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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.

 

 

Who, Me? Run?

So I went for a run this afternoon, describing the way I move in a most generous fashion. I am still dithering about the Falling Leaves 14K,  and today’s exercise did not further incline me to take the challenge. However, one must take the bad runs to get to the good ones.  I do not despair.

After work I got myself into running clothes and out the door before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.  Earlier I had entertained wild thoughts of running up to Herkimer College.  After all, I am running over an hour on the weekends.  Surely I can handle more of a challenge during the week (I am calling myself Shirley in this context).

A few steps down the sidewalk I thought I was not up to any challenge whatsoever.  I wondered if I was even up to a lousy 20 minute run.  Nevertheless, when I had the chance, I crossed German Street.  This put me on the path to a few different hills. I thought I could manage a hill. A small hill.

I ran up the hill by Valley Health.  As I ran up it, in fact, on the last few times I have run up it, I reflected that it is not an inconsiderable hill. I really must take a walk with my Tablet and take some pictures of these hills.  My readers will either say, “Why, yes, that is a hill,” or “What a wuss!  That’s no hill!”

When I got to the top of the hill, my legs felt like overcooked macaroni!  And I was less than eight minutes into the run!  Crap!  I continued, hoping to avoid any more major upslopes.  There are some really good hills in that area.  I hope to run them again but was not into it today.

As I ran on, eventually my legs started to feel a little better.  I reminded myself of how I sometimes don’t hit the I Can Rock This stage till a good 20 minutes into the run.  I further reminded myself that I have found I can keep running for just about as long as I decide to.

Soon my body was urging me to decide on a SHORT run. I ignored it. My legs felt better or worser by turns, but I persevered and ended up running for 26 minutes.  I did not feel terrific on my cool down walk.  When I took my shower, I wished I had one of those old lady stools so I could sit down.

So, yes, I can be a big baby about these things.  I comfort myself by reflecting that (a) I did so run and (b) I made a blog post about it.  Perhaps I can improve on the run and the blog in the future.

 

I Feel Like a Winner

I haven’t done a Saturday Running Commentary post in a while (yes, I’m too lazy to go back and check; that run wore me out!).  Additionally,  today’s was a run I don’t mind revisiting, at least briefly (yes yes, my Running Commentary posts often run long, but they don’t always) (did you see what I did there? “run long”? Well, I liked it).

Yesterday’s run equalled my last longest time, so I thought I might do a shorter run today, then increase by the recommended ten percent tomorrow.  I could decide as I went.  I carried a bottle of water with me, reminding myself not to drink too much too fast.  Then I reflected that the run ought to be a long one, since I was bringing water.  You see how I talk myself into these things.

I decided to run up the hill by Valley Health then on into the residential area I call the Suburbs.  There are some pretty good hills in that area, and I can easily go by the spring to refill my water bottle on my way back home.

Tiny sips, I reminded myself, and not too often.  This would be fine.  Soon I had made it up the hill by Valley Health. That did not feel so fine.  I called a greeting to two ladies going to work (I surmised by their scrubs).  They waved and one said, “Get that work-out done!” in an encouraging tone of voice.

I ran further into the Suburbs than I have on my shorter runs.  Here was a hill!  As I recalled, it was a long hill.  Just keep going, I told myself. I resisted the urge to turn left and not go all the way up the hill.  Then I saw that I was no nearly as close to the top as I thought I was. Oh no!

There was the right-hand turn which was where I would come out if I kept going straight.  The road goes down then up.  So  I could turn right and go down, then up, then down,  or I could go straight and go up, then down, then up.  I turned right.  I felt I HAD to go downhill at least for a bit.

Bad move, I realized.  This made for a lot longer distance going up.  The snarky voice in my head suggested I take a life lesson about choosing short-term gratification and ending up with longer-term effort.  Then I told the snarky voice to shut up.  It is a win/win situation, I decided.  Either I enjoy an easier run or I enjoy the benefits of a more difficult run.  Additionally,  I intend to run in this area all summer.  I have plenty of chances to run the other way.

Keeping an eye on the time, I ran toward the spring.  I finished the bottle just as I got to it.  By virtue of going a little ways past my house, I increased my run time by 10 percent.  Now THAT is a win/win situation.  Or do I only win once?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

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.

 

Winning Run on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

Today I experience the melancholy of knowing I must go back to work tomorrow (YES, I AM grateful I have a job!  Sheesh!), but earlier today I felt some awesome endorphins so thought I would try a Running Commentary post instead of the promised Wrist to Forehead Sunday (but tune in tomorrow for a potentially sad Monstrous Monday!).

