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Mohawk River Run

Instead of my beloved Lame Friday Post, I make bold to offer two Running Commentary posts in a row, because once again I ran two days in a row.  I’m just a little pleased with myself about it (happily glossing over the fact that I first took three days off).  Also, the setting of my run was definitely Mohawk Valley-ish.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am in Rome for Thanksgiving.  I had brought running clothes for two days but, as it turned out, not quite what I needed.  Well, who expects to wear shorts to run in November?  Yes, it happens, but one must admit, it is unusual.  No matter, my Mom loaned me a pair of shorts and off I went.

It was a little later than yesterday’s run; the sun was high in the sky, so I decided to check out the Mohawk River Trail. I picked it up off (I think) Culver Avenue (at least, one end of that street is Culver.  I suppose I COULD look it up before I publish this, but you know what a slacker I am on a Friday).  The trail head was clearly labeled, and there was a trash can at the entrance.  I always take note of public trash cans, for if I’m walking a dog and need to dispose of poop bags.

The trail is blacktop and wide enough for two or three to walk abreast.  I made note of that, because I thought I might be returning later in the day for a walk with members of my family.  Oh, I do love to be in the woods.  The trees were bare, leaves carpeted the ground, everything was brown and peaceful.  It was a cloudy, almost a gloomy morning, but my mood was anything but gloomy.  I could feel that I was running faster than yesterday, which you may recall, was faster than previously.  I’m thinking the reason was that I had been up for a while, drank coffee and eaten some toast and date-nut bread (protein in the dates and nuts!).

Just to interject another family note (it is a holiday weekend, after all), the date-nut bread was made by my sister Diane using my grandmother’s recipe.  Grandma always brought date-nut bread for Thanksgiving and Christmas; I am so pleased to have the tradition continued.  To add to the tradition (and the best traditions are built on over the years), my sister made the bread with her daughter, another sister and a niece, while having few drinks and a lot of laughs.  Laughs are a very important part of my family’s traditions.

Getting back to the run, I was enjoying myself quite a bit on the smooth, fairly level path.  I could see a few side paths that were not paved. I’m not sure if they were official or just used by some people, but I did not explore any today.  One led down to the water, possibly for a fishing spot.  The river was mostly visible through the trees, civilization less so. I was not sure where I was in relation to the City of Rome.  This did not particularly worry me.  I could always turn around and run back the way I came, but of course I didn’t want to do that.

There was a bridge in the distance.  Could I get there from here?  I had crossed a bridge to get to the trail so obviously would have to cross another to get back.  I was about half-way to how long I wanted to run for.  It was time to turn around or go another way.  Up a little bit of a hill, I came to a road.  Ah, but what road?  It did not look familiar.  Then I saw a sign for MVCC (Mohawk Valley Community College).  I know they have a branch on Floyd Avenue.   There was a sidewalk, to I got on it and turned in the direction of the bridge.

Things did not look completely familiar right away, but I was still pretty sure I was on Floyd Ave and headed in the right direction (I know it is more proper to say “Floyd Avenue” when I don’t have a street number, but we SAY “Floyd Ave” in conversation, so I make bold to say that here) (just a little grammatical digression).  Then things looked vaguely familiar, then I recognized stuff.

It was a lovely little run.  I went the exact length of time I went yesterday. Perhaps by Sunday I will increase it by the recommended 10 percent.  In the meantime, I’ll hit Publish and feel pleased with myself that I burned off some of the calories consumed at our Thanksgiving feast.  Happy Friday, everyone.


My Own Personal Turkey Trot

I had a dream last night in which I was walking down some stairs and my legs were killing me.  I explained to my companions that I had run for two days then taken a day off.

“Let that be a lesson to me,” I said.  Later on I woke up and went running.

I remembered the dream while running and thought, “You doofus, you didn’t go one day without running, you went three!  Don’t do that again!”  But I didn’t dwell too much on it, because, hey, I was out there moving.

