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Better at Running than Blogging

I normally write my running commentary posts soon after the run, so it is fresh in my mind.  However, sometimes it gets to be 5 p.m. on a Saturday night, I don’t have much else to write about (OK, maybe a few things, but there are reasons I do not want to write about those), so I am going to attempt a post about this morning’s run.

Regular readers may remember that I have my eye on the Reindeer Run 5K in Little Falls on December 8.  Every day during this past week, when I thought I ought to go running, I also thought, “I don’t want to run! I don’t want to run the Reindeer Run 5K!  I want to sit! I want to sit home and knit!  That is what middle aged ladies are supposed to do: sit and knit!”  I managed to run on Wednesday despite my own misgivings, and I wondered if I would run today.  I surprised myself and not only did, but it was not a bad run.

I could hear drops on my back porch roof but could not tell if it was rain or just dripping.  I took a chance.  It was not rain.  Score!  I wore my road guard vest.  For one reason, it was still dark out.  For another, we got snow and I knew many sidewalks were not shoveled or plowed.  I was glad I did, because I ran most of my run on roads.  Left side facing traffic, of course.

You know how earlier I mentioned my tiredness during the week?  How I said, “I can’t run!  I don’t want to run!”  And I did not run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday?  Well, right now, my brain is saying, “I can’t write a blog post!  I don’t want to write a blog post!”  So everything I remember about this morning’s run is probably not going to make it into this post.

But, as I said, it was not a bad run.  The temperature was not that cold and the wind was only sporadic.  I ran a few hills, including the one by Valley Health and a few minor upslopes in the residential area behind (what I usually refer to as The Suburbs).  I stopped and petted one very cute dog.  I ran for 37 minutes, which is how long I ran last Sunday, the last time I increased my run time.  That is about how long it takes me to run a 5K, give or take a few.

So I feel pretty good about that.  I still have not made my final decision about the Reindeer Run. I’ll keep you posted.


Cold Run, Dusty Blog Post

I had already started writing this post when Steven put on a Dusty Springfield CD.  Oh, this was JUST what I needed!  “I Only Want to Be with You”!  It’s peppy, it’s happy, it’s about me and Steve!  I love it!  I’ve been feeling vaguely down most of the day and ill with the cold I’ve been fighting (I’m losing).  I sometimes forget the healing properties of music.

Oh dear.  I started a post.  I got distracted by the CD and wrote a fun headline of “Sing it, Dusty!”  then realized I can only say so much about how nice it is to listen to good music with a nice husband.  Perhaps I should go back to the post I started to write.  What a distracting lead!  I guess this is Non-Sequitur Saturday (which has the charm of alliteration that Non-Sequitur Thursday lacks) (does alliteration make something more of a sequitur?  Discuss amongst yourselves).

This is what I started to write:

Usually I make my Saturday Running Commentary in the morning, shortly after my run.  It is fresh in my mind and it works out very well.  Today I did not do so.  However, rather than making another Scattered Saturday post (although those can be kind of fun), I think I will attempt a Running Commentary.

The sun was almost up when I realized it was either run or eat.  I picked run.  The temperature was in the low 30s, so I put on the warmest running pants I own, a gift from my sister Victoria and her daughter Gillian.  Technically, I believe they are yoga pants, but one must not allow a mere technicality to keep one from improving one’s health and reaching one’s weight-loss goals.

Dusty is now singing “Wishin’ and Hopin'”  which reminds us irresistibly of My Best Friend’s Wedding.  Ah, Julia Roberts.  What a woman.  I’ve been thinking of her a lot lately, since she was in the movie version of Steel Magnolias, the play I am in at Ilion Little Theatre.

It was cold and not quite light out.  I had worn my reflective vest (road guard vest, to my army friends), as much for an extra layer and a pouch for tissues as for safety.  It turned out to be a pretty safe run, because the sidewalks were bare and I mostly stuck to them.  I went in the road for a while, though, out Main Street.  I went up part of a steep hill that ends in a dead end.  It didn’t used to be a dead end, but part of the road collapsed.  Pedestrians can still get by.  I got by and ran in the road part of the way down, um, Steuben Street?  I think that’s what it called.  Then I went down Dorf Street, part of which also has no sidewalks.

