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.