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What Does My Body Know, Anyways?

I felt sick to my stomach this morning, so I did not feel like going running.  However, I’ve found that sometimes the counterintuitive thing is the right thing to do (OK, why is my computer underlining “counterintuitive,” one of my favorite words by the way.  I looked it up in Webster’s, it is so spelled right!)  (OH, computer wants me to hyphenate it, counter-intuitive.  Well, I’m not going to, so there.)

Where was I?  Ah yes, running, although my body seemed to be telling me not to.  Oh well, my body is a well-known lazy bum, as is my mind on many occasions.  Additionally, I wanted to work up a good sweat so a shower would feel extra good.  So I got ready to go.  No worries about being cold, as we’re getting a last little bit of summer before the equinox.  Oh, anybody who is going to screech, “TMI!” if I mention bras, don’t read the rest of this paragraph, because you know I don’t want to hear that.  I took the unprecedented step of wearing three sports bras.  The first two I put on did not feel secure enough, and I was too lazy to take them off and start over (others who wear D cups or above will understand).

It was grey and foggy out.  I like fog.  It’s so mysterious.  I headed down German Street toward Valley Health.  That is about the only hill I am up to these days, but I hope to build myself back up.  As I slowly made my way up, I reflected that at my age I can’t just jump on and off the running wagon.  It takes much less time to get out of shape and a lot longer to get back in.  By the time I reached the top of the hill I was seriously considering bagging the running and switching to walking.  Ah, long leisurely walks.  How pleasant would that be?  Other people stay in great shape by walking.  That could be me.  Then I thought of a few of my friends that run and felt that I really am not ready to quit that club just yet.

I had originally meant to run immediately back down the hill and around the sidewalks nearer my house.  Then a street that went downhill and ended in a cloud of fog beckoned me.  Of course I knew what was there:  it is a housing development I have run through many times.  Still, it felt like more of an adventure to turn.  I ended up not going down the hill (which I would only have had to run back up) but took the next left.  I admired some of the houses.  Many were ranch houses build into hills so the garage was in the basement.  That would be handy.

There are some major hills in that area (I call it “the suburbs,” although I know that is not strictly accurate), but I managed to avoid them.  Eventually I made my way to Lou Ambers Drive so I could stop and get a drink at the spring.  I looked up the hill to Herkimer College and sighed.  Another week, maybe two, and I might be ready for that one again.  The spring water tasted good, but I still had a ways to go to meet my goal of 36 minutes (I did 33 last week).  I’m sure those times don’t seem very impressive to some of you.  Well, it’s where I’m at, I might as well own it.

I ended up running faster as I neared the 36 minute mark, because I wanted to get all the way home and not run for more than 36 minutes (hey, don’t judge, I was tired!).  I almost ran too fast and had to go by the house or run up and down the driveway a couple of times (don’t judge, but you can laugh at me if you like, I do).

As I finished my cool-down walk, I realized I was still sick to my stomach.  At first I thought, so much for the counterintuitive solution.   Then I thought, hey, I’m no worse off.  My stomach may still have been upset and this way, I got a run in.  And now I’ve gotten my blog post written.  On the rest of my Sunday chores!  I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

 

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Tired, But I Ran!

I have been trying to get back into the running habit, with some small amount of success.  I ran two consecutive weekend days, took yesterday off, and managed to run today.  Having written no blog post earlier (I DID write while on break and work AND after I got home, but it was not a blog post, sorry), I will attempt a Running Commentary, even as the little devil on my shoulder (you know, like they used to show on the cartoons, angel on one shoulder, devil on the other?) is whispering, “Tired Tuesday!  Make it another Tired Tuesday! You qualify!  You deserve it!”

Ahem, trying not to be distracted, I continue.  It was chilly and foggy this morning, but this afternoon was one of those when Mother Nature reminds us that it is still summer, even in the Mohawk Valley. I prefer to run in the fall weather.  I told myself that it certainly was not in the 80s, which I have run in, so I should just get out there and do it.  So I did.

Very slowly.