I was up prior to 6 a.m. (not a WHOLE lot prior, of course) so was ready for my run prior to seven.  I sure will miss running before the heat of the day when I have to be to work by 6:30, but that’s a problem for a different day.  I wasn’t feeling real energetic so did not know if I would increase my run by the recommended ten percent, as I like to do on a Sunday.  That would be OK. I just needed to get out there, because I did not run yesterday (I was recruiting my energies for the play) and I will probably not run tomorrow (hello! Back to work, 90 degrees, what sort of an iron woman do you think I am?).  I carried a bottle of water with me, though, in case it was along run.  Must fight dehydration!

I did not really feel up to major hills, like the one to Herkimer College, but I headed towards Main Street.  That is a pretty good hill with two chances to turn off it before you go all the way.  Of course the devil on one shoulder tried to talk me out of running any hills at all, but the angel on the other won and soon I was puffing up the hill.  I ended up going all the way to the end of Highland Avenue.  The steepest part of that hill is the beginning anyways, there are stretches of level ground and even a little downhill.  Additionally, I had not run that way in a while and enjoyed the chance to reacquaint myself with the houses out that way.  I was happy to see the gorilla-headed dummy still sitting at a table in front of one house.  There was a nice table cloth and some flowers on the table, which I did not remember seeing, so that was nice.

Going down Steuben Hill certainly felt pleasant.  I met a few cars, most of which nicely moved over or slowed down. I gave those people the “thank you” wave.  I found a nickle, which I picked up and slipped between my sports bras (PLEASE do not say, “TMI”).  I saw a couple beer cans and a water bottle, so I could have picked up more nickles, but that would have been awkward.

It was nice to sip water now and then as I ran.  I had it in mind to run down German Street to the spring on Lou Ambers Drive for a re-fill but was not sure if I would have time.  I was pretty sure by now that I would be able to keep going for 47 minutes, which was 10 percent longer than my last longest run.  I know I could run for longer, but I don’t know how bad of an idea it is to increase by more than the recommended 10 percent.  It is perhaps clear by now that I am not particularly scientific about my work-outs, but I try not to actively do harm to myself.  I have, as they say, only one of me.  Then I realized:  I could stop running and start my cool-down walk before I reached my house.  After all, I already had a bottle of water in my hand.  I really like that water on my cool-down walk!

I was feeling pretty terrific a little more than mid-way through my run.  It may have been endorphins.  It may have been relief to be running downhill instead of up.  It may have been happiness of being able to run as far as I wanted. Or it may have been that I finally sweated out enough toxins to let in the joy.  Who cares?  I felt good!  Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to just beat up your body for a while.  When I got to 47 minutes and stopped (less than a block from home, by the way), I wanted to raise my fists in the air in triumph, and have somebody sing, “We Are the Champions.”  Of course there was no one there to sing for me, so I just kept walking and sipping.

It is by now, as I write this, way too hot to run or even walk comfortably.  The endorphins have predictably worn off, but in writing this I have recaptured some of the feeling of accomplishment and the joy of all that sweat.  In fact, I am sweating again, but not from effort.  No matter.  It is Sunday and I did not make a Wrist to Forehead Sunday post.  I’m going to call that a win.

 

Who Me? Run a 5K?

How about a Sunday Running Commentary to avoid a Wrist to Forehead Sunday later on.  At least, I will avoid a post about one.  As a worker at Monday through Friday employment (most of the time), although I appreciate Friday, I confess to some amount of angst on Sunday.  As I like to say in a philosophical tone of voice, you’ll have that.

I did not run yesterday and thought I might not run today.  For one reason, lots of rain is predicted, and Steven informed me it had already started by 5:30 when he got up to pee (we slept in to an almost unheard of 7 a.m.!).  I grumped downstairs for a cup of coffee on stiff knees and feet (yes, I’m old), feeling contented at the thought of my husband having the day off, too.  After coffee, I was hungry, but Steven wanted to do the dishes before fixing breakfast.  As I was contemplating having a piece of toast to hold me over, I realized it was not currently raining.

“You do the dishes while I go for a short run,” I suggested.  I noted that it was 53 degrees out, so I felt secure that my sinuses would not become irritated (often a concern for me).  I brushed my teeth, washed my face, got into running gear, and got myself going.

I crossed German Street and ran up the steeper side (it is kind of a slanted street), heading for the hill by Valley Health.  As I ran, I thought I would lead my Running Commentary post with the reflection that I was NOT going to run in any kind of 5K on Thanksgiving Day, as I had threatened to do in a recent running post.  To keep on schedule for that, I would have to run for 30 minutes.  I wasn’t going to run for 30 minutes!  I had just taken three days off of running (go ahead and judge me if you like)!  I was probably going to run for 20 minutes and have done.  Maybe 20 plus a few.  At least I was going to do the hill.