I’m in Rome, at my parents’ house.  They suggested I run the Canal Trail, but since it was still dark I thought I would stick to the sidewalks.  The sun was mostly up by the time I got out the door, but I kept to my original intention.  It is always fun for me to run in Rome, because these are the streets I used to ride my bike on many, many years ago (you can tell me how many with a chortle if you so choose; I have no time to do the math).

I was quite the bike rider in those days.  It was just an old coaster with pedal brakes, but I loved it.  It took me everywhere.  It was not until much later in life I discovered the joy of gears, but we’re not talking about bicycles today.  I was on foot.

The first thing I saw was the full moon from last night.  A nephew of my husband’s used to call it the Moon-a-moolah.  It sure looked like a moon-a-moolah this morning.  I tried to run so I could keep it in sight.  The sky was grey and getting lighter.  I admired the bare trees against it.  I have a fascination with dead trees but lately have been appreciating the charm of live ones.  The limbs keep branching out till they are millions of thin twigs.  Such detail!  Really, Mother Nature is the consummate artiste.

Looking east I could see the incredible sunrise.  Streaks of pink — was that red skies at morning?  No, no, couldn’t be; we’re going to have a nice Thankgiving and take my sister’s dog for a walk.  I turned down a street looking away from the pink but going right toward the moon-a-moolah.  I clearly remembered some of the streets.  My favorites were always the alleys.  How cool would that be, to have your house on one street and your garage on the other?  Then I saw one with a screened in back porch and my envy was complete.

I didn’t exactly get lost, because I always knew the area I was in and I didn’t run that far anyways.  However, in Rome the streets often don’t come out where you expect them to.  No matter.  A couple of minutes added to a run do no harm.  I was running a little faster than I had previously.  I don’t imagine it looked like an effortless lope to anyone else, but at least I didn’t feel like I was plodding along.  Was it a trot?  No, no, I am never bouncy but strive for a smooth stride.  Still, I had thought to call this post My Own Personal Turkey Trot, in acknowledgement of the day.  Well, I still will.  For one reason, I can’t think of anything better.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


I’m Grateful I Finished This Post

You know, in a little more than a month, people are going to start asking each other what are their New Year’s Resolutions.  And some people will answer, with varying degrees of huffiness, that THEY do not make New Year’s Resolutions.  Some will say they are perfect as they are; the less obnoxious will say they always strive to improve and do not NEED an arbitrary date to do so.

What has this to do with Thanksgiving, you may ask.  Well, I will tell you, I hope with no huffiness but with honesty.

I try to spend my life in a state of relative gratitude.  For one reason, when you are feeling grateful, you feel less depressed, angry, resentful, sad and other negative emotions.  For another reason, it helps to counteract my usual complaints and whining, which I’m afraid can become rather tiresome.  In confess, I pursue this attitude with a greater or lesser degree of success at different times.  As Billy Wilder so aptly observed, nobody’s perfect.

For example, I complain about my husband’s job but hasten to add that I am grateful he has a job.  I used to groan over the necessity to go to the laundromat but hastened to add that I was grateful there were lots of machines and the place was clean.  Right now I am almost purely grateful for our new (to us) washer and drier.  Soon I’ll find something there to bitch about but no doubt will hasten to add how grateful I am that I have them.

You see where I’m going with this.

I am looking forward to tomorrow (Thanksgiving) as a day I will spend time with family and eat a lot of good food.  I am not going to wax eloquent about all that I am grateful for.  Please believe that I am grateful for many things.  And feel free to share your own list of gratitudes on Facebook, in person, in a comment here or in your own blog (my computer is telling me “gratitudes” is not a word, but I can’t think of a better one).

More astute readers will remember that this is Wuss-out Wednesday and be nodding wisely.  I am, of course, grateful for all my readers (you know, for not posting a list, I have mentioned a few gratitudes, haven’t I?).  I shall humbly sign off now and begin pondering tomorrow’s post.