I had gone about three steps when I began to wish I had remembered to stretch before running.  I have gotten out of the habit of stretching before a run.  It is hard enough for me to start running anyways; I figured stretching was just more time for me to talk myself out of it (although full disclosure:  I have never talked myself out of running once the sports bras were on or even out of the drawer).  Additionally:  most sources say you should run in place for a minute and then stretch.  Oh, that is way too much trouble.  I thought, I begin running slowly, that will be my warm up.  And it has worked all right.  However, lately I have been thinking a few little stretches before the run might be a good thing to do.  Only now I am out of the habit.  Oh, the trials and tribulations!

So today I thought, should I pause right now and stretch?  I had just waved at a couple of neighbors sitting on their front porch, so I felt self-conscious.  Then again, they probably would not think anything of it.  Then again, stopping running was what I wanted to do more than anything else just then, so I was afraid of my ability to begin again once stopped.  I kept going.

It was soon apparent that I was not up to a long run.  That was OK, I told myself.  This was a mid-week run.  Twenty minutes was all right.  Just enough to get a little exercise, stay in the running habit.  No problem.  Oh, but it took a long time.  And it was warm.  Every bit of shade I ran through, I appreciated.  Of course I have had much hotter runs, and certainly more humid runs.  I have had runs where my feet, knees and back hurt more, where I have been longer without running, where it has been more difficult to breathe.

In short, I need to count my blessings.  I ended up running for 30 minutes.  This is how long I was running last week.  Sunday I upped the time by the recommended 10 percent to 33 minutes.   Oh, don’t shake your head at me and ask if I couldn’t possibly have lasted three minutes more!  Maybe I could have.  And maybe that three minutes would have tired me out so much that I really would have had a Tired Tuesday post, after NOT getting done the writerly chores I finished before making this post.

I’m going to call that a win.  I hope to see you all on Wuss-out Wednesday, for which I will make no promises.

 

Scattered Saturday with No Vampires

Isn’t that an eye-catching title?  I just this minute thought of it, before I even wrote the post. I know, I know, as Truman Capote said, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”  These days it seems I just sit at my computer, put my fingers on the keyboard and publish whatever spills out.  That is because I am a silly blogger not a Serious Writer.  But that is not what I meant to post about today.  I meant to give a brief overview of my activities for the day, then go back to enjoying my Saturday evening.  So here goes.

My dear husband, Steven, was ill yesterday.  I woke up this morning fearing I was ailing with the same.  Nevertheless, after ingesting some necessary coffee, I went running.  I had it in my head to make a Saturday Running Commentary post.  Remember when that was a thing?  Well, it may be again one weekend, but not today.  I spent most of the run feeling tired and wanting to stop.  However, I persevered. I’ve learned to do that when running, anyways.

Back home I thought I would write a few postcards, as I like to do on a Saturday morning.  I could walk to the post office once the window was open and purchase some postcard stamps, which naturally one runs out of when one make a habit of sending postcards every week, as I do.  Unfortunately, once I sat down with the postcards, I was hit with a wave of dizziness.  That was unpleasant.  I decided to go purchase the stamps when Steven left for work and write the postcards later today or Sunday morning.

Just before Steven left for work, the phone rang.  My friend Kim wanted me to go to the  Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival   in Little Falls.  Me, say no to garlic?  Or a festival in Little Falls? In fact, long time readers may remember that I have attended this festival every year for some time now (I believe I have written a few blog posts about it).  Yes, I felt dizzy.  So what?  Between my allergies and migraines, I rarely feel 100 percent.  If I can force myself to get through work when ill, I can damn well do something fun with a friend under similar conditions.

And it turned out I felt better when out in the fresh air.  Kim stopped by the post office with me, so I did get my stamps.  We had a great time at the Garlic Festival, and I purchased a bundle of garlic stalks, which I hung over the doorway where the vampire hangs (see picture on yesterday’s post for the vampire).  I’m not trying to antagonize the fellow; it was the only nail already stuck in my wall that was the proper height.  Maybe tomorrow I will post a picture, and do a proper blog post on the festival.

Leaving the festival, we went to The Old Barn Marketplace and Little Falls Cafe, at 6626 State Rt. 5.  What a great place!  I will for sure write more about that!

I have not done a whole lot since I got home, but I believe the movie-watching portion of my Saturday has arrived.  I’m thinking a viewing of Dracula is in order.   Having spent a good portion of the day sampling garlic and eventually purchasing a nice bunch, I do not think I will have anything to fear of vampires for a while.  Then again, I did say to the vendor who sold me the garlic that I was going to write a story about a vampire who loved garlic, just so that none of us could feel safe.

