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I Should Have Listened to Al

This morning on Today, Al Roker was doing some feature about taking a walk. I did not get to see it, because I had to get to work, but I thought, “What a great idea! I’ll go for a walk after work and make a Pedestrian Post!”

Alas, I did not.

However blog post must be made, meaning, as usual, mine by me. Additionally, it is Lame Post Friday, so the bar is not high for a respectable post. Perhaps I could share a few pictures of walks I have previously taken. It could be a Flingback Friday, to follow my Throwback Thursday. Is flingback a word? My autocorrect seems to think so.

A great view for a number of reasons.

When I went running on Wednesday, I ran by my beloved Herkimer Historic Four Corners. The above is a shot of the 1834 Jail. This is where Roxalana Druse spent what she said were the best two years of her life, waiting to be hung after murdering her husband. Regular readers may remember I played Druse in the play Roxy at Ilion Little Theatre in 2015.

Or I could have gone uphill.

This is upper Main Street in Herkimer, a hill I sometimes run up. I’m afraid not lately, but I am ever hopeful of improvement.

I personally am looking forward to snow free sidewalks.

I was over 200 words before this, but I like to use three pictures. I took the recently when I was walking home from work. Plowing through the snow burns more calories than prancing down bare sidewalks. However, you can have too much of a good thing.

Can I have too many blog posts? I hope not. Happy Friday, everyone!

Cold Run! Warm Post?

I have not done a Saturday Running Commentary Post in a while, although I usually do run on Saturday. I thought I would attempt one today.

I have been watching the weather with some measure of attention (regular readers know I rarely pay much attention to anything) so knew it was likely to be cold. Accordingly, I put on long sleeves and leggings. I found an extra warm hat and mittens in the closet (which I recently cleaned, so that wasn’t too hard). I found my one pair of actual mittens, which I accidentally stole from my sister Diane some years ago, because I figured mere gloves would not be sufficient. I debated wearing a sweatshirt for the run and something warmer for the cool-down walk, but decided my road-guard vest would add another layer. I clicked “Outdoor Run” on my Garmin and waited for it to stop saying, “Wait” (I have not completely figured out this Garmin thing yet).

Off I went and immediately noticed I had forgotten my mittens. I hate stopping a run so pulled my sleeves down over my hands and drove one. It was not long before I regretted leaving the sweatshirt and not putting on a scarf to cover my face. It is a sad truth that the Mohawk Valley is one of those places where at certain times during the year, the air makes your face hurt. Never mind, Cindy, just keep running.

And run I did. Not very far, not very fast, but I was out there trying! I seriously considered running up the hill to Herkimer College. First I turned up Maple Grove (oh dear, is that what that street is called? I don’t know how to Google that) and turned onto Pine (I’m purely guessing here), where there was a short but fairly steep section. This was going pretty well, although my body was not warming up at all.

By the time I had turned a corner and was headed towards Lou Ambers Drive, still debating about the hill to the college or some smaller hills in the residential area I call “the suburbs” in my head. Steven had told me there was little wind, but he was mistaken. Damn it was cold! How long was I going to run, anyways? I did not have to do a super long run in this cold, did I? Then it occurred to me: it is windier at the tops of hills. I turned down Lou Amber Drive and headed back to the village proper.

Oh, this was much better. My body felt… not warm, but not as freezing cold. That continued on and off for the rest of the run, as the wind picked up and died down according to its own caprice. Lately I have been running just to keep in the game, not to build up or meet lofty goals. There is plenty of time for that after I register for the Boilermaker 15K. What, did I say I was never going to run the Boilermaker again? Quite possibly I did. Was it a lie? When I do it, it is called fiction.

I see I am over 500 words. That is the beauty of Running Commentary Posts. Before I know it, I have gone a long way. I wish the runs themselves were like that, but you can’t have everything. Now I must get ready for the rest of my Saturday. My friend Kim messaged me wondering if we were to continue our, as she puts it, reign of terror in the Mohawk Valley. I’m up for that. First a little house cleaning? Let’s not go crazy over here! Happy Saturday, everyone.

Without Hoopla or Help

So I did a thing last Sunday.  I ran 9.31 miles.  Yes, it was my Virtual Boilermaker 15K, and I pretty much backed into it.

I ran for one hour one minute on Saturday.  I had a bad headache, which running seemed to help.  Unfortunately, I started to get nauseous.  Now, I have the idea that I can run pretty much as long as I make up my mind to.  Not so on Saturday.  Quite abruptly, I felt, “No.”  I don’t know if it was from my mind or my body, but I stopped running.  I walked home, wanting nothing more than to stay perfectly still, which I was eventually able to do.

Still, I think an hour is a pretty good run, and I had included a few hills, so I was not entirely dissatisfied with myself.  Sunday I thought I would try for seven miles, however long that took me.  Then I would be in good shape for the Mini-Maker at Copper City Brewing in Rome on Sept. 13.