Now, about that New Year’s Resolution…


Time Warp Tuesday

Thanksgiving week has been weird since I’ve been working at the factory.  We have the long weekend that many Monday through Friday workers enjoy, a luxury I have not had in years.  Well, I’ve had it for over four years now and I’m still not used to it.

Monday was definitely Monday, but it was also like Wednesday, because there were only two more days of work.  Today was in fact Tuesday, and it felt like that since it was the day after Monday, BUT it was also Wednesday, because it was the middle of the week, and it was also Thursday, because tomorrow is the last work day. Tomorrow, in addition to being Wednesday, for obvious reasons, is also Friday AND it is also Thursday, because we get paid, and Thursday is payday.  I’m sure you can understand my confusion.

I have no doubt gone over all this in previous years.  I’m hoping anybody who remembers does not mind reading it again.  You see, I must come back to the fact that it is Tuesday, because it is TIRED TUESDAY!

I actually did write something today. I began what I hoped was a rather amusing account of a Hammer Studios movie we watched on Sunday.  It’s running a little long, though, and I’d like to work on it some more.  I thought, “No problem.  I’m going running after work. I’ll write about that.”  Guess what I didn’t do after work today.

And I just remembered, I put in laundry!  I’ve got to get it in the drier!  Be right back!

. . .

That was fun.  Now I come back to the computer to realize I was done after all.  To go back and edit or leave as is?  I pick as is.  Is that the right decision?  You be the judge.  I’ll try for a better blog post tomorrow, but it will be Wuss-out Wednesday. Or will it be Lame Post Friday?  The suspense!


Thankful It’s Lame Post Friday

I’ve noticed that other bloggers as well as random Facebook posters are either counting up things for which they are thankful or ranting about the out of control Black Friday sales (I don’t CARE if you like the Black Friday sales, nobody can convince me that they are not out of control, please don’t try). Shall I add to the cacophony? Or shall I keep in the spirit of my own Lame Post Friday with some random observations and half-baked philosophy?

Oh you know what I’m going to do, don’t you?

First observation, not particularly random or original, is that most of us are thankful for similar things. I think it was Tolstoy who wrote that happy families are all alike, it was the miserable ones that were interesting. I’ll come up with some half-baked philosophy about that another time. For now I will postulate that most of us do not read about other people’s thankfulness in hopes of seeing something new. I think we read it to get that warm, fuzzy, familiar feeling. “Ah, yes, I’m thankful for that, too!” Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

Regarding out of control sales on Black Friday, my observation is that I can’t think of a thing to say about it that hasn’t been said before. How mortifying. I think all the half-baked philosophy has been taken as well. What’s a blogger to do?

Wait a minute, it’s Lame Post Friday. I don’t have to do anything. I’m over 200 words. I can hit publish and call it a day. But in case anybody is wondering: I had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends. I have a lot to be thankful for. The only shopping I did on Black Friday was to purchase some post cards at the Rome Historical Society, and you can take that as a preview of coming attractions, because I intend to write about it later when I’m not feeling so lame.

On to Christmas overkill!

Thankful that I Ran

I cravenly did not run yesterday (did you read my blog post? I was tired! It was winter!), so I thought I might run this morning before beginning the Thanksgiving festivities. We were up early. I had coffee and a banana with peanut butter. I used to wait at least an hour after eating, you know, like they used to tell you to do when you went swimming, but I have since read conflicting advice. Anyways, I was hungry (stand by for some half-baked philosophy about advice on some future Lame Post Friday).

It was 30 degrees according to my thermostat, so I put on pants and a long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt. The t-shirt has a reflective decoration on the back. I was glad of this, because I intended to do at least part of my run in the road. As I wrote yesterday, winter is back. There was a lot of snow on the ground and I was betting there would not be a lot of bare or even semi-bare sidewalks.