Happy Saturday, everybody!

 

Next Up: Portrait of Dorian Gray

He was really a beautiful man, in addition to be a marvelous actor.

I had thought I might do a Running Commentary post.  I ran in place on the mini-tramp while watching the silent Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the inimitable John Barrymore (I adore the Barrymores).  Then I was on Facebook and came across a movie poster I just had to download.  Well, I can’t just download it, can I?  I have to use it.  So this is Non-Sequitur Thursday after all (I thought after yesterday’s schizophrenic post, such a thing would be inappropriate, but I am ever one to go with the flow).  There is a bit of a theme, at least, because I am sharing all old movie posters stolen from Facebook.

What’s a guy like Joseph Cotten doing in a movie like this?

I have never heard of this movie, but what a title!  What a poster!  I should probably get on one of those streaming services (or whatever they are; you know technologically ignorant I am) where I can find all these obscure, old titles.  Oh, the blog posts I could write!

Ooh, a double feature!

I may have seen The Incredible Petrified World.  The title seems familiar, and I’m sure I have seen any number of cheesy movies involving women trapped in underground caverns or some such (you know how little attention I actually pay).  When I get a chance, I’ll look through my DVD collection and see if it’s there.  If so, I’ll have to watch it again and see what I remember.  I’ll let you know.

Oh Bela, how I love you!

I have definitely heard of this one but never seen it.  However, the person that shared it (on one the monster movie pages I follow), said there was a freaky, ambiguous ending.  I must add this of my list of movies to check out.

What I’m wondering now is, do you suppose there are readers who wish I had never learned how to download and share pictures?  A point to ponder on Lame Post Friday.  I hope everybody will continue to tune in.

 

Too Much Detail on a Tired Tuesday Run?

I have this recurring dream where I am trying to get somewhere and my legs won’t work properly.  I can’t pick up my feet, I can’t move forward, it’s simply dreadful.  I pretty much felt this way at work today, and I worried tonight’s run would be more of the same.  However, I have not been running since July and I was determined to begin again.

I made a bargain with myself that I would only run for 20 minutes.  I could hang for 20 minutes.  This would work.  Of course it was a rigamarole getting ready to run.  I wanted to put in a load of laundry while I ran, including the pants I had worn to work today.  Since I had gotten sweaty at work, I took advantage of this.  I stayed naked while I filled the basket with laundry, then put on my running clothes (sorry if that gave you an unfortunate mental image) (then again, what are you doing picturing me naked?  Shame on you, you dirty-minded thing, you!).

Of course I was still sweaty.  I put powder on my upper body, but my second sports bra  still rolled up as I put it on and I couldn’t reach the back to unroll it.  I hate when that happens!  I got it, though, because, like I said, I was determined.  If this is too much detail, tough.  I calls it like I sees it.  I almost got out the door before I realized I had not thrown the laundry in.  Back up the stairs to retrieve the basket, then down to the basement.  I figured it could count as my warm-up.

Usually when I run, I make a left at the end of my driveway and head to German Street.  If I have not been running in a while, I head to Caroline Street, then go up and down the streets, working my way back home.  I decided to mix things up, so turned right and headed towards Meyers Park.  I even crossed the street and ran down the opposite side from my house.  The sun came out from behind a cloud, showing me that I had not picked the shadier side of the street. No matter.   It was my first run of beginning again, and I was going to persevere.

Persevere was what I had to do, because I never hit the I Can Rock This stage.  I won’t say that every step was an effort, but a goodly number of them were.  I tried to distract myself by looking around.  Mostly I noticed other people’s porches and wished I was sitting on a nice porch, perhaps enjoying a beverage.  I had told a work friend that I might reward myself with a glass of wine after my run.  Suddenly I remembered… chocolate milk!  When I was training for the Boilermaker 15K, I got in the habit of re-hydrating with chocolate milk.  I read somewhere that it is an excellent recovery drink.  I must say I enjoy it quite a bit.  I knew there was milk and chocolate in my refrigerator.  That thought sustained me for the rest of the run.

I ended up running for 22 minutes.  I felt pleased with myself that I had gone at least a little over 20, especially since the devil on my shoulder had been whispering that 15 would be just as good.  The cool shower felt wonderful, and the chocolate milk was heaven.  I probably won’t run again tomorrow, because I have rehearsal for The Tempest (no, that is not over yet, and I will no doubt write more blog posts about it), but I hope to run on Thursday.  Sooner or later, I must hit that I Can Rock This stage.