Now she is singing, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.”  I know some man also sang this song.  I wanted to say Tom Jones at first but then I thought I had heard it on the radio many years ago not on a CD we own recently (YES, I listen to Tom Jones CDs!), so I thought Paul Anka, but that didn’t sound right either.  I may check that out before I hit publish.

My run was not bad, although my hands got quite stiff.  I made it to 26 minutes, only two less (fewer?) than I accomplished earlier in the week on the mini-tramp.  With a good hill in the freezing cold, I thought that was pretty good.  If I would have written the blog post right away, the blog post might have been as good as the run, but that is something we will never know.

I wonder what Steven will want to listen to after Dusty Springfield.  And by the way, according to YouTube, both Tom Jones and Elvis Presley sang “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.”  Where did I get Paul Anka?


Sunday Running Commentary? Score!

For about the final third of my run and my entire cool-down walk, I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and shout, “THIS is why I run!!!”  I felt terrific!  It was WONDERFUL!  I had to remind myself how much it had sucked running up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly known as HCCC).

My running has been pretty sporadic lately.  I ran three days on my long weekend then took four days off.  I ran Friday but not Saturday.  In my defense, oh, never mind a defense, I don’t care if anybody judges me.  Today (Sunday) promised to be warmer.  I thought an early run would be best, because I planned to go to church (I have a prayer shawl to deliver, as regular readers may recall).  Before getting dressed, I came downstairs and checked the temperature on our thermostat.  50 degrees outside.  That works.  My cut-off temperature for running in shorts and short sleeves is 45.

I put on my Army t-shirt with the reflective decal on the back, but I thought my road guard vest would be a good idea, since it was still dark out and I intended to run up the hill to the college.  I was happy to be able to find it.  My sister, Cheryl gave me the vest for my 50th birthday.  She also gave me a little LED light clip. The clip was on the vest.  And it still lit up!  Score!  I would turn on the light when I was actually on the road and keep it off while running on the sidewalk.

It was not until I was running that I thought about how I call it a “road guard vest” in my head but it’s really merely a “reflective vest.”  Road guard vests, to me, are an army thing.  When you run in a formation, there are always a few road guards running in front and behind.  When you get to a crossroad, the road guards run up and make the cars, if any, stop.  Reminiscences about army running and road guard vests kept my mind occupied for the first part of my run, so I didn’t pay too much attention to how my body felt.

That changed when I started up the hill to the college.  I had not run that hill in quite a while, but I ran a couple of pretty good hills in Vermont, so I thought I was up to it.  As I ran, I began to feel not so much.  What the hell, body?  I tried the trick of  looking down at my feet and just shuffling up that hill.  I was momentarily distracted by my shadow.  It looked tall and svelte.  I pretended I really looked like that, but it didn’t make running up the hill any easier.  That hill had not sucked that bad in a long time, I thought.  Then I reminded myself that I can put up with almost any amount of suck for just about as long as I decide to.

At last, at last, I reached the top.  Phew!  I began to run down the back way.  It was blocked with a few orange cones, but I thought that was just for vehicular traffic not pedestrians.  It looked quite dark.  Perhaps it was not the best way to go.  As I got closer to the dark, I saw some light further up ahead.  See, I told myself, it would be fine.  Then I saw some men working.  They wouldn’t mind me.  As I got closer, it seemed they were taking up most of the road.  Maybe they would mind me.  I turned around.  That gave me some more uphill to run, so that was good.  At least, it was good for me.

It was on the way down the hill that I started to get the terrific feeling I mentioned in the first paragraph.  As I approached the bottom of the hill, I noticed something I had forgotten about.  The road seemed to go uphill again.  What was that about?  I didn’t remember going downhill before going up this hill!  And there’s a metaphor for life, I thought.  We don’t always realize when things are easier but we sure as hell notice when they suck!  Anyways, once I got to the newly recognized uphill section, it wasn’t bad at all.  I kept feeling terrific.

I don’t feel too awful bad about this blog post, either, although as usual, I’m remembering a few things I thought or noticed while running that I have not mentioned.  It would make for a much longer blog post, I’m afraid.  Maybe I’ll write a Big Book of Running Commentary someday and include everything.  Or maybe I’ll just keep running and keep quiet.  In any case, I see I have successfully avoided having a Wrist to Forehead Sunday post.  Score!