For a hill, I went out Main Street.  Part of the road is closed to traffic, but they don’t say anything about overweight, middle-aged runners, so I feel free.  It is steep and long-ish, and if I go all the way out Highland, I can come down Steuben Hill.  Sometimes I go up Steuben and down Highland, but I prefer to go up where it is steeper and down the more gradual slope.  Just my preference.

The run was going pretty well.  My first mile was almost 15 minutes, which I was not pleased about, but I told myself not to worry, just keep going.

It was sometime after the second mile that I began to toy with the idea of going for the 15K.  I had a bottle of water in my hand.  I could re-fill it at the spring.  That was almost as good as having water stations. I had not planned my entire route, but I could just keep going till Map My Run told me nine miles.  Then I could keep going till it was 9.3.  I should be able to look at my phone (strapped to my upper arm) enough to ascertain that.  I just couldn’t finish on a sprint, as I like to do.

The phrase occurred to me, “without hoopla or help.”  That’s it, I thought.  Without hoopla or help, I will run my 15K.  It kind of went against the grain, because one of my mottoes of life is “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  In this case, however, I decided to do something by myself, for myself, to prove I could do it.  I was running through some fairly level streets in Herkimer, NY while I thought this.  I tried to keep up my pace yet told myself that it did not matter how long it took me, as long as I went the distance.  Then I started thinking about hills.  I had gone up a big hill.  I did not need to do any more.  Did I?

The fact is, Herkimer is not that large, especially if I did not want to cross Route 5, which I did not.  Additionally, I wanted to be at least an hour into my run before I finished my bottle of water and stopped by the spring.  All things considered, I decided my best bet would be to go up the kick-buttest hill in the residential area behind Valley Health.  I suppose I could have gone up the hill to Herkimer College, but I felt more comfortable in the other area.

It was not too awful getting up that long hill, and I was slowly racking up the miles.  I was just over an hour when I refilled my water.  Now where to run?  I thought of a route that would bring me by my beloved Historic Four Corners.  I’ll do that!  Then I added in a few more turns and streets, because I needed to run longer.  Soon I was wishing I had fully charged my phone, because it started making a noise which I was afraid meant low battery.  Please, phone, please, last for me!   At last I was at nine miles!  I was headed down Prospect Street, almost at Bellinger Avenue (not to be confused with Bellinger Street).  I could enter where it said Do Not Enter!  My favorite!

As I headed up my own street, I twisted my arm enough to see my phone.  Map My Run, don’t fail me now!  It did not.  I stopped running when it said 9.31 miles.  Yay!  I was right across from a neighbor sitting on his front stoop, one I often greet as I run by.

“I just ran my Virtual Boilermaker 15K!” I told him.

“Good for you,” he said.

And I just finished my blog post about it.  Phew!  I guess I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

 

Comedy on the Run

To begin with,  it was not a blister on the bottom of my foot,  it was a sliver.  Apparently I cannot tell the difference without closer examination.   In my defense, it started hurting after a run, not after I had been walking around barefoot or at work.  Metal splinters are an occupational hazard at my place of employment, and, yes, they can find their way into one’s shoes.  But I discovered the splinter this morning, and my purpose now is to write more about yesterday’s run.

Regular readers know I am a friendly sort, and I love to call out greetings to passers-by.  In pre-Covid times, I would stop and pet dogs, but now I am more aware of social distances.

As I ran by the apartment building at the end of my street, I called hello to a couple sitting outside, and they returned the greeting.  As I ran by Trinity Lutheran Church, I saw a lady I knew.  She called out encouragement and I thanked her.  After that, I saw few people till I encountered a little girl riding a bike in the residential area behind Valley Health.  I made my usual joke.

“That’s what I need!  A set of wheels!”

She smiled politely, humoring the crazy old lady.

Going up the long hill, a pick-up truck passed me and pulled into a driveway.  A young man was getting out as I reached it.

“I almost jumped into the back of that truck!” I yelled.  He laughed.

As I mentioned yesterday, it was not as difficult getting to the top of the hill as in previous runs.  Dare I hope I am getting into shape (I mean a shape other than round and puffy)?  Just after I crested the hill, I saw a lady sitting on her front stoop with a stroller next to her.  A very cute dog started barking at me from the stroller.

“Oh, lady,” I said, “Would you push me home in that stroller?”

She laughed, and the dog continued to bark.  Yes, it is Comedy on the Run by Mohawk Valley Girl.  Hey, that is not a bad title.  Or do I flatter myself?

 

I Ran! I Was Tired!