I figured prior to 7 a.m. on a holiday there would not be too much traffic. Then again, some stores began their “Black Friday” sales too early to qualify for the name. As the great Fats Waller said, one never knows, do one? Never mind. The sun was up and so was I. I added toque and gloves to my ensemble and set out.

It was not too cold after all. I was glad of the gloves and kind of wished I had added a sweatshirt but I knew I could hang. I ran to the end of my street to find that there was in fact traffic on East German. I ran a little way (left side facing traffic OF COURSE) then crossed the street to where I saw a cleared sidewalk.

Of course it didn’t last. I was soon plowing through fluffy white stuff. It wasn’t too bad. I told myself it would burn more calories. This would be great. Surely a 20 minute run plowing through snow would burn as many calories as a 30 minute run on dry bare roads. I had no way of doing the math but could see no advantage in knowing exact numbers so did not repine.

I turned down Margaret Street where I felt I could safely run in the road. Perhaps not. Wasn’t this ice? It wasn’t glare ice in any case. It didn’t feel too slippery, but I continued with care. My middle-aged shuffle is ideally suited to these running conditions. I made a mental note to include that observation in my blog post (and you see that I did) (feeling pleased with myself). When I went back to the sidewalks and plowed through the unshoveled parts my shuffle was less delightful, but I persevered.

Back in the road I stepped in a puddle. Now my feet were wet! Don’t go back on the sidewalk, I told myself, or your feet will freeze in the snow. I pictured my feet encased in ice cubes with perfectly smooth sides and right-angle corners, like in the cartoons. That amused me. It didn’t happen when I eventually returned to the sidewalk.

I did not encounter much traffic but at one point a car came towards me while I was in the road and I was not near a place to get to the sidewalk easily. And there was a deep puddle to my left. Oh dear. I got over as far as I could. The car wasn’t going very fast. I thought maybe the driver had seen ARMY on my shirt and did not want to hit a veteran. Be nice to veterans. Um, not I think people ought to run over non-veterans. Does anybody really think I think that? If you do and you are offended, well, I am offended that you think I think that! So there!

Where was I? Oh yes, headed back home through the snow. I ran 22 minutes. Twenty-two is my favorite number. I really enjoyed my run. When I wasn’t looking at my feet and running with care, I was looking up at the trees, which were still covered with snow. I enjoyed the grey light of the just-risen sun.

After walking my cool-down with Tabby, I shoveled the end of the driveway and the sidewalk in front of our house. After a run where I thought, “Oh, these nice people shoveled! These rotten people didn’t!” I wanted to be one of the nice people.

I was delighted I had run. My body felt awesome. I really need to run or at least walk every day. When I get it out of the way so early I feel set up for the day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Be Thankful the Post is Short

After all, I don’t HAVE to write a post every day. I CHOOSE to write a post every day.

Wouldn’t that be silly if those two sentences were my entire post?

In fact, it is Thanksgiving Day, and I don’t got much. That is, I have a lot to be thankful for, of course. But I don’t have a lot to write about. Oh, I know, I could write a post about everything I’m thankful for, including perhaps a little snippet about how we OUGHT to be thankful every day, not just the day before Black Friday. Blah, blah, blah. Let’s save the half-baked philosophy for Lame Post Friday, shall we?

I did take a walk today, which is often good for a post. It was cold. I was glad I had borrowed my father’s hat. It was like a big hood not attached to a coat. The coverage was great, head and neck.

One sister and one nephew walked with me and Tabby. I ought, perhaps, to mention that I was at my parents’ house in Rome, NY. They live in a nice quiet neighborhood, good for walking. We walked down the middle of the road in a couple of places, to avoid patches of ice. We took to the sidewalks in other places but had no mishaps. Phew!