It sure took a long time to get to the hill.  This was more of a plod than a run.  Never mind, at least I was doing it.  Maybe my body would feel better as I went.  Only that did not seem likely at the time.  The hill was not fun, but I managed it without having a VCD attack (that is Vocal Chord Dysfunction, a breathing problem I have).  Once I got down the hill, I felt a little better about things.  I could rock this run.  Well, maybe not rock, but at least continue.  Twenty minutes?  Maybe 25.  27, same as I did last weekend.  Oh, just keep running.

I ran up and down a couple of streets, keeping an eye on the time passing and wondering how long I would go.  My legs didn’t feel too bad, but my breathing wasn’t so great.  I concentrated on taking deep, slow breaths, holding each breath in for a second or two before exhaling.  I took note of people’s Halloween decorations, to keep myself in a cheerful frame of mind.  Lots of ghouls, nice.  A few pumpkins.  Oh, one house that had a magnificent display last year was bare.  I think it is a rental property, which would explain things.

My run ended up lasting for 30 minutes.  When I was around 13 minutes I wondered if I would; when I hit 16 minutes it seemed likely, and when I got to 18 I was sure. At the bottom of my street, I saw I was at 27 minutes and picked up the pace, so I would not go over 30 minutes. It felt pretty good running a little faster.  I thought I should do this more often.  Perhaps I will.  And the Turkey Trot 5K?  Still on the table, I guess.

I felt happy as I walked my cool-down around the block.  Now I feel ready to sit my butt on the couch, crochet and watch Halloween movies, yes!  I hope to see you all on Mental Meanderings Monday.  Or perhaps I will have a Monster Movie Monday, just to mix things up a little.   Tune in tomorrow and see!

 

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.

 

Last Long Run Before Sunday

It may be time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time.  I went for my last long run before the big race.  The big race, for anybody just tuning in, is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, the premier 15K race in the country (I say it with confidence, although I confess I have not researched 15K races), which takes place this Sunday, July 9, 2017.  There is also a 5K on Sunday, a 3-mile walk on Saturday, an Expo Friday and Saturday, and many other events and attractions.  I know I’m not mentioning everything; after all, this blog is mostly about ME (I say it with no apology for my egotism) (although I confess to having a good laugh at myself).

Where was I?  Ah yes, about to do a Running Commentary post about my last long run till Sunday (hey, is that a good title for the post, or is it too obvious?).

It was excellent running weather: not too hot, not too humid, sunny and pretty.  As I ran, I felt the sun was perhaps brighter and hotter than my own personal ideal, but running in the shade was fine.  I decided to run in the residential area behind Valley Health, what I refer to as “the suburbs.”  This took me up the hill by Valley Health as a kind of a warm-up hill, and I knew I would find a long, challenging hill as I went.

As I ran toward Valley Health, along German Street which gradually slopes upward, I realized I did not want to run any hills.  My body felt like it could keep going perfecly well on level ground but would be utterly defeated by gravity if I tried to push it.  Well, naturally on my Last Long Run Before The Boilermaker, I was inclined to push it.  I remembered of what I thought on a recent run: running hills does not become easier for me; I merely learn to keep going longer while it sucks.  I wondered if that was strictly true. Most probably it sucks less as I go.  Today I tried a new tack:  I told myself that going up hills was a psychological trick;  I just had to stop NOTICING how much it sucked.  This is an extension of a trick I heard about in the army:  just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill.

I took a wrong turn and ran down a perfectly level street that turned at a right angle then ended in a cul-de-sac.  Then I found the correct corner, when down a small hill then up, up, up.  I passed a lady walking down and said good morning.

“Boilermaker!” I added, fists in the air.  “Three days and a wake-up!”

“There you go!” she encouraged.  “Good luck!”

A short while later, I saw a fellow runner, headed down the hill.

“Boilermaker!” I called to her.  “We got this!”   She laughed.

I passed a few other walkers, including a very nice couple who let me pet their dog.  Yes, I stopped running long enough to pet the dog.  I like to pet a dog.

I ran for an hour and one minute, which is how long I ran yesterday.  In training for previous Boilermakers, I have been up to an hour and a half.  However, I feel an hour is good.  I tell myself, if you can run for an hour, you can run for two; just don’t stop.  I plan shorter runs tomorrow and Friday, and a couple of long walks on Saturday.  And in between, I hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Boilermaker, here I come!

 

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!