Wednesday afternoon I went running with the intention of making a running commentary post.  I’ll say it was the run that tired me out too much to make said post (there may have been other factors, but as I often say, explanations are so tiresome).  Therefore I sit at work (BEFORE my shift, not when I am supposed to be working), pen in hand (my Tablet is at home), trying to remember the run.

I put my smart phone in the arm band, trying to put it on so that it would NOT rub part of my arm raw (I am so incompetent at these thing) and set out.  I had a vague idea of running up the hill to Herkimer College, but my body was definitely not on board with the plan.  Nevertheless, I persisted.

I have signed up to run the MIni-Maker at Copper City Brewing in Rome, NY on Sept. 13.  Before signing I exchanged a few messages and  comments with the venue and the guy that mapped the route, wondering if it was right for me, or I was right for them.  They emphasized that I had to train.  Well, I have been training right along, but I am not any faster of a runner than I have been at any time these past few years.  They said I could start early, since they want to wrap it up in two hours or less.

With all this in mind, I thought I should perhaps train a little harder.  That is, to not let myself off the hook on a weekday run (as I often do) but to make a good length of time on a challenging course.  Hence, the hill to the college.  Of course I waffled and weaseled but ended up running what I call the kick-butt way up to the college: by the dormitories.  You run up a steep hill, through a parking lot on a more gradual upslope, repeat two or three times (I can’t remember how many, but it seemed like a lot), with the last steep part pretty steep and fairly long.  Or so it seemed to me.  I certainly did a bit of huffing and puffing along the way.

I ran the back way down to the village.  This is currently closed to traffic, so I got to feel all rebellious.  Additionally, I entered where it said, “Do Not Enter,” around a traffic triangle on my way there, and turned left at a “No Left Turn” at the end.  We middle-aged ladies have to get our kicks somehow.

My Map My Run app had dutifully told me when I was at one mile.  My rate was less than 14 1/2 minutes! Score!  It is not a great time, but it is a little better than previous runs.  I picked up speed going downhill, thinking to make further improvements, which I did.  I thought I should try to run three miles, which would take about 45 minutes, less if I kept up my pace.  I have to perception of distances.  All I can do is keep running and let the app track me.  I considered my options.  Up this street? Down that one?

I ran through the high school parking lot, down Bellinger Avenue to Graham, then down Church to Bellinger Street (yes, we have a Bellinger Avenue and Street in our little village; don’t get me started!).  I went by the house to the apartment building two doors down, then up their driveway.  I saw a lady I know sitting out front.  We greeted each other and she praised my running.

I felt pretty happy, because I ended up doing 3 miles in 43 minutes.  I don’t think I can run 15K in less than two hours, but dammit I will get as close to that as I can!

 

I Get My Butt Kicked

I started to make a Running Commentary Post this morning but had a headache.  I wonder if I can do it now.  We shall see.

It was raining when I got up,  around 4:30 (I went to bed early last night), so I turned on the coffee and relaxed for a while.  That also gave me time to drink water.  Water and coffee, it should have been an awesome run!

Of course it was not.  When do things ever go the way I expect them to?  NEVER!  As soon as I started running, my legs started complaining.  What the hell, I had to ask.  I HAVE been running on a regular basis.  I had had it in my head to run the kick-buttest hill in my area.  As I ran toward it, I questioned my intentions.  Never mind, I told myself, just keep going.

On the way to said hill, I went up the hill by Valley Health.  It was hard!  I thought, this is it for me.  I would keep running a long run, but no more hills.  I ran on toward the kick-butt hill but intended to take the last possible turn to avoid it.  Naturally I second guessed myself about this.  How could I train properly if I did not run challenging hills?  Then again, I have plenty of time before my Virtual Boilermaker 15K to run hills.  Then yet again… if dithering burned calories, I would have no problems meeting my weight loss goals.

As I approached the hill and the avoiding turn, I observed a couple of pick-up trucks with some workmen near a house.  I thought I would greet them.  I like to greet people when I run.  The avoiding turn was right before the house they were at.  Oh, heck, I thought to myself, let’s get our butt kicked.

“Good morning, fellas,” I said.  One man turned around and returned the greeting.

“I is about to get my butt kicked,” I said.  He laughed.

And I proceeded to do just that.  This hill goes on and on and up and up.  Yikes!  I have done it a few times in recent memory.  They are not good memories.

However, I persevered and made it to the top.  Yay, me!  What a pleasure to go downhill after!  I went up a couple shorter hills before the end of my run.  I laughed at them.  When I am running with others and we come to a hill, I like to say, “Hill schmill, this ain’t no hill, we got this stinkin’ hill!”

So I ended up being happy I ran the kick-butt hill.  I went on to run for a total of 57 minutes, which is my current longest time (set this past Sunday).  Then I felt tired and headachey for the rest of the day.  What’s that all about?  I thought exercise was supposed to make you feel better!

No matter.  I ran.  I blogged.  I wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

 

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.