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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.

 

A Triumph, Or Do I Flatter Myself?

Is it as much of a triumph if, on the way to your goal, you inwardly grumbled and fussed and wished yourself elsewhere?  Or does that make it more of a triumph, that you overcame your own resistance and fought the enemy that was you?

Another philosophical question:  does it matter much if I do another post about running so soon?

The questions in the first paragraph occurred to me in the middle of this morning’s run.  I made it up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly referred to as HCCC), the first time I have done so in a while.  Even getting on the road was something of a triumph, because my first thought on getting out of bed was, “Thank God I ran yesterday when I didn’t want to, because now it won’t be so bad if I don’t run again till tomorrow.”  A cup of coffee helped me change my mind.

It was 46 degrees, according to my thermostat, one degree over my limit for shorts and short sleeves.  I had been going to rethink that rule, but I could not be bothered with thinking this morning.  I found stuff to wear and got out the door.  I soon lamented my cold hands but comforted myself with the thought that I would not try to write anything for a while after the run.

I had told Steven I might run up to HCCC, but I wouldn’t guarantee it.  As a friend of mine said once, “I don’t make plans, promises or excuses.”  I could have expounded for a while on that excellent rule, but I only would have been stalling my run, so I did not.  Instead I ran toward German Street  and turned myself in the direction of the college.  I could not see any alternative to running up that hill.  I had to do it sooner or later, I thought.  The longer I put it off, the worse it would be.  I realize that, logically speaking, that is not strictly true (do I really need both those adverbs in that sentence?  I do tend to overdo it with the adverbs).  If I kept increasing my run time, and kept running other hills (of which there are not that many in Herkimer), it would get easier not harder to run up one particular hill.  But as I said earlier, I could not be bothered with a lot of thinking this morning.

Besides, I wanted to feel bad-ass.

Going up that hill was not fun.  Looking ahead didn’t help.  Looking down at my feet didn’t help.  Looking back at how far I came helped a little bit, since I didn’t do that till I was more than half-way up.  I tried to distract myself by looking at the green on the bushes and some of the trees to the left and right of me.  I do like to see the green.  I did not see any deer or other critters.  A couple of cars went by, also headed up the hill, but I did not try to hitch a ride.  They probably would not have stopped in any case.

At last, at last, I was at the top!  I wanted to put my arms over my head and make fists, although there was nobody nearby to sing, “We Are the Champions”  (regular readers may recall that at the end of a difficult run, I enjoy to walk around with my fists in the air while somebody sings, “We Are the Champions,” if I can get anybody to do so).   I just kept running normally, though, looking forward to the downhill part of my run.

I upped my time by the recommended 10 percent, so I felt pretty pleased about that.  Then I had a hot flash while I was stretching, so a cool shower felt really good.  I used good-smelling soap and lotion (white gardenia, my favorite), so I could feel pretty. Even us bad-ass runners like to feel pretty sometimes. I meant to make my Running Commentary post soon after my run, and perhaps include more of my observations and philosophical thoughts.  Then again, I’ve approaching 700 words.  That is pretty long for me. And I have a murder mystery to get ready for.  Happy Saturday, everyone.