 

A Metaphor on Mental Meanderings Monday

As regular readers know, I have been having trouble writing lately.  This morning before work, I opened my notebook (for those just tuning in, the spiral-bound paper kind) and penned the following:

Once again I draw a metaphor between writing and running.  One one reason, I have not been doing enough of either.  In many respects it is a sound comparison.  Both can be difficult.  Both are wonderful when going well, painful when not.  You have to get through the painful parts to get to the good parts.

The most important aspect of either is:  You have to do it. You can’t just sit and think about it, although some thought is necessary.  It does not count just to by the best running shoes, socks and bras, nor yet a fine new notebook and perfect pen.  You can’t just stretch, and you can’t just make notes and outlines (I personally have never successfully worked form nor even completed an outline, although I am a prodigious note-maker).

I don’t know how much further I can go with this, but at least it got my pen moving.

After writing that much, I turned back a few pages and wrote a few more notes on the murder mystery I am writing for a fundraiser for the Herkimer County Historical Society (preview of coming attractions).  I know I said you can’t just write notes, but notes are a very important part of murder mysteries.  They are not just notes I write from.  They are notes I give the actors to help them build their characters and aid them in the improvised sections of the performance.  Just to give you a little peek into how these murder mysteries are put together.

I guess I don’t know if my little comparison between running and writing has any value to any other writers nor yet holds any interest for any readers.  However, it worked pretty well as a pep talk for myself, and I’m going to call it good enough for a Monday Mental Meanderings.  This blog is just about to go All Tempest All The Time, and right now, I have to get ready for rehearsal.  I hope to see you all on Tired Tuesday.

 

Back on Track? Not Exac’

See what I did there?  I was going for a jazzy kind of thing, like in “I Get a Kick Out You” when Louis Armstrong sings, “I get no kick from cocaine!  If I took a sniff it would bore me terrif’…”

That by way of introduction to a Running Commentary post.  I have not been running very much lately and in fact did not intend to run today.  I felt too tired and my legs felt stiff.  Then I thought my legs might feel less stiff if I exercised them. Maybe a nice walk, I thought.  I have been working on my feet for the past two (ten-hour) days, but pacing between machines is not the same as taking a walk.  Then I thought, oh what the hell, and got into running clothes.  I did not have to run for a long time, I reasoned.  Twenty minutes, half hour tops.  After all, I was rebuilding.  And I almost never at any time run very fast.

Today I ran even slower than usual.  It was a shuffle, it was a plod.  I figured anybody looking at me might think, “I can do better than that!” and thus be encouraged to reach their own fitness goals.  But I kept going.  I wondered if there were any 5K’s around here in the near vicinity.  Could I run 5 kilometers?  Did I want to run in a 5K?  The answers to the last two questions were yes, and no. But I kept going.

As I was running down Caroline Street, I noticed a kid on a bicycle a couple of blocks ahead of me.  Was that the chubby-legged swine that gave me the finger when I was running some time ago?  Yes, I remember petty little insults from long ago, although I try not to dwell on them.  I don’t think it was the same kid.  In any case, he was far enough and headed further away from me that I did not have to worry about further insults, if any.

It was not particularly difficult to run, but it wasn’t much fun either.  I wondered how long I should run for.  Maybe less than 20 minutes?  No, I could make it for 20.  More than 20?  Let’s not push it.  I passed a guy sitting on his porch with his feet up.  I would certainly rather be doing that, but I could not share that thought with the guy, because he was talking on a cell phone.  I like to interact with people as I run by.  I ran by a little kid on a bicycle with training wheels.

“Hey, buddy, will you give me a ride home on the handlebars?  I’m small!”

His mother chuckled.  Of course it was a joke: I know I am not particularly small, especially where I sit.  I started to chuckle myself, picturing my fat butt fitting on those little handlebars.  If I didn’t break the bike, which was likely to happen and not likely to be funny.

I ended up running for 22 minutes, my favorite number.  For once my cool-down walk did not feel terrific (terrif’?).  However, I ran, I wrote a blog post about it.  I’m calling that win on Tired Tuesday.