. I do not expect to run very fast, but I expect to have fun. And it is a cause I like to support.

Knowing I will not run very fast led the devil on one shoulder to say things like, “It doesn’t really matter if you run or not. Why torture yourself in this heat? It probably won’t even help.” I ignored such ignoble thoughts.

The humidity was pretty horrible. It was like trying to run through bath water. Or maybe dirty dish water. Breathing was not much fun. Never mind. Persevere. I veered a little way into a lawn to sniff some lilacs. That was nice. Some lilac bushes are over, but these two bushes were nice.

On my drive home from work, I had noted some nice bushes of light pink peonies. I planned to run by those and take a sniff. I did not remember exactly where they were, so it was a nice surprise when I saw them.

I kept glancing at my Garmin. It tells me what rate I am currently running, which leads to some disappointment. For example, I vary from a 15-minute mile to bursts as fast as a 10-minute mile (I know, not very fast in the ultimate scheme of things). So it is an average. So my Garmin may say I am running at a 12:20 pace, but 13 minutes have passed and I still haven’t gone a mile!

However, I try not to worry about how fast I go. I usually try to run for a certain length of time, not a specific distance. Today I ended up running for 24 minutes, 1.8 miles. In addition to smelling lilacs and peonies, I petted one nice dog. I was running through Meyer’s Park and saw a dog I had petted before.

“There’s that nice dog that likes to be petted!” I said, sprinting across the grass. The dog looked happy to see me and sat sweetly while I petted her and called her a good dog. I also greeted her person and wished him a nice day, to which he responded in kind.

I hope to run at least one more time before the 5K. For more information on Little Falls Pride, you can visit the Facebook event or Little Falls Community Outreach page.

No Lilacs, But a Nice Visit

I have been wanting to be more consistent about getting exercise, so was determined to walk or run today. My preference was to walk and take pictures for a Pedestrian Post. After I got home I finished a couple of letters so I could multi-task by taking them to the post office. Full disclosure: I noticed a third letter I had meant to finish but decided to leave it for tomorrow. I am such a one for starting things and not finishing them!

I had seen a Facebook post from Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast reminding us to stop and smell the lilacs. They have lilacs? I thought. It was very little out of my way to go by the Grand Colonial. I like to smell lilacs. I smelled some in a neighbor’s house but did not take a picture.

As it happens, the person who made the post was just speaking in general. The Grand Colonial has no lilacs. However, I was glad I stopped by, because I had a nice chat with one of the owners, who happened to be outside at the time.

I took a picture of the flowers they did have.

They are planning some major landscaping in June. I was invited to return and take more pictures. I will certainly do that. Additionally, I am trying to talk my husband Steven into going to the Colonial to stay a night, just for something fun and different. I took a picture of the side porch to entice him.

Picture it: relaxing on the porch!

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I wrote an article about the Grand Colonial for Mohawk Valley Living magazine. At that time they showed me around the place, and I was enchanted.

Yes, we could be sleeping here.

The Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast is located at 112 W. German St., Herkimer NY, phone number 315-982-5004.

I shall write about the rest of my walk tomorrow.

Four Days On, Three Days Off, What’s Next?

I am nobody’s good example when it comes to fitness.  I triumphantly ran four days in a row, culminating in my longest run on Sunday.  Then I went three days without running.  Go ahead and judge me.  On the brighter side, I ran today and it was not a bad run at all.

I had told myself all day that I would run, trying as usual to internalize the idea.  I even said I would run rain or shine.  Even if it poured rain!  After all, “Run in the Rain” is a good title for a blog post.  Except that I think I already used it.  No matter, it did not rain.  It was actually lovely weather for a run:  cooler temperature, cloudy and breezy.  This was going to be great!

I did my usual multi-task of putting a load of laundry in the washer before I set out.  I prepared myself to listen to my legs, feet, and possibly back complain. I would persevere!  Maybe I would make it a short run, but I would persevere for as long as possible.  Imagine my delight when my legs seemed perfectly content to move.  I turned left on German Street and prepared to enjoy myself.

Eight or nine minutes into the run, I got this weird cramp in my lower abdomen.  How annoying!  The entire rest of my body was having a perfectly enjoyable run, but one little part has to give me a pain.  What was that all about?  I kept running.  Maybe it would go away.  It did not.  I kept running anyways.

I saw a small flag on the sidewalk and picked it up.  I don’t like to see the American flag on the ground.  It was frayed on one side, as if it has come off its little stick.  I held it by the edge as I ran.  Now I was running with a flag.  I was thinking it could be a Veteran’s Day run when I remembered:  today is Flag Day!  I was right on time!  This was great!

Only the cramp continued.  It is so bothersome when you have a pain: it colors everything you do.  I continued to run, stopping occasionally to smell flowers:  lilacs once, peonies two or three times.  Of course I kept these stops very brief.  I considered making it a short run because of the cramp.  Then again, there was no guarantee that the cramp would stop if I was not running.  I did not think it involved any running muscles.  I kept going.  Every body part other than the cramp felt great!  What the hell, body?

As I neared the end of the run, it seemed that I could definitely keep it up for 29 minutes, the same length as my last, longest run.  I WOULD keep it up for 29 minutes, yes!  In order to do so, I ran around the apartment building at the end of my street, then around its front drive, then past my house and back.  I did it!

I felt happy as I walked my cool-down, and even happier as I drank my chocolate milk recovery beverage after my shower.  The cramp did not go away, so clearly I was right to keep running.  I’m wondering now if I will make this another four-day streak, running Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  If so, I will strive NOT to take three days off after!