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Running Off Frustrations

I needed to go running this afternoon.  For one reason, I did not run Tuesday or Wednesday,  and my run on Monday was short (I counted my gardening on Tuesday as exercise, since I spent a goodly amount of time walking around carrying rocks) (no, I have no excuse for Wednesday,  judge me if you must).  Where was I?  Ah yes, running off my frustrations, or rather making a blog post about how I attempted to do so.

It does not matter why I was frustrated; it is, in fact, the least interesting part of the story.  Suffice it to say, I felt that some time spent beating up my body would do me good.  So I changed into running gear, threw a load of laundry into the washing machine, and took off.

I had great hopes for this run, because my back was feeling much better than it did on Monday.  However, once I started running, my legs started to feel awful.  Well, that’s what I get for taking days off, I told myself.  Just keep going.

So I did.  The sun was warmer than I prefer, and soon sweat was seeping into my eyes.  Ouch!  Wasn’t that head band helping at all?  Apparently not. I moved my glasses to wipe with my hands or my sleeves.  Don’t touch your face, you advise?  Good luck with that!

I got to smell one lilac bush and one patch of peonies, plus another peony on my cool-down walk.  I had managed to run for a mere 20 minutes, with a 10 minute cool-down walk.  Better than Monday, not as good as I had hoped.  As far as my rotten mood, I guess it helped.  A glass of chocolate milk (my usual recovery beverage) (it’s science, you know!), a cool shower, and a glass of wine (In that order) also helped.

Finishing a 300-word blog post is pretty good too.  And tomorrow is Lame Post Friday!  As always, I hope you’ll tune in.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Moody Monday Run

At work this afternoon, I realized I was in a foul mood.  I said to myself, “Mood swings are a symptom of menopause.  Just wait quietly and it will pass.”  I was still waiting when my shift ended and I came home.  I continued to ignore my irritation as  I put on running clothes and gathered a load of laundry.  Wrestling a sweaty body into spandex shorts and two sports bras did nothing to improve my mood, but I had to feel a little pleased with myself that I hadn’t talked myself out of the run.  For one reason, I needed a blog post and wanted to do a Running Commentary.

It was still warm out but less humid than my place of employment.  My workplace neither cools off nor dries out as quickly as the outside, which is just another reason to be happy when the workday ends.  I started towards German Street and turned right, since I had gone left when I ran on Saturday.  When I ran Saturday, it was after five days of not running, don’t judge.  Then I did not run Sunday, largely because I had also gone for a nice walk including some hills on Saturday.  I am really trying to get back into the habit of running more often.

I was running very slowly.  It was quite the plod.  No matter.  I was moving.  I remembered reading a long time ago that running slowly was a good way to train.  When you run fast, the theory goes, your body reaches toward high-octane fuel, such as the protein you recently ate.  When you run slowly, your body reaches for the low-octane fuel, your fat cells.  This was a nice, slow, fat-burning run, I told myself.  I think the theory has since been debunked, but I could hardly concern myself with that.

There was a lot of traffic, as there often is in the late afternoon.  I turned down Main Street rather than try to cross at the four-way stop.  I was thinking I would prefer not to run into any people, running so slowly and clunkily, but it was such a nice day, I thought there would be people almost any direction I took.  So why not go down Main Street?

Oh, my legs were not happy with me.  Shouldn’t they be warming up and getting into this, I asked myself.  Oh, just keep running, I answered.  One must have these difficult runs to get to the more enjoyable ones.

I did not start to feel really good until I was doing my cool-down walk.  It was then I realized, the irritable mood had passed.  Yes!  Maybe I sweated it out.  Maybe I ran away from it.  No matter.  I felt better, I had burned some calories, and I had something to write a blog post about. Not too bad for a Monday.

 

Don’t Sweat It

When I saw that the weather report today said 84 degrees instead of 90, it just sounded SO much cooler. Plus, it was prior to 7 a.m., well before it should reach 84. I could run. It would be great. As you may have guessed, it was not great, but I’m going to write about it anyways.

I woke up this morning NOT in the mood to run. Then I tricked myself. I said, “It would be a good idea if I went running.” You see, if I had said, “I should go running” or “I ought to go running,” I would have cleverly come up with any number of very good reasons NOT to run. But I had to acknowledge that, yes, it would be a good idea to run. I ran.

Right away I felt the humidity. I decided that it was good that I was running; I didn’t have to run fast. This would be a nice, steady, fat-burning run. I read a whole big thing once that when you run fast and hard, your body reaches for the high-octane fuel, provided by the protein and carbohydrates you consumed. When you run slow and easy, your body burns the low-octane stuff, the fat. I have since heard that this was not the case. However, I usually run at a slow rate and if I am running on a regular basis, I find that I am less fat. I spent a few blocks reflecting on this, mostly dwelling on the pleasing image of me not fat.

I soon became quite sweaty and realized I forgot my headband. Then my glasses fogged up. I tried to move them a little away from my face. I have some contact lenses I could wear to run in but I wonder if the sweat dripping into my eyes would be a problem. I’ll have to try it.

I ran in the opposite direction I had run on Monday, out German Street and around various residential streets, ending up on the path that used to be a hydraulic canal. I ran that path recently beginning out Main Street. Today I started at the other end and followed it to Main Street, detouring onto sidewalks when I had to.

I ended up doing 33 minutes, one minute longer than I had done Monday. I thought one minute extra was OK. As Tabby walked my cool-down with me I realized I had forgotten my bottle of water. I took a shorter cool-down walk than usual, and I’ve been hydrating ever since.

I’m afraid this hasn’t been a very amusing post about a run. As I was running I was thinking of any number of interesting things to say, but right now they elude me. Guess I’m not re-hydrated yet. On the other hand, it is Wuss-out Wednesday. I’ll try to be more entertaining tomorrow, on Non-Sequitur Thursday.