A few people had their Christmas decorations up already. I think tomorrow is a better day to begin our Christmas celebrations, but what are you going to do? My nephew revealed that he had perhaps inadvisedly volunteered to put up the Christmas lights at his house. I believe this was before the temperature dropped and the snow fell. We discussed my previous quest for a hard plastic light-up snowman (NOT the blow-up kind!).

Yes, it was an uneventful walk, but as usual we enjoyed it. I will strive for a more adventurous post tomorrow, but it will not include Black Friday shopping. That’s not how I roll.

Happy Wuss-Out

What a good day for a Wuss-Out Wednesday. Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) begins a four day weekend for me. Anybody who does not have a four day weekend, please don’t hate on me; I didn’t always have it.

Where was I? Nowhere in particular. I tried to write something today while at work (YES, it was on a break, HELLO!). Not so good. I wrote a half-page or a page on my novel, though. Maybe it wasn’t any good, but the relief of seeing words appear on the page is undeniable.

So I have no post and no ideas for a post. In my defense, the weather made it ineligible to go for a run or a walk after work. Don’t give me that scornful look; that’s not nice. I did not care to run on icy sidewalks. My dog does not care to walk when there is precipitation. I don’t know why I am justifying myself to you who are, after all, probably sitting indoors right now looking at a computer of some sort.

My dear husband suggested that I merely say Happy Thanksgiving and leave it at that. Really not a bad idea. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, or just plain Happy Wednesday.

Was that weird that Thanksgiving is actually tomorrow while Hanukkah and Wednesday are today? I do hate to be asymmetrical. Then again it may be appropriate for a Wuss-Out Wednesday.

It Was a Dark and Sunny Run

You know, you can almost always talk yourself out of running. More difficult to talk yourself into almost anything. The best method I’ve found is to quietly put on the running clothes and get out the door without too much said.

Actually, some stuff was said, to Steven and in my head. We saw on WKTV news this morning that there was a Run to End Hunger on the Utica, NY Parkway this morning. I believe news personality Don Shipman intended to run in it (actually, he is probably running even as I type this. Go, Don!). I know some places do a Turkey Trot around this time. All that notwithstanding, I ran alone and I liked it.

Steven pointed out that it is still dark at six in the morning.

“That’s OK; I’ll wear my reflective belt. I know where it is,” I said. Then I almost forgot it. Back upstairs to get it, which had the added advantage that I lured Tabby away from the door, where she was standing hopefully. Tabby does not like to run with me but neither does she like to be left out. I can understand the emotion.

Finally I was off, in the dark in the cold. I had taken the precaution of wearing leggings, long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt, sweatshirt and knitted toque (you know how it’s pronounced). I could not find my mittens, but the sweatshirt sleeves were long enough to pull down over my hands.

And right away, it wasn’t too bad. My legs were not mad at me. My lungs were breathing in a perfectly normal fashion. In short, I could rock this.

I looked at all the houses as I ran by, hoping to see a few lights on. I never like to run, walk or drive by all dark houses. I feel too lonely. I thought some people might be up this early putting their turkeys in the oven. I bet my mom was. Every time I saw a light, I thought, “You go, turkey cooker!”

I ran up the hill by Valley Health. No problem! I ran by more dark houses. Then one with no lights on, but a television running. It made an eerie blue glow from some angles. I enjoy an eerie blue glow. Let’s keep that Halloween spirit going!

As I type this, I have to realize, it was rather an uneventful run. But it felt AWESOME! I could have kept going for HOURS! Of course I did no such thing. I stopped after a sensible amount of time, and Tabby graciously joined me for a cool down walk around the block.

The sun was up by now, so I felt better and better. What a great time to run, I thought. It was dark, and now it’s not. I feel TERRIFIC! Then I thought, I’m going to post that as my Facebook status when I get home. I did.

So that was the start of my Thanksgiving morning. And now I’m thinking, maybe the bad runs are better for the blog. The good ones can make for, I’m sorry, kind of a boring post. Not to worry, though. I’m sure I’ll be more ate up in the